Wednesday, January 25, 2023

599. A Blog about Ricketts?

On a personal note, when I started this blog about Ricketts and Shannon, there were two comments I received and both surprised me.

The first comment was made by someone in the museum world who was convinced that I would not be able to think of a new subject after only three weeks. Ricketts & Shannon: what else was there to say about them?

To that, of course, I had no answer, except to express the idea that so much was still unknown.

Charles Ricketts

The second comment came from the university world. A professor warned me not to give away all that information just like that, for free.

My thought was precisely that there might be a need for an open platform for scholars and enthusiasts who shared an interest in Ricketts and those around him. Of course, I soon realised that a blog could not count as a scholarly publication - which is why it never crossed my mind. For me it was always about widening the circle, about a search for new connections, about sharing information. And, over the years, it has turned out that responses can come from unexpected quarters. Consider, for example, the discovery of Ricketts's mother's grave in Genoa, Italy - without this blog, we would not have known that it had been discovered by a group of serious investigators on the ground.

I have never doubted the usefulness of a blog as specialised as this one about Ricketts and Shannon, and judging by the many comments over the years, there is an audience for it. It doesn't have to be massive - nor will it ever be huge, but in the meantime, we help each other spread the knowledge about a multi-talented artist like Ricketts, and thereby gain insight into details about the world of the book, book design, painting, theatre and costume design, collecting, and all the other areas of art with which Ricketts became involved. I write these words only to announce that next week the six-hundredth blog will go online. My blessing it has, I hope yours too.