National Geographic : 2016 Oct
136 JAMES BALDWIN’S INKWELL The writer kept this brass-topped glass vial on his mantle in St.-Paul- de-Vence, France. He is pictured above with his sister Paula on a trip to a penny arcade. His niece, Aisha Karefa-Smart, who is also an author, says Baldwin was a father figure to his siblings. Karefa-Smart grew up with Baldwin’s artifacts and awards in her home: “We never thought of them as pieces that other people would be interested in or that a museum would be interested in.” GIFT OF THE BALDWIN FAMILY Placing any object within the walls of the Smithsonian amplifies its significance. It is a cultural imprimatur, a way of saying: This matters.