From 2010 to 2015, the artist Brent Birnbaum visited art museums around the world and collected an unusual set of souvenirs—locker keys, coat check claim tags and tokens. In exchange, he left behind jackets, bags, newspapers and other items, essentially leaving his own objects in the collection of the museums. This project is the focus of Pentagram Papers 47: Museum Collection.
Birnbaum has said “collecting is my medium,” and many of his projects feature collections of everyday objects, including treadmills, mini-fridges, price tags and IKEA shelves, all repurposed with aesthetic rigor. The new Paper features his archive of 48 museum locker keys, claim tags and tokens in numerical order of their marking (with a few numbers missing). The items are also pictured on a poster folded into the back of the Paper, with a world map of all the museums visited on the reverse.
Glenn Adamson, former director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, writes about the new Paper in a post on Disegno: “By the last page, depicting a paper Office Depot ticket numbered 311242, the reader has taken a journey round the world that is both typographic and typological.”
Museum Collection, 2010-2015 was also shown in the group exhibition “Rogues’ Cant” at False Flag gallery in Long Island City, New York. Copies of Pentagram Papers 47 are available to purchase online from the Denny Gallery shop.