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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Dan Lipcan

I think of myself first as an institutional collector. The main reason is my belief in broad accessibility: I enjoy building and strengthening collections for public use. At the Peabody Essex Museum I have discovered an affinity for maritime subjects (probably because I grew up on the Massachusetts coast) and I love collecting for the library in that area. 

For my personal collection, humor is very important to me as an outlet for my creativity, as a way of dealing with the world, and as a tool for building meaningful and fun relationships. I find the intersection of art and sports/games underexplored (except paintings of dogs playing poker?)–this is rooted in my childhood in a sports-focused family/region, contrasted with my adult experience in artistic and cultural circles. 

My interest in Japan is sourced in my education and early employment as a printmaker. This developed further over the course of three trips there and the work I did with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of Japanese illustrated books.


Koizumi Yakumo.
耳なし芳一 (Mimi-nashi Hōichi) = Hoichi the Earless.
Matsue, Japan: Eishiro Abe Memorial Hall Public Interest Foundation, 2016.

The Abe Eishiro Memorial Museum is devoted to the life and work of the late Living National Treasure who worked to preserve traditional Japanese papermaking techniques. This illustrated book is printed on Izumo Mingeishi paper made by Eishiro’s grandson Abe Shinchiro. Hoichi the Earless recounts an old Japanese folk tale whose English translation first appeared in a 1904 short story collection by Lafcadio Hearn.


November: Art, Theory, Criticism, Palaver.
New York?: November, 2006.

This single-issue “journal” is a parody of the academic and highly intellectual contemporary art journal October. The last word of the subtitle, palaver, indicates the crux of the joke: November pokes fun at its inspiration through ridiculously complex (and mostly nonsensical) theorizing about everyday Americana like Chuck E. Cheese, golf, Jell-O, and circular tables.

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Valerie Loupe Olsen.
Rubén Oritz Torres: The Texas Leaguer.
Houston: The Glassell School of Art of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2004.

This catalog was published on the occasion of an exhibition featuring the work of Rubén Oritz Torres, a Mexican-born artist living and working in Los Angeles. Torres uses the visual elements of sports, including stereotypes reflected in mascots and logos, to create new work with a satirical edge. Related questions of identity and appropriation remain relevant in current dialogues about how professional sports teams, universities and high schools choose to represent themselves.


SPRTS issue #6.
New York: Endless Editions, 2014.

SPRTS is issued irregularly in risograph-printed booklets. It connects the worlds of visual art and sports in an attempt to attract a broader audience to the art world. The cover of SPRTS #6 features St. Louis Rams football players making the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture that originated in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. One notable item inside is a thoughtful essay on jury duty.