043 Larry Becker and Heidi Nivling


Dear Won and Matt…


Let this commemorate you two with our thanks for your wonderful project. This got us to be spontaneous, and because of that, we “suddenly” grabbed things we had put aside – for who knows what reason? – and had kept.  Many of these things, we realized (“suddenly,” again), had something to do with where we live and how we have lived and what happened, leading us to this…it’s almost as though it just happened and we were passive.  But, in fact, by taking up again these objects, we realized that it has been (and probably still will be, if we’re lucky) quite intentional, but mostly in very small increments.

What does it mean that we picked up – and became very attached to – a certain little rounded rock of “Falmouth Pink” granite?  This is a tiny fragment – found so commonly in the northeastern coastal areas – of a huge pink granite ledge that runs along the northeastern coast and, when glaciers scraped through, it was deposited as part of the moraine that actually forms Cape Cod.

How come there is a wedding ceremony noted in the ship’s log of the M.V. Nantucket (a ferryboat from Woods Hole to Nantucket via Martha’s Vineyard) on July 22, 1991, signed by Captain James Hocking, who invited us up to the bridge, asked us to read and then sign the log, and presented us – with a huge blast of the ship’s horn – with the ship’s flag, folded formally following proper naval custom?

Then there is the mini-technological (and very fun) trinket (see #381): an “Electronic Amulet,” (one of hundreds made by Larry and his friend Ira Upin, in the early 1980s, which became very successful “hot items,” especially in art museum shops and hip New York/Philadelphia boutiques; family members helped on the project, some of us temporarily setting aside our fine arts careers-to-be and others taking time after long work hours).  That helped us to move to Old City and start a fine arts gallery, Larry Becker Contemporary Art, which became full-time in October 1988, in which Larry and Heidi are the owners, curators, and full partners to this day (and beyond, we hope!).

Another thing, found by Larry by chance not so long ago: a Canadian dime of recent vintage, which has on one side an image of a sailboat…was just added in…

Oh yes: There’s the delicate sunset-yellow/orange little flake of a shell – a “toenail shell,” found in this color only in a very few places, the Cape being one (as they are usually black) – to ride along in time with these other random-ish items.

It’s all intuitive, but kept alive by a slow, somewhat blind logic. The logic is just going along, stone by stone, project by project, steamship voyage by steamship voyage.

Thanks again for inviting us to be a part of your wonderful Philadelphia sounding.