Jon Crispin's Notebook

David Beck 1953 – 2018

Posted in Architecture, Art, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 02/11/2018

David Beck in his studio

It is very rare in our lives to be around genius.  I was so fortunate to spend several days with David Beck in his San Francisco studio back in 2005 when Peter Carroll and I worked on a film about David for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

David Beck in his studio

Claire Larkin at SAAM hired Peter to make a short film about David’s piece “MVSEVM”, and I was hired to shoot stills and help set things up.

David Beck in his studio

I remember that David didn’t particularly like to be called a miniaturist even though the scale of his work was often quite small.

David Beck in his studio

I was terribly saddened today when Claire emailed to say that David had died.  Here is his obit in the Times.

David Beck in his studio

David was truly a genius.  I was completely in awe of his creativity and craftsmanship.  His spirit and sense of playfulness were as abundant as his talents.

During the shoot the four of us laughed so much and had an absolute blast together.  As we were packing up and getting ready to leave, I lost a bet with him about the name of the actress that played the lead in the Munsters.  He nailed it with Yvonne DeCarlo.

Peter’s film is linked above, and “MVSEVM is on permanent display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.  Watch Peter’s film and listen to David’s voice, which sadly will not be heard again.

One Response

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  1. David said, on 03/11/2018 at 8:53 am

    Wow! What great video about a great guy. The Museum piece is so wonderful on so many levels. Thanks Jon!


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