American artefacts: paper aeroplanes collected by beat artist Harry Smith

American artefacts: paper aeroplanes collected by beat artist Harry Smith

The Guardian

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Harry Smith, American artist, anthropologist and esoteric spiritualist, was an important figure in the beat generation. Remembered today for his experimental films and landmark six-album compilation Anthology of American Folk Music, Smith was also an avid collector, with interests ranging from the occult to Easter eggs. One of his obsessions was paper aeroplanes, which he mostly found on New York’s streets between 1961 and 1983.

Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith, edited by artist Andrew Lampert and archivist John Klacsmann (J&L Books and Anthology Film Archives), catalogues these creations. “As caretakers of Smith’s legacy we wanted to share these planes with committed fans. We also hope to introduce others to his work through these strange and beautiful objects that Smith imbued with meaning,” says Lampert.

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