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Searching for Beauty: Letters from a Collector to Studio Potter

Searching for Beauty: Letters from a Collector to a Studio Potter

Manufacturer: Kestrel Books Ltd
Axner Number: A996011
Weight: 1 lbs., 11.20000 oz.

List Price: $32.50
Axner Price: $29.86
You Save: $2.64 (8 %)

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Product Details
by Richard Jacobs

Hardcover: 342 pages
Publisher: Kestrel Books Ltd (2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0-9548840-6-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-9548840-6-2
Dimensions: 9.3" x 6.0" x 1.3"
Shipping Weight: 1.7 lbs.

In the summer of 2002 Dr. Richard Jacobs, a Californian collector of ceramics, bought a piece from a young potter by the name of Christa Assad. For whatever reasons, this single act, just one among many by a distinguished professor, educationist and ceramics collector, kindled a desire to set down in print the innumerable thoughts and questions of a tirelessly inquisitive and often heretical spirit.

Taking his inspiration from Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, Richard Jacobs sets the tone of his letters to Christa Assad with his favorite quote from that classic work, "Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language… At present you need to live the question."

It soon becomes clear that Richard Jacobs himself has always lived the question. Searching for Beauty is more - much more - than a collection of authoritative musings on modern ceramics. It is a thoughtful, yet witty commentary and examination of just about everything: contemporary art and aesthetics; philosophy, education, politics; what it means to be a citizen of not just one nation but of the entire planet; on being young, middle-aged and blessed with long experience; above all, on the trials and tribulations of being an artist in the world today.

Richard Jacobs has traveled the world in search of beauty. His journey has not been eased by personal wealth, so it has never been a question of settling for a reassuringly impressive price tag. He has had to employ his well-trained eye, his knowledge and experience, while all the time posing questions about the work, the artist and the very nature of collecting.

In his own words: "My uncertainties lead to ironies and a complex absurdity that is central to the brief interval that forms my earthly existence. It is not only a survival strategy for me but a way of playing out a self-conscious comedy of errors. This leads to further adventures and surprises that never match the expected outcomes but can be far richer and more meaningful as a result. My collecting is ultimately not a search for material artifacts as much as a search for a normative vision of how to live a life. The ethical dimensions of seeking justice in what has been a violent and unjust world has haunted me my whole life. The power of art for me has been the compelling evidence it provides that the human species has the redeeming ability to create and contribute the saving grace of beauty. It is that beauty that has nourished my soul and become my final refuge."

Searching for Beauty is a book that will last, its readers returning again and again to their favorite passages.

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