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Meet Clayton Kirking, Chief of Art Information Services
Clayton was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and currently lives in Greenwich Village. He received a BFA from Pacific Lutheran University, and an MLS from the University of Washington. Clayton has been the Chief of Art Information Resources at NYPL since February 2002. Past positions include: Director of the Gimbel Library, Parsons School of Design/The New School for Social Research; Curator, Latin American Art, The Phoenix Art Museum (AZ); Director of Library and Visual Resource Collection, The Phoenix Art Museum; Head, Fine Arts Reference and Director of the Handforth Gallery, Tacoma Public Library; Librarian, Art and Music, Tacoma Public Library; and arts administration with the Alliance for the Arts/The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS.
Clayton's professional interests include library administration, public service, collection development. Subject interests: Modern and Contemporary Latin American art, fashion and design history. Personal interests: gardening, domestic breeds conservation, and heritage chicken breeding and culture.
What are your favorite books?
Currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. An all-time favorite is Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. Loved: Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
What are your favorite movies?
You can’t see The Women (1939) too often. I watch The Seven Year Itch (1955) at least once a summer. (How can you not love a character who stores underwear in the freezer during a New York summer?) Was crazy for both Ratatouille (2007) and Wall•E (2008). Recently Netflixed Freeway (1996) and both loved and hated it.
What is your favorite music?
I can sit through hours of Wagner opera and still want more. It is nearly impossible for me to imagine life without the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee broadcasts. However, Blossom Dearie has now been elevated to lofty heights in my pantheon of “must hear often” musicians.
Why do you love The New York Public Library?
I love NYPL when I am able to provide a scholar with the only accessible copy of a document that is critical to their work, or when I have in my hands a book that only exists here. But, I also love the Library when I see branches loaded with people who can’t get enough of what we offer. And, I love NYPL because I have a profound respect for librarians and librarianship.