Why do people collect things? Even most collectors can’t explain what drives them to collect their objects of choice. For many, collecting starts casually and quickly grows into a passion. Some collect objects for their beauty, others for their rarity. Others cite personal interest or functionality as their motive for collecting—like the coffee connoisseur who can’t get enough mugs. And some people collect objects that some regard as without beauty, value, or utility. Something buried deep in their nature drives them to collect for reasons that even they can’t explain.
The psychology that underlies the urge to collect is deep and complex, and applies to organizations larger than the individual. Museums love to collect, too. Museum collections are as diverse as personal ones. Some museums collect art, others fossils. Here at our local Museum, we collect objects related to the history of the Ocoee Region. Within our larger collection, we have a set of more than 1,500 pieces of early American pressed pattern glass. On March 3, the Museum opened a new exhibit that uses this collection to help visitors understand the urges and joys of collecting.
This community-centered exhibit invited local citizens to submit objects from their personal collections for display as well, along with statements about what, why, and how they collect. The collections on view introduce our guests to the joys and mysteries of collecting and highlight some of the most interesting personal collections of our community. Included are collections of butterflies, nativities, PEZ dispensers, foreign currency, stamps, and political memorabilia.
The exhibit opened the evening of Thursday, March 3, 2016 and will run through Saturday, October 22, 2016. It is located in the Museum Lobby exhibit cases.