Persistence is an antique ephemera collage on an old book cover. I was inspired by the vintage and antique paper objects I had recently bought at a flea market, which made me think of how the past is always with us in some form. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘ephemera’, it’s simply stuff that was meant to be thrown away after use, usually made of paper or cardboard. I like this quote from the Encyclopedia of Ephemera defining it as,”Minor transient documents of everyday life.” Included in this antique ephemera collage collage are part of a book cover spine, old lace, a piece of a package that contained sewing machine parts, antique sheet music, some bits from an old greeting card, and a stamp from Argentina, among other things. It’s fascinating to me to be able to take a peek into the past by examining these objects; it’s like discovering buried treasure. For example, the greeting card was in a binder along with many other items that had belonged to the same person. There were school papers, handmade cards and drawings, and even botanical samples from a lab book from 1919. To find out more about antique and vintage ephemera, read this blog post.
The title, ‘Persistence’ came about because I had trouble with the composition, and ended up changing it several times, almost giving up on it at one point. Another thought in regards to persistence is that of the ability of such old and fragile objects to survive intact for so long. No one thought of it at the time, but the little things of everyday life that were left behind have a story to tell. Just as the bones, pottery fragments, tools, and even cloth that are excavated at archaeological sites weren’t placed there for our benefit, they tell us much about the people who used them. The bits of paper in this antique ephemera collage also have a story to tell, though it may be different for every person who sees it. What does it say to you?