When did collecting art first spark your interest?

James Zemaitis: I first started collecting smashed bottle caps in the fifth grade. There is a supermarket in the town of Mendham, New Jersey where I grew up. And my mom would get, you know, quite ticked off at me because I would kind of dart in between the station wagons and look for, like, smashed Heineken caps. And so I put together this kind of like very obsessive, in alphabetical order by the beer name, collection of mashed caps. And I considered myself lucky when I convinced my dad to buy like a six-pack of some imported beer so I could take, like, the mint cap and replaced the smashed cap with the mint cap. So bottle caps led to baseball cards; which led to antique bottles, which is still an obsession of mine; collecting insulators from the tops of telephone poles. And it just kind of mutated from there.

1/30/08

 

From smashed bottle caps to 20th-century design.

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