Oprah Magazine “How To” series, October 2012

Posted Friday, December 28th, 2012. Filed Under My Daily Dose

How To Find Inspiration in Unexpected Places, written by Roger Wieck, curator at the Morgan Museum Library and Museum:

‘I grew up in Covington, Kentucky, a town where, during Prohibition, people came to get their booze, get their women, and gamble. It wa still somewhat seedy when I was a child in the 1950s, but mostly it was just poor. My father was a bartender and my mother a housewife, and when I was 4 and 5 years old, one of the few treats we could afford was a trip to White Castle. I loved playing with the boxes the hamburgers came in, which were shaped like miniature castles, and said WHITE CASTLE in gothic script. Flash forward a few decades, and I’m working every day with the kind of art that features turreted castles – I curate medieval and Rennaissance manuscripts.

Years ago at a dinner at the Morgan, an East coast patron asked me how a boy from Kentucky got interested in illuminated manuscripts. Instantly, the White Castle box popped into my head. If you told me when I was 6, “Someday you’ll work in a museum surrounded by fantastic art from the Middle Ages,” I’d have said it was as likely I’d work on Mars. Life’s inspirations can come from anywhere. Even a piece of trash.”

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