I am a collector, I just can't help myself. I try not to spend an insane amount of money on my hobby, but every now and then I just have to have that object in front of me and it feels like an ox pulls at me with a rope until I get it.

When I came across In Flagrante Collecto at a used bookstore in Denton, TX last week, this realization hit me:

People will collect absolutely everything. From things you would expect such as stamps and baseball cards to the unusual such as sugar packaging, images of mug shots, tobacco cutters and cigar bands, used soap, skulls made from sugar, car fresheners, wanted signs - and of course everything in between.

The reasons why people collect are just as diverse as the objects that are collected. Some collect for the visual pleasure of surrounding themselves with certain objects, others collect because they like lists, it is a way to keep order in a chaotic world. Some collect to save objects from landing in the trash, others like to have the first/finest/most outrageous of everything. You can probably all add motivations to this list easily.

Beautifully photographed and lovingly assembled - with a wink and a nod towards the humorous and the grotesque - this book is a find. It seems that it is currently out of print but there are still enough second hand copies in decent shape around (at a great price) to last us a while. 

This is definitely one of those book gifts you should consider giving to yourself!

This is what the publisher has to say about this book:

According to author Marilynn Gelfman Karp, collecting is a calling; and those who are driven to collect unloved objects are the purest collectors of all. In this literary and sophisticated celebration of humble objects, Karp shares her passionate insights on what she calls the "rapture of the capture."

In Flagrante Collecto is a vividly illustrated book that is equal parts cultural history, personal memoir, and coffee table objet d'art. The 1000 color photographs that fill this book tell stories of lost and found objects. Ignored by many, these figural matchbooks, buttons, erasers, cigar rings, pictorial seed packets, and other items are hunted and gathered with Ahab-like tenacity at flea markets, antique shops, and collectible shows worldwide.

This lovingly assembled volume is a fascinating compendium of material culture as told by an incredible array of objects.


Someone clever started a website for the book, take a peek inside, this is so much fun!

Link to Amazon.com !

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This is a wonderful topic.

I will take some pictures and share also.


Super fascinating as Brigitte Martin and I have been working on the upcoming Professional Development Seminar titled "Collectors, Collections and You"

If you are interested in a preview of our speakers CLICK on the title above or the link below at the bottom of this comment.

We have been thinking about how art and craft becomes part of the collection and what affects value?
What happens when art or craft enters the secondary market?

What establishes value?
What can each of us do to increase the future value of our work?
Are you marking your work so that future generations will know you made it? Adding the date?

There are lots of questions.
In the meantime, do you have a collection?

Do you collect other artists or makers?

Do you have a story about your collection?

How did your work get into a museum collection?

What are your questions?


Definitely one for me! Thanks for sharing.


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