December 2, 2002

denis johnson's new book of poetry (all previous volumes collected, plus new stuff), is named after this piece made between 1950 and 1964 by James Hampton, a janitor for the General Services Administration, who "spent virtually every spare minute constructing a strange and beautiful masterpiece entitled, 'The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly.' The Throne, composed of 177 separate objects, each meticulously wrapped in silver and gold foil, is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American Art in Washington.

Hampton built his masterpiece from a very select collection of junk, including old furniture, burned-out light bulbs, jelly jars, carpet cylinders, desk blotters, cardboard, and foil. All the separate pieces are precariously held together with glue, tape, tacks, and pins." The piece was not found until after Hampton had died.

I think I'll check this out this weekend.


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