The everyday object as art. Just for fun.

In Catalogue, I examine the ordinary objects that make up the “collection” that is my personal world. In so doing I try to give the same respect and thoughtfulness to the objects that I’ve accumulated that a museum curator might give to the objects they oversee in their collection. The project loosely follows the format of an exhibition catalogue. I hope that by analyzing ordinary objects from my life I might help others to take notice of seemingly insignificant details from their own lives—to reflect and find meaning. Click on the catalogue numbers to see the full posts with discussion.


No. 1

Artist: Pottery Barn
Title: Slipcovered Sofa
Date: 2003
Culture: American
Provenance: Purchased by EAH directly from Pottery Barn in 2003. Gifted to the Philadelphia Charity Uhuru Furniture in 2015.

Blurry photo of our sofa in its original location

No. 2

Artist: Unknown. (Possibly Anchor Hocking Milano Lido? Morgantown Glass Company? Seneca Glass Company?)
Title: Amber Crinkle Glass
Date: 1950s or 1960s
Culture: American
Provenance: Presumably purchased new by the grandfather of EAH some time mid-century. Gifted to EAH by her grandfather around 2002.


No. 3

Artist: Anne Alavi
Title: Mix Tape Collection
Date: 1990s
Culture: American
Provenance: Gifted to EAH by the artist


No. 4

Artist: Woodknot Bookshop, Newport, Vermont
Title: Bookmark
Date: 1990s
Culture: American
Provenance: Tucked into a book purchased at the Woodknot Bookshop in Newport, Vermont. Most likely purchased by the parents of EAH as a gift.


No. 5

Artist: Unknown
Title: Keychain and bottle opener (formerly with Abba imagery)
Date: Unknown (1970s?)
Culture: European or American
Provenance: Given to EAH by Kevin O’Rourke on her twenty-second birthday (2002). Purchased by Kevin O’Rourke on eBay in 2001 or 2002. Original owner/provenance unknown.


No. 6

Artist: Unknown—Copy of Theophan the Greek
Title: Copy of the Icon of the Donskoi Mother of God
Date: Modern copy of 14th century icon
Culture: Russian/Byzantine
Provenance: Purchased as a souvenir by EAH by at the Donskoi Monastery in Moscow in 2011.

Donskoi Icon

No. 7

Artist: Steinway & Sons
Title: Piano Bench
Date: 1950s?
Culture: American
Provenance: Gifted (along with piano) to EAH’s mother in the 1950s by her father and then gifted to EAH by her father in 2017, after her mother’s death.


No. 8

Artist: WubbaNub
Title: Pacifier with Stuffed Elephant
Date: 2019
Culture: American
Provenance: Purchased at Target by EAH for her wee daughter


No. 9

Artist: Unknown, Moscow street artist
Title: The Russia House Matryoshka Dolls
Date: ca. 1991
Culture: Russian
Provenance: Made to order in Moscow by EAH’s father as a gift


No. 10

Artist: Unknown
Title: Perfume Set
Date: 1993
Culture: American
Provenance: Given to EAH by her aunt on her thirteenth birthday

No. 11

Artist: St. Patrick
Title: Wedding Dress
Date: 2009
Culture: American (maybe Spanish?)
Provenance: Purchased at Brides ‘n Maids, Santa Rosa, CA in 2009

No. 12

Artist: Nature/Various
Title: Bouquets I have received
Date: 2020 and before
Culture: Nature
Provenance: Gifts over the years


No. 13

Artist: Willa Cather & Houghton Mifflin Company
Title: My Ántonia
Date: 1918; copyright renewed 1977
Culture: American Literature
Provenance: Given to EAH by her mother in July of 1987

No. 14

Artist: Unknown
Title: Collection of School Awards
Date: 1998
Culture: American
Provenance: Awarded to EAH in her senior year of high school


No. 15

Artist: Unknown/Olive May McQuown
Title: Autograph Book
Date: 1884
Culture: American, Remington, Indiana
Provenance: Olive McQuown’s sister (or cousin?) Anna (my great-grandmother), passed this on to her daughter Elma (my grandmother) who passed it on to my mother. It ended up with me after my mother’s death.

No. 16: Scottish FantasyArtist: Max Bruch
Title: Scottish Fantasy
Date: 1880
Culture: German
Provenance: Album gifted to EAH by her mother in 2003


No. 17: My Aunt Judy Collection

Artist: Judy Beaman
Title: Various Gifts
Date: 1992ish-2018
Culture: American
Provenance: Gifts given to EAH by her aunt over the years

No. 18: Spencer Tunick Photograph

Artist: Spencer Tunick
Title: Photograph at the Piazza Navona
Date: 2001
Culture: American
Provenance: Signed copy given to EAH by the artist as “payment” for being a subject in the photograph. Currently hanging in her bathroom.

No. 19: Miniature Embroidered Doll

Artist: Unknown
Title: Untitled
Date: Early 20th Century?
Culture: American?
Provenance: Ended up with EAH’s Christmas things after the death of her mother.


No. 20: My Violin

Artist: Unknown
Title: Violin
Date: 1950s?
Culture: American
Provenance: Handed down to EAH via her mother and grandfather.


No. 21: What’s Missing

Artist: Life
Title: What’s Missing/Absence/Loss/Memory/Time
Date: Timeless
Culture: Metaphysical, Philosophical
Provenance: I wish I knew.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-missing-piece.jpg

No. 22: Turkish Souvenir

Artist: Unknown
Title: Tchotchke
Date: 1970s?
Culture: Turkish (?)
Provenance: Bought by my grandparents probably on vacation in Turkey in the1970s

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