Richard Prince's Book Collection Sounds Very Impressive

An untitled installation by Mr. Prince at the 2007 Frieze Art Fair. (Photo courtesy of Getty)

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal published a piece about Richard Prince’s book collection, which sounds fairly impressive and has apparently cost him “hundreds of thousands” of dollars for some individual books, though with Mr. Prince it’s always a little hard to be sure that he isn’t just pranking the interviewer.

For example, one biographical tidbit mentioned here—that Mr. Prince’s parents apparently met while working for the Office of Strategic Services—was met with skepticism from Peter Schjeldahl in 2007 because, well, subterfuge is kind of the artist’s thing.

His love of books is well established, though (he told Glenn O’Brien that he owns Neal Cassady’s copy of On The Road), so with a very small grain of salt, please enjoy one of the article’s more boastful paragraphs below.

“He owns 51 copies of Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita,’ including the author’s desk copy, corrected in pencil. He has a rare F. Scott Fitzgerald-inscribed copy of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ and one of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses.’ ‘There’s only 34 known inscribed copies of ‘Ulysses’ and only one in private hands,’ Mr. Prince said. ‘Mine.'”

The end of the article mentions Mr. Prince’s project involving The Catcher in the Rye, which we mentioned in a write-up of the MoMA PS1 book fair, and for which he has still not been sued! Keep doing your thing, sir.

Richard Prince's Book Collection Sounds Very Impressive