Amy received some sad news today – photographic historian and friend Peter Palmquist was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Emeryville today. Probably never knew what hit him.
Palmquist had created the world’s largest collection of photographs of early California, and had catalogued and described them meticulously. He was in the process of turning his immense collection over to Yale University. We visited Palmquist in his home in Arcata last July, and spent days going through his amazing archives – he had built six libraries on his property just to house the collection.
He also sponsored Amy’s book of photographs, Surrogate, simply because he believed in her and her work. He chose one unknown artist per year to sponsor, and asked nothing in return.
Amy has had a difficult evening. So many true and poignant cliche’s here, about the way the people who contribute the most to the world are taken from us before their time, about the need to carpe diem because tomorrow you may be hit by a bus, about the tenuousness of life, about the need to tell people whom you appreciate how much you appreciate them…
Palmquist is one of those people most will never hear of but who made their lives count, and who enriches the lives of generations to come by his contributions.