I am conflicted when it comes to the idea of cutting up old books. It never seems right but as a collage artist it can also be necessary. I gravitate towards out-of-date atlases for maps and other tattered and often discarded books for additional collage material. Every time I find a book by Thornton Burgess it is in rough shape and usually falling apart. And the condition of his old books might truly speak to their quality. A book that is so worn out is a book loved and read often.
You don’t have to look hard to find an old Thornton Burgess book. He enjoyed a long career living and writing mostly from his home in Sandwich on Cape Cod. He wrote over 170 books between 1905 and 1965. The Burgess Bird Book for Children with illustrations by Louis Agassiz Fuertes turned up at a sale after being “retired” by the library. It had a good run, and now some of it is preserved for years to come in the 2011 Project.