Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith, Vol.1
So here goes. This is one of our favourite books, a favourite for many reasons, a favourite for any season. Harry Smith is a seminal figure on the American 20th cultural landscape - a painter, musicologist, filmmaker, occultist, an associate of the Beats, a mystic and all-round bearded polymath. Oh... and a collector.
This beautiful book by J&L Books collects together over 250 of the paper airplanes that Smith collected from the streets of New York City from 1967 to 1983. Folded from magazines, advertisements, envelopes and notepaper, these beautiful hand-made flying machines carry the signifiers of time on their faded wings - words, numerals, drawings and scrawlings peep from the pleats and make us wonder about their origins.
In the rear of the book, running chronologically, there is an entry for each plane, giving the location where it was found by Smith (which he annotated on each airplane) and a map showing the reference of each find.