Plea To An Artist Not Quite Dead

Tidy up what you are going to leave behind so that the stuff (paintings, sketches and papers) you wish to be remembered by is there and the dross is not. No half measures. Throw it out. Burn it. Leave WHAT IS ME. But WHAT IS ME? An awkward question because what artist knows what he is or what he will become. Also he can't in his latter days be as firm as he might have been in his heyday when the work flowed out. Burn what is not up to scratch. Put the papers in order, discarding receipts, invitations, Xmas cards, insurance policies, arranging letters in groups by period or alphabetical order, and similarly arranging and dating catalogues and exhibition invitations, clippings and dating and labelling photographs. AND make a will leaving a representative collection to a gallery AND appointing an artistic executor and provide for some money for this to be done well and not on the old boy/girl basis. AND provide that the papers be NOT broken up but left to a proper repository so that the public may have access. AND leave the copyright of your works not to your possibly greedy relatives (I do not mean worthy widows of course) but to the institution to which you leave your paintings. If you are to be remembered at all it will be by the galleries that feature your works and the art journals that remember you and they can't do that unless they can print reproductions of your paintings ' AND remember to provide a curriculum vitae complete with dates of the significant events of your life AND recover your own letters from your friends because they won't keep them by GOD, unless you are the sort of creature that does keep copies, because how can anybody hope to write anything about you if they haven't the facts, and your friends when you are gone will be vague about details.