The person behind the Pencil is Pamela Keech (me), a midwest girl from Elyria, Ohio, an old rust belt town a little to the left of Cleveland. I went to the University of Kentucky then wandered around for awhile. I went to The Ohio State University, then wandered some more. Eventually I reached New York City where I found love on the Upper West Side and the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. I have been Curator of Furnishings there for 25 years. I help tell the stories of immigrant families who once lived in the museum's tenement buildings by recreating their homes. I am an expert on finding things that most people would throw away— on prowling flea markets and antique shops for worn furniture, tattered clothing, and chipped dishes. I also make art that includes the same sorts of things. In December, 2017 The New Yorker published an article about one of my shopping trips. The most recent exhibit is Under One Roof. You can read about it in Preservation Magazine.
I have written three books about shopping, all published by The Little Bookroom.