Could I Have All Your Stuff When You Die?

Could I have all your stuff when you die? Dick Marquis“Dick Marquis’s Last Words,” a song written by Mark Graham, can be heard playing in the Museum’s Focus Gallery in Masters of Studio Glass: Richard Marquis alongside 30 works spanning 45 years of the artist’s career.

The exhibition highlights this American glass artist’s original approach to traditional Venetian glassforming techniques and unique combinations of glass and found objects. Marquis is an avid collector of beat-up, vintage objects, which are featured in the photo album video which accompanies this song.

Dick Marquis’s Last Words

The curtain of darkness is falling,
And my friends are all here at my side.
Are those the sweet voices of angels,
As I rise on that heavenly tide?
All hearts overflowing with sadness,
And those words left so often unsaid;
Then I heard a voice whispering softly:
“Could I have all your stuff when you’re dead?”

Could I have all your outboards and ladders,
The enamel signs out on the wall?
The catcher’s mitts, matchbooks, and anvils,
Blowtorches and tinfoil ball?
You won’t need those English setters,
With your toes pointed up to the sky,
The meat grinders, puzzles, and chemistry sets:
Could I have all your stuff when you die?

It was the voice of the old rascal Satan,
Who was kneeling down close by my side;
Garage Sale Bob looking over his shoulder,
And I hoped that I hadn’t yet died.
“You know, souls are my biggest collection,”
He said with a gleam in his eye,
“But you could go the other direction,
If I could have all your stuff when you die.”

Would you give me the convict and tramp art,
The graniteware, lanterns and sleds?
The boxing gloves, tools and your records,
Just the Beatles, the Stones and the Dead?
You know that you can’t take it with you,
To your heavenly home up on high,
When you pass through those gates,
And they hand you your wings:
Could I have all your stuff when you die?

But the angels consulted St. Peter,
And Pete said, “Hear the word of the Lord:
I’ll trade Dick and his red-headed widow
For the Porsche and the ’34 Ford.”

— Mark Graham


Meet the Artist: Richard Marquis is this Thursday, March 14 6:00pm to 7:00pm.

Masters of Studio Glass: Richard Marquis On view through February 2, 2014. Open 9am-5pm every day. www.cmog.org

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