In 1925, a popular bookstore in Greenwich Village closed, but before it did, the place was a hangout for the bohemian crowd that included literary lights of all kinds--flames and flickers--and the owner asked the "usual suspects" to sign a narrow blue door at the back of the shop.
Along with icons such as Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos and Sherwood Anderson, the door records the "passage of forgotten poets, socialist pamphleteers, suffragists, Ziegfeld girls and multitasking oddballs," as the New York Times article put it. The door was removed by the manager and bought by the U. of Texas' famous Harry Ransom Center in 1960, after a dealer spotted an ad in the Saturday Review asking, “Want a door?” Where it was during all those years, who knows? But from 1960 to now, it had been forgotten until somebody stumbled across it in storage at the Center. You've got to love it. Everything has a story, even a blue door.
This week's New York Times Book Review section offered the article about The Blue Door from the 1920s as well as a slide show, both fascinating. (more…)