The night before an impending blizzard landing in Manhattan felt like the perfect time to gather with friends deep in the bowels of New York City’s Municipal Archives. The goal was to test out a creative writing workshop I’ve been pondering over this past year, which focuses on using archival material as a resource for fiction writing and visual art making. Our host was Sylvia Kollar, Director of the Municipal Archives, who conjured up extraordinary records for us to ponder together as a group. In particular, we worked with selected Bertillion Cards pulled from a collection of early 20th century mug shots held within the city’s archives.
CONVERSATION WITH ARCHIVIST GEOFFREY WEXLER
Pondering the inner life of a Portland-based artist discovered within the pages of his diary.
Geoffrey Wexler is an archivist and artist friend who made a strong impression on me early in my career. Geoff created a meticulous foundation for the ongoing development of the Robert Wilson Archives, and, I am sure, unknowingly inspired me to be detail-driven in an artful way. I have always admired his aesthetic sensibility and how he managed to incorporate an artist’s eye into the structure of Robert Wilson’s collection. Geoffrey Wexler is Library Director at the Oregon Historical Society. read more