A Life Long Collector

November 19, 2011 by morgan

I have always been a collector. For as long as I can remember, it has been not just taxidermy: bones, anatomical models, paint by numbers, chalkware fruit and racially charged salt and peppers. Ever since I was a child I have had extensive collections, which even at a young age, I curated and refined.

I walked the beach and collected rocks that I would polish in my tumbler. When I was 9, I hung out with local gemologists and would get raw uncut specimens. I collected stickers, only fuzzy ones. From age six I collected novelty shaped soaps, stamps, licence plates, street signs, hub caps, upper deck baseball cards and personalized celebrity autographs. In grade five I started to collect vintage animal cages, vintage metal lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, porcelain glove moulds, chandeliers, all things X-files. I was continually refining and purging collections. I would collect avidly for several years, then change my focus. While collecting I would research my fixations, trying to know more about these objects than the people who sold them. I collected vintage animal masks, children’s toy guns pre-dating the 80’s, vintage heart shaped chocolate boxes, religious iconography, needlepoint, vintage Colonel Sanders figurines, cuckoo clocks and plastic lobsters.

I am pretty sure I have forgotten some of my collections. Over the years after many moves and garage sales I have pared down, but I wish as a child I had the foresight to rent a warehouse space to store all my collections with catalogue numbers and hand written notes. An installation that documented my life long fixations. I keep remembering collections that I had forgotten: Polaroid cameras, bouncy horses that children could ride on (don’t even ask how much space all those took up). How could I forget my brief but extensive collection of miniature dice and novelty shaped erasers? Or my collection of floaty pens which I still have! For a period I was known for my button collection. “Re-elect Moe Keck” was a favourite to wear. I was heart broken the night I came home from dancing and lost my “I am crazy about quilts” button which featured an illustration of a crazy quilt. I have always a had a love affair with material culture. Now all I need is an Ark to bring my to  collections with me wherever I travel.

“Whenever you’re a collector, you are really often held hostage to the objects of your passion”  -Ydessa Hendeles

Leave a Reply