— I began collecting personal stories in the Story Gathering Boxes from gallery-goers in 1972 because I was interested in breaking down traditional barriers set up between the public, art space and works of art. In addition to inviting people to participate in writing stories for the boxes, a place to sit, linger or have conversation is also provided by situating the boxes on a table with stools. An edited selection of the thousands of stories collected over the years will hopefully be published one day. The configuration and scale of the boxes was inspired by sacred ancient Egyptian canopic chests that held the organs of the pharaoh. I am looking forward to the day when I have the means to go to Egypt to produce four Story Gathering Boxes carved from Egyptian translucent alabaster.

Mary Beth Edelson was born in 1933, in East Chicago, Indiana. She lives and works in
New York City.