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kottke.org posts about Harry Everett Smith

A Vintage Paper Airplane Collection

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 02, 2021

vintage paper airplane

vintage paper airplane

vintage paper airplane

Harry Everett Smith was an artist and a collector. One of the things he collected was paper airplanes — he picked up hundreds of them from the streets and buildings of New York between 1961 and 1983.

Smith was “always, always, always looking” for new airplanes, one friend said: “He would run out in front of the cabs to get them, you know, before they got run over. I remember one time we saw one in the air and he was just running everywhere trying to figure out where it was going to be. He was just, like, out of his mind, completely. He couldn’t believe that he’d seen one. Someone, I guess, shot it from an upstairs building.”

The whereabouts of much of his collection is presently unknown, but photos of part of the collection were compiled into a book: Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith: Catalogue Raisonné, Volume I. You can see more of Smith’s collection at the New Yorker and SFO Museum. (via moss & fog)