Although I’ve been searching for people to share memories about Danny Allen and examples of his art for year or better, stories and lost pieces are just now starting to surface at the 11th hour. The first set of galleys are due very soon, and if they’re late, it won’t be the the book designer’s fault — It will be my fault as a result of necessary changes required in the text when new information about Danny’s life surfaced. My book designer, Katherine Denison (of Denison Creative in Rochester, New York) has been remarkably patient with me. This book is, after all, a project that by definition has grown organically as art is located and information is shared.
Having learned about the unsettling fate of the artwork that had been in Diana Wilber’s collection, (see earlier post) I can’t help but wonder what became of two other collections where the owners have since passed away. I have no idea what became of artist, Ramon Martinez’ collection, including his own art. I’ve also wondered what became of David Lortz’ collection and his own work. I do know, however that David had a son, and some of David’s collection is accounted for, and is in the possession of a fellow artist and friend.
I have provided for my art collection in my will, and specifically noted that everything by Danny Allen (in my possession) be returned to the Allen Family. We never think about our mortality or the idea that we might become incapacitated. It’s not a pleasant topic, but a necessary one. Art needs to be mentioned in a person’s will if it’s going to survive and be enjoyed by future generations.
On a more cheerful note, several more friends and collectors of Dan’s work have been located and art is being scanned today at Denison Creative for inclusion in the “addendum” of the book. An Early Work Late in Life is told through my eyes and with quotes and memories from Dan’s friends and family. The last word, however belongs to Danny Allen himself in an addendum of what has been salvaged of his poems from his journals. Dan gave Eva Weiss a Xerox copy to read, and she wisely saved it. Any additional art located will be used in that section of the book. Above is a piece just sent to me by a mutual friend, who also has two of his surreal graphite drawings. I need to keep some things under wraps so there are remaining surprises when the book is finally released this coming Spring. Thank you Leah, Ruth, Arthur, Wendy and Albert for all getting back in touch with me and sharing memories and scanning what you have in your collections. It was wonderful talking to each and every one of you.