What makes a great collection?

James Zemaitis I do still feel that a great collection is not based necessarily on value. If I was putting together an American industrial design collection, which I’ve kind of dabbled with over the years, it’s absolutely possible to put in artifacts – whether it’s a meat slicer by ___________; or an outboard motor; or a cocktail shaker that you can acquire on E-bay; you can acquire at the low budget kind of swap meat shows like the Triple Pier Show here in Manhattan; you can only spend a few hundred dollars for some of these things, but it’s how selective you are. I think there’s two forms of collection. There’s collections that take a curatorial eye, and really just focus on a certain theme and develop that theme, and every piece juxtaposes with each other. And then there’s the great obsessives – the people that have to have everything by that designer. And maybe those collectors – the best of that group are the ones that, as years go by, are not afraid to refine that collection and sell off certain stuff that isn’t quite holding the test of time. So I identify with both the obsessive compulsive collecting community and the minimalist, “I wanna imitate Vitra and create a perfect chair” collection community.

Recorded on: 1/30/07

A great collection is not always about value?

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