Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry
Lenore Doolan, a food writer for the New York Times, meets Harold Morris, a photographer, at a halloween party in 2002. He is dressed as Harry Houdini. In Leanne Shapton's marvellously inventive and invented auction catalogue, the 325 lots up for auction are what remain from the relationship between Lenore and Harold (who aren't real people, but might as well be). Through photographs of the couple's personal effects - the usual auction items (jewellery, fine art, and rare furniture) and the seemingly worthless (pyjamas, Post-it notes, worn paperbacks) - the story of a failed love affair vividly and cleverly emerges. From first meeting to final separation, the progress and rituals of intimacy are revealed through the couple's accumulated relics and memorabilia. And a love story, in all its tenderness and struggle, emerges from the evidence that has been left behind, laid out for us to appraise and appreciate. In Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris Leanne Shapton invites us to contemplate what is truly valuable, and to consider the art we make of our private lives.
The film rights to Important Artifacts have been bought by Paramount Pictures and will be made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. Publication will be marked with great publicity across the national press and glossy magazines; an online treasure trove will showcase some of the artifacts Unique in style and timeless in appeal, Important Artifacts charts a passionate love affair from the first sparks to the final flares through an auction catalogue of the couple's personal effects
'The task is daunting: How to render the dissolution of a romantic relationship in a new way? Leanne Shapton succeeds against all the odds with this wildly romantic and erudite book' Dave Eggers 'I feel like I have found a hidden treasure. It's so original, and the items are perfect and brilliantly displayed' Any Sedaris 'There is humour, caprice, knowingness and the implicit suggestion that changing feelings and fading possessions can't rob a true romance of the value it had at its height' New York Times
Leanne Shapton is an illustrator, writer and publisher who was born in Toronto and now lives in New York. She is the art director of the New York Times op-ed page and co-founder of J&L Books, a nonprofit publishing company specializing in new photography, art and fiction. She is the author of Was She Pretty?