Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of documenting the books and reference material that sit in Kent Bellow’s studio. Through the process of adorning intro pages with a ‘From the Library of Kent Bellows’ stamp and scanning in ISBNs, I have had many special moments in the process.
What I enjoyed most about the repetitious process is the surprise of opening each cover. Kent often signed many of his books and I appreciate the time he took in using a ruler to create guidelines for signing; as if he were practicing for an artwork. I suppose practice makes perfect! From time to time a book wouldn’t have his signature but the words ‘MY BOOK!’ inscribed. This made me smile.
Kent also adorned the beginning pages of many of his books with hand-written notes and thoughts. He was very specific to page numbers and sentences he wanted to refer back to (which I thought was quite smart because he could open up a book months later and see what specific things engaged him most in the past).
Even though Kent had tons of books all over his studio, when I was finished documenting, I realized that they were all quite organized. Paperback novels were stacked together like toy soldiers, gallery booklets were combined, oversized books were placed horizontally on top of each other, and poetry books were homed on the ledge of his enormous bathtub. The wall above his bathtub is inscribed by one of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems. The excerpt reads: ‘The world seldom changes, / but the wet foot dangles / until a bird arranges / two notes at right angles.”
You can view Kent Bellows’ book, movie, and music collection here: http://kentbellows.libib.com/i/kent-bellows-studio-library