A Polymath’s Sphere is a document of Milford Graves’ workspace and residence in Jamaica, Queens. Graves is best known as a prolific jazz drummer but his interests span a variety of disciplines including botany, martial arts, and medicine.
His home and the surrounding property are a confluence of these disciplines creating a space overflowing with evidence of his work and curiosities.
At the time these photographs were made Graves was struggling with a heart condition called cardiac amyloidosis which has no cure and in 2018 was told he had six months to live. Graves has studied the human heartbeat for years using his findings to inform him musically. After his diagnosis he used the knowledge he had acquired to supplement his own medical treatment he received from his cardiologist.
Despite his diagnosis Graves pushed on and continued to make work at his home until passing away on February 12th 2021.
(This project was funded with a grant from The Velocity Fund and was exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art University of Pennsylvania as part of the exhibit Milford Graves: A Mind Body Deal
presented by Ars Nova Workshop, Sep 25, 2020 - Jan 24, 2021)