I heard Leanne Shapton interviewed on CBC's Q a few months ago about her book-disguised-as-an-auction-catalog. Entitled Important Artifacts and Personal Property of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry: Sunday, 14 February 2009, New York", it's a kind of diary-in-objects of the relationship between Lenore and Harold. I immediately requested it from the library and it just came up a few days ago.
I've included a few pages here to give you the drift...Lot 1079 (above) is a Cosmetics Case and contents...reading through the list gives a little picture of Lenore, it's owner, right down to the miniature bottle of Heinz ketchup which other commentary suggests she has a need to have with her at all times. Lenore is a professional cake-baker and writes a food column called "Cakewalk". Harold is a photographer or journalist who travels a lot. We see the time-line of their relationship in emails, photographs, clothing, gifts, letters, invitations, books, tschockes, all of which are up for sale.
We see a number of St. Valentin dinner menus crafted by Lenore, and the strain that begins to appear in the emails and notes to each other. It's kind of a voyeuristic journey into a relationship, told in objects that have been described for auction.
Example (photo of mug with broken handle and note) :
A brown mug.
A broken brown glazed mug stamped "Brickett Davda Made in England" on base.
$5-7 (auction estimate)
Included in this lot is a note handwritten by Doolen.
Reads: "H I'm so sorry, I know this was your favorite. Will get it fixed, I promise."
It was the perfect read for a rainy afternoon, and allowed me to create my own story around the ephemera and objects that Ms. Sharpton has so carefully photographed and documented.