FISCHER, Marc; THOMAS, Elizabeth (eds.)
“Owning things isn’t all that interesting; it’s easy to own things. What we do with those things is what matters—we can use the to tell stories, gain new insights about our lives and the worlds of others, and inspire other people to make more interesting and meaningful things. This is the ambition of Public Collectors, established in 2007 by Marc Fischer, which encourages collectors of material culture—the kind that most museums won’t exhibit: tea bags, South African herbalist ads, QSL cards, homemade packaging, Black college yearbooks…—to “open” their collections to the public.
Extending the popular website of the same name, Public Collectors presents a wide array of collections—some featured on the website, most newly assembled for publication—interspersed with commentary and essays exploring the problems and politics of collecting materials that may lack conventional monetary or cultural value. [publisher’s note]