“Miscellaneous”: Inanimate Objects Edition

"Cohen House Place Setting"

There’s a drawer at the end of our photo file cabinets that is partially dedicated to “miscellaneous” pictures. I’ve never looked in there, which makes sense when you stop and think about it. What would be a compelling reason to go look in a drawer that is by definition filled with stuff that doesn’t sensibly belong anywhere in particular?

I looked in there today. And indeed I had no reason. I was standing around killing time in between meetings, feeling sort of existentially miscellaneous when it caught my eye. It turned out to contain a hilariously bizarre collection of images. The first thing that jumped out at me was how many were photographs of random inanimate objects. It’s funny–they’re all meticulously labeled, but unlike most photos, you can’t get any sense of why they were taken.

What could have been the purpose of recording this, for example?

"Chair, Fondren Library Music Room, 1948"

And here’s a photo of Edgar Odell Lovett’s spectacles (which actually reside in the Woodson): 

I only got as far as the “L”s, so there may be much more of this.

Bonus: Speaking of inanimate objects . . . .

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4 Responses to “Miscellaneous”: Inanimate Objects Edition

  1. Grungy says:

    The same reason “why” that exists for everything – because it’s there.

    Does that chair still exist?
    If not, would we have any recollection of it?
    If any photo is a mnemonic for a memory of any single person, it was worth saving.

  2. Keith Cooper says:

    It is too bad that we didn’t photograph more of the period furniture that Rice has purchased over time. For example, Sid Richardson College was initially furnished with some very stylish (remember, it was the very early 1970’s, so “stylish” may have had a different meaning) lobby furniture. The couches and chairs were modern creations of closed-cell foam, wrapped in various colors of simple fabric. Set against the shiny black wallpaper, the effect was both eye-catching and quintessentially 70’s.

    Similarly, Herman Brown Hall (late 60’s?) came with office side chairs that were constructed of laminated wood with simple cloth seats in several colors. While stylish for the day, they did not last well. I would be shocked if any survived to this day. (We replaced them, wholesale, in the early 1980s with boring but serviceable Steelcase desk chairs.)

  3. Grungy says:

    We still have a blue fabric RMC couch stashed away (not just a picture of someone sleeping).

  4. Jerry Outlaw says:

    Is it possible that the pictures are a documentation of various design characteristics around campus? The picture of the chair looks like that sort of shot, and the “modernity” of the chair’s design, while fitting well into the “new” Fondren Library, was certainly not typical of the rest of the campus architecture.

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