I've been a collector (read: hoarder, hunter, gatherer!) since childhood. Starting with Barbie dolls and Archie comics, I grew to appreciate all kinds of things and as I got older, my tastes changed and evolved into the collector I am today - 25 years later.
I won't say I've become more refined, because I still get the nose in the air looks from antique dealers when I blow past their booths and tables selling classic (and beautiful...) antiques and head for the dealers selling plasticware, chalkware, kookie barware and the like. Shoot me! I like the crap!
(A note about "crap".....I was an early collector /appreciator of Fiesta before it was hip to collect it. When I went into shops to look for it, most dealers would give me the evil eye and say they don't waste their time with that garbage. Lo and behold 10 years later....hahahahaha!)
Why does this tasteless stuff appeal to me so much? I think mostly I love the humor behind it, the comedy. I love the graphics and design which so often blended styles and colors in such a fun way. It represented an almost mocking sense to the more serious issues of the day.
The culmination of my collection came around 8 years ago, when I attended an auction of the estate of artist and teacher Frieda Fehrenbacher. She was an avid collector of all things kitsch and when she died in 2000, her estate was sold at an auction entitled The Kingdom Of Kitsch. How could I pass this up?? Upon arriving early on auction day, I realized I was in crapola heaven!
I stayed most of the day, buying and filling my car until I ran out of room and couldn't fit another thing in. I should have rented a van but who knew??? That's the last live auction I've been to!
I still have a few of the items I got that day, but most has since been sold. I enjoyed every single thing I got though and, in looking back at all the photos I have stored from that period, I regret that I didn't keep more.
I suppose I have grown up a little since then because I moved 95% of my collection out of the house and into another space so it could be organized and catalogued better and my house is no longer the kingdom - it's tidy and, yes, more sophisticated, however, I really miss my stuff all around me to look at and touch. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and even more so with kitsch. I still very often get funny looks from people about the things I find so fascinating that they wouldn't be caught dead buying.
But we are NOT the minority. I've sold almost all of the stuff I got from Frieda's estate, and then some so I know there are plenty of you out there! Come on and join the group. It's okay! No one will judge you!! 8-)
I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite things with the community and seeing what you have.