Book Review: My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman

My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things began as a companion to an exhibition Kalman curated to celebrate the reopening of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking meditation on the significance of objects and how our experience of art is laced with the details of our personal histories. 

Throughout the book, author and illustrator Kalman weaves childhood memories, personal recollections and meditations into her descriptions of objects from the Cooper Hewitt’s collection.  For example, in considering a pair of yellow American slippers from the 1830s, Kalman muses on the glory of walking.

My Favorite Things

Within her hand-written description of a French lamp shade from 1935, Kalman considers her love of books: 'The book. Calming object. Held in the hand'

My Favorite Things

One of our favourite moments is the poignant inclusion of a Lydia Davis poem under an early nineteenth-century European mount:

My Favorite Things is a lyrical and delightful exploration of the significance of things and an important reminder of how museums serve not only as temples for collective memory but as important cues inviting us to relive personal memories and reinvigorate passions.

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