December 9, 2022
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A writing teacher used to advise me “Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good.”

Reading your posts on Leyendecker and Williamson, what strikes me is the time and effort and talent they invested in creating not for galleries or collectors but for ephemeral media like magazines and newspaper comic strips. I wonder what they would have thought if they’d been told that a fellow artist would be marveling at their craftsmanship long after the magazine had ceased publication and the newspapers had mouldered away?


What you say about digital storage and the internet is quite true. The content of throwaway material like newspapers and magazines can now be stored indefinitely and accessed easily. And work like Leyendecker’s and Williamson’s can be preserved for anyone to look at. That’s one of the real amenities of the internet. But my point remains: Leyendecker et al had no idea their work would ever acquire that kind of permanence, yet they lavished time and care and hard-won reserves of craftsmanship on it.

P.S. “Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.” — Mark Twaon

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