by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer
Conventional Wisdom, by Arthur Drooker. Foreword by James Wollcott.
NYC, Glitterati Inc., August 2016, hardcover $50.00 (191 [+ 1] pages).
This is a de luxe coffee-table art book of photographs by Arthur Drooker, an award-winning documentary and fine-art photographer/author whose work has been exhibited since 1980, and whose studies have been called “visual poetry”. For ConventionalWisdom, Drooker spent three years up to 2015 visiting “quirky” conventions throughout the U.S. “held by some unusual interest groups”. Each convention has about twenty pages devoted to it.
Drooker claims in his Introduction that a Convention Industry Council study shows that there are 1.8 million conventions, conferences, meetings, and trade shows in the U.S. every year. This book presents some of the most photographically exotic of these. As you have doubtlessly guessed, furry fandom is one of these unusual interest groups. So are the Bronies. Each is covered by Drooker; Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, and Bronycon at the Baltimore Convention Center. Each convention has an introduction of about four pages by Drooker.