What is so fascinating about looking at other people’s books? I must admit I’m particularly thrilled by this new project to catalog every book in minimalist artist Donald Judd‘s 13,004 volume private library with an interactive online program that shows you images of each broad wooden shelf and what is in it. You can click each book for library information, like the ISBN number, etc., and, of course, even the shelves themselves are perfectly Judd-ian and fabulous. Kept in a hanger of an old army base in Marfa, Texas, where Judd lived and worked, the books include those on art and architecture, naturally, as well as those on Norse mythology, physics, traditional Russian textiles and maritime history, all displayed alongside various artifacts, an ancient samurai knife here and a beautiful snake skeleton there. (Link here to the Judd library project.)
At the time of his death, Judd stipulated that no book should ever be re-shelved or removed from the library. It’s like map to the innerworkings of the artist’s inspirations, influences and his state of mind.