It's not time for my monthly book report but this book deserves its own post. It gave me all the feels and yet I'm having trouble writing which "feels" those were exactly.
Here's the description from the publisher:
And so upon seeing The Electric Pencil: Drawings from State Hospital No. 3 on Amazon, I messaged a friend about it because it reminded me of a book that she had loaned me, Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant. Once I got the book I realized both of these books were published by Princeton Architectural Press. Interesting.
So then I sat down to read it and it's just goosebumps. It's 1970 in Springfield, Missouri [uh, that's where I live.] A 14 year old boy finds this book of drawings in a mound of trash at the curb. He picks it up and keeps it for about 30 years. Then in 2006 he decides to sell it.
It's a fascinating story that for me is even more special because it takes place in southwest Missouri. I can easily picture both the 14 year old boy and Edward Deeds, the artist, as family or friends, people that I could have easily known.
The Riverfront Times has even more of the story of how this book came to be. I wish they'd included some of the memories from this article in the book like when his niece recalls:
It's a sad story about the state of mental health in America. But it's also a beautiful story of how art helps us survive and endure.