Sunday 23 January 2011

Thinking about Collecting

Collector David Knell has a well-considered piece about changing times and the modern context of collecting. It seems to be a response to those collectors who keep bleating on about some "good old days" when archaeologists had more friendly attitudes to collectors than today ("after all archaeology and museums began with private collecting" is mantra number one). Some collectors seem (or pretend) to have difficulties in understanding why attitudes have changed. These collectors seem to think that it is academia that has changed everything instead of realising that current academic attitudes and alarm are a response to change in the size and scope of the problem that no-questions-asked collecting poses. Knell writes:
I get a thrill from handling and studying old objects. We can safely collect antiques which have been handed down over the generations AND we can collect antiquities which have been dug up. It's just that if we want to be considerate of the rest of society, we should collect the latter thoughtfully. It's not too much to ask
Well, actually not all collectors agree with him, they claim their "rights" to do just as they please...

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