Have you heard of Scotland’s phantom sculptor?
Tree in the library photo: Chris Scott/flickr
As NPR reporter Robert Krulwich
recently reported, “somebody has been dropping glorious little paper sculptures into libraries and museums all over Edinburgh, and we’ve just heard that there are now three more…[but] they will be the last.”
Egg in the library photo: Chris Scott/flickr
It all started last spring when a librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library
in Edinburgh spotted a little tree in the library. It was intricately made of paper and was mounted on a book. Very curious. Utterly anonymous.
Coffin in the library photo: Chris Scott/flickr
Then came others: a gold-leafed eggshell broken in two with a note, “This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…” Then at The National Library of Scotland
, a coffin topped by a large gramophone carved from a mystery novel by one of Britain’s bestselling crime writers. Next came a movie theatre, a dragon, a tea cup. Eventually, there would be ten beautifully made paper sculptures in all. Nobody claimed authorship.
Tea cup in the library photo: Chris Scott/flickr
A real mystery was afoot. After a few months and much sleuthing, The Edinburgh Evening News
announced it had cracked the case. But instead of immediately identifying the perpetrator, the Evening News decided to take a poll: Did readers really want to know who made these gorgeous teacups and dragons and magnifying glasses, or would they rather let the artist remain anonymous? According to their readers
, they did not want to know!
The phantom returns photo: Chris Scott/flickr
Then the sculptures started popping up again, this time with an explanatory note.
Explanatory note photo: Chris Scott/flickr
Since I never want to be the spoiler of a good mystery, feel free to spend a few minutes reading up on this creative whodunit (links below). You won’t be sorry. In fact, you may be inspired this holiday season to give the gift of original art! Trust us, art is the gift that does not disappoint.