We are very excited to be preparing for our upcoming exhibit about collections and collectors. Entitled Lexington Collects, the exhibit will examine private collections from the Bluegrass from collectors of all ages—from children just beginning their collections to experienced, lifelong collectors. We will take a look at not only what people collect but also why they collect, how their collections began, and how they maintain their collection.
Like all exhibits the idea was developed some time ago. This week, we began to get the word out about our special exhibit. This is a unique exhibit for the Museum in that we are asking members of the community to submit their collections to be part of the exhibit. To let people know about this opportunity we started with promotional photos.
To find objects for the photographs we looked to our own family and friends. Interestingly, several of our family and friends didn’t identify their objects as a collection; while a collector did have a group of similar objects, they didn’t identify the group as a collection because they weren’t particularly valuable, although they did have highly sentimental connotations. One collector had amassed over 100 Pez dispensers during childhood. Another had combined three generations-worth of buttons into one single collection, organized neatly by color. Each had an interesting story, and we were fascinated to hear why these quasi-collectors began their collection, how they maintained it, and why they continued (or stopped) collecting. We had a blast talking with our collectors, and then arranging and photographing their collections for our upcoming promotions.
In looking over the borrowed collections, we realized that all collections have a story, and indeed, that we had collections of our own that we simply hadn’t identified as collections. Do you identify yourself as a collector? What do you collect, and why do you collect it? Do you want to share your collection with the community? The application form for submitting a collection is available at www.headley-whitney.org.