The “Romance Of Tools”

Inspired by quotations from Eric Sloane’s A Museum of Early American Tools which adorn the wall of the decades old barn, the museum is not only an archive of mans’ tool making traditions, but also is a thoughtful and inspiring art installation.

Eric Sloane says it best when he characterizes the “Romance of Tools”:

“Whereas today’s implements are designed with the idea of getting a job done quickly, there was an added quality to the early implements and an added quality to early workmanship, too. 

“For, like the nails on a beast’s paws, the old tools were so much an extension of a man’s hand or an added appendage to his arm, that the resulting workmanship seemed to flow directly from the body of the maker and to carry something of himself into the work.”

In 2007, a collage of images of the tools was shown in the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Well known Chinese artist Shi Gourui created this display. Light was shined upon an arrangement of museum tools to paint an image on photo paper. Shi Gourui specializes in this art process.   He also did a photogram of the San Francisco skyline from Alcatraz about the same time.