MORTALITY: Collections


Most people collect something.


When my friend came into my home for a chat, she looked around and said “you certainly love lamps“. I looked around and had to acknowledge that she was right. I hadn’t really thought of my interest in lamps as collecting but as decorating. I now freely admit that I have many “minor” collections and some rather large collections. I am fascinated by why I collect and what I collect. Why are we as human beings, drawn to certain things and ambivalent toward others? Perhaps a good psychologist knows the answers to these questions.

MORTALITY: Collections is a volume of my personal history which includes material things I am drawn to and love to find and have around me. The volume contains 100 photographs of collections large and small that I came to realize I had made. Over my lifetime interest in specific things has come and gone. Some things that attracted me 30 years ago hold no magic for me today. Those things have gone the way of the thrift store.


Collections and Display.


This post is just a sample of the pages of my book. As with my other books in the MORTALITY series, it is designed to get images out of the computer and onto paper where anyone who is interested might peruse them. Collections are one way we express ourselves and decorate our homes. The photograph above contains three types of things I love to collect:  birdcages, lamps and clocks.

Whatever appears on this and other tables likely is never the same from month to month. Much to Grandpa’s chagrin and confusion, I love to change things around, primarily when I clean or find a new piece to a collection.


The Eye of the Beholder


I wouldn’t have collections if the world didn’t have thrift stores. It is like Christmas everyday in a thrift store IF you like to do that sort of thing. When you thrift things, you don’t have to worry quite as much if you get tired of something. You can thrift it back and change it out and it is just like paying rent for new decor. Wisely thrifted things are wonderful. There are so many little things in my collections, which are often also called “vignettes” that make the whole pleasure of thrifting a pleasant hobby.

A collection isn’t always something on display. I have a collection of tiny jelly spoons which my grandchildren call “princess spoons”. They are in a kitchen drawer. I have several interesting clocks, but they are spread throughout the house, ticking away, unless Grandpa has moved one or put a pillow over another. My beads and buttons are in large glass jars on a window sill in my sewing room, old tin trays are in the pantry because I often use them. Tablecloths, some very retro, are in a drawer of the sideboard. Music books are near the piano and art (another collection) is on the walls or stored in the basement, waiting a turn to be on display.

As with our homes, our choice of reading material or the way we dress, we express ourselves through our deliberate or unexpected collections. A collection may be as small as three items or as large as a bookcase. When I go into homes of my friends, I love to see “what they love” for something is always on display.

MORTALITY:  Collections:  One more way to share myself and what I love with my posterity.

Perhaps it will make no difference to them but it certainly makes a difference to me.








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