Journal Article

True collector

Helen Sheumaker

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 119-135
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhr029
True collector

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Narratives about collecting are structured not as descriptive vignettes but as a series of interlocking Bildungsromane in which the collector matures as she pursues the desired objects. These imaginative narratives make no acknowledgment of contemporary social and economic realities and neither do the narratives address issues of systemic inequalities. Instead, collectors such as the American writer Alice Van Leer Carrick (1875-1961) supported the Colonial Revival aesthetic, which embodied ideals of patriotic virtue in contrast to the supposed decline in morality and in the conduct of life in her era. At the same time, Carrick’s enthusiasm for discovered, uncovered and otherwise neglected objects suggests a conception of the self as one of never-ending renewal.

Journal Article.  11740 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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