“The Colorful Genesis of An Art”
A review of
The Paper Garden:
An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72
by Molly Peacock.
Review by Brittany Buczynski.
It’s not often that the genesis of a new art form can be pinpointed. Who wrote the first rhyming couplet? Who composed the first symphony? Who first strung and twisted together yarn until it became a knitted whole? Most of these initial eureka moments are lost, even though the art they birthed could survive for thousands of years.
The Paper Garden has the rare honor of tracing the history behind an original art form, the craft we now know as paper collage, and with it the patchwork life of its elderly inventor, one Mrs. Mary Granville Pendarves Delany.
As if that circuitous name doesn’t give it away, Mrs. Delany led quite an eventful life, which is explored in detail in Molly Peacock’s lovingly rendered—and beautifully illustrated—history of the artist behind the work. Here are the basics, just to give a flavor of Mary’s impressive biography and the extensive research that the author had to do in retelling her life story.