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Liza Kirwin’s 10 Favorite Lists from the Smithsonian’s Archives

Liza Kirwin is the curator of manuscripts at the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art, the world’s largest and most widely used resource on the history of the visual arts in America. She’s also the author of Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists, a new book that gives us an intimate glimpse inside the minds of well-known artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Andrew Wyeth through random lists that they made. Shopping lists, reading lists, to-do lists, supply lists, membership lists — you get the gist. Here, Kirwin walks us through her top-ten lists from the fascinating book.


Adolf Konrad, packing list, ca. 1962–63. Adolf Ferdinand Konrad papers, 1962–2002. Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution.

10. Adolf Konrad (1915–2003)
Perhaps only an artist would make a graphic list like Konrad’s showing, in picture form, the contents of his suitcase on a trip to Cairo in December 1963.

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