Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arts and Crafts Movement nirvana | Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms | Antiques and the Arts Online

Antiques and the Arts Online:
"Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms home in Morris Plains, N.J., is akin to entering another world — nirvana for devotees of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

This expansive log structure, whose centennial is this year, is an enduring showcase for the astute designer, savvy industrialist and visionary thinker. Stickley’s simplified furniture and designs and dissemination of environmental and lifestyle ideas in his The Craftsman magazine influenced American tastes for furnishings and architecture at the turn of the Twentieth Century and ever after."

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Eclectic collection reveals many interests |

Eclectic collection reveals many interests |
The Yankee duo reunited Lou Gehrig and Babe Ru...Image via Wikipedia

"He struggles to explain his drive to collect so many objects — and experiences. His passion for more than a decade has been mission work abroad.

“I think it’s looking for something that I don’t know what I’m looking for,” he says, “but I know when I’ve found it.”

A number of treasures

He found a record player Elvis Presley gave to a friend. He collected Margaret Mitchell’s letters, Lou Gehrig’s wedding band, Joe Frazier’s corner robe, Joe Louis’ boxing permit and gloves, Jim Thorpe’s worn leather scrimmage shoe, Joe Namath’s jersey and Larry Bird’s too."

How can it be, when he owns signatures of the Beatles, Buffalo Bill, Harry Houdini, Greta Garbo, Knute Rockne, Babe Ruth, George Custer and — this seems so unlikely — but there it is on the wall in a guest bedroom — Sitting Bull? The leader of the Lakota reportedly was illiterate but could write his own name.
Espy also has letters from Albert Einstein, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., John Belushi, Amelia Earhart, George Patton and, because he is a Southern boy from Alabama, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

“I think a lot of my ambition came from watching my parents work so hard to give us relatively little,” he explains. “Most things that are worthwhile are gotten through sweat and toil.”
Finally, during an exhaustive tour of his home, Espy and a visitor come across something different: a pea green wooden wagon the size of a loaf of bread. The wood is roughhewn, cobbled together with nails. There is an old note inside: “Made for Basil by Pa Pugh in 1938.” Espy remembers back to when he was 3, sitting on a swing while his grandfather built the wagon for him. He picks it up. This, he decides, is his most cherished possession.

Bizarre collections: Barf Bags | Wonderfully weird + mobile phones, weapons |

Wonderfully weird: "People love collecting stuff, but some collections are so bizarre it makes you wonder.

Through the years, Silberberg has built up his collection of air sickness bags. Now he has around 2,400 unique air sickness bags with 2,216 currently catalogued on his Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum ( Funnily enough, he still has no clear idea why he collects them. “At first, I figured I’d be the only one. I was wrong, of course. I found out that there are well over 100 people worldwide who either collect or have collected air sickness bags and have amassed a substantial amount (say over 50) of them.

An American woman who calls herself Pikabellechu holds the Guinness World Record for having the largest Pokemon collection in the world. Okay, so that’s not really weird, but consider Australian Graham Barker, who holds the Guinness World Record for having the world’s largest collection of navel fluff."

Why in the world would anybody want to collect stuff from belly buttons?
German Martin Mihál has a collection of around 40,000 empty chocolate wrappers from around the world; John Reznikoff from Connecticut, USA, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest and most valuable collection of hair from celebrity and historical figures; Carol Vaughn from Birmingham, Britain, has collected more than 5,000 bars of soap since 1991; and Karen Ferrier, also from Britain, is a Dalmatian-obsessive woman who owns a collection of 3,500 spotty items accumulated over 17 years.
And it’s not just individuals who have a penchant for weird things. There are entire museums dedicated to the weird and wacky. The Museum of Burnt Food (yes, you read right) in Arlington, Virginia, founded by Deborah Henson Conant, is dedicated to carbonised culinary masterpieces (i.e. accidentally burnt food), the British Lawnmower Museum features (you guessed it) lawnmowers, while the Asphalt Museum in Sacramento, California, has a large collection of everything asphalt.
The most interesting museum would be the Icelandic Phallological Museum, located in a tiny Icelandic fishing town of Husavik. Run by Sigurdur Hjartarson, the museum showcases an extensive collection of 276 penises from whales, seals, bears and other mammals. The museum finally received its first human specimen (!?!) in April this year.
There must be something driving people to strange items. Here’s an insight into why a few individuals feel the need to collect certain objects.
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Las Vegas Neon Boneyard Museum :: CityBlog :: Las Vegas CityLife Blogs

Neon Museum, for realz! :: CityBlog :: Las Vegas CityLife Blogs:
(photos courtesy of Neon Museum)
"the culmination of a project 20 years in the making: breaking ground on the much anticipated Neon Museum.
News crews arrived early, propping their unwieldy stilted beasts into flanking positions around the podium. Mayor Goodman, City officials, bike cops, reporters, enthusiastic locals and volunteers poured into the small Neon Boneyard Park to celebrate its official grand opening to the public."

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$32,000 Miller Twin Pin glass insulator : 42nd National Insulator Association Convention (slideshow) - San Jose Mercury News

The insulator crowd is full of electrifying stories - San Jose Mercury News
Glass InsulatorImage by DarkFokus2 via Flickr

But it's not about the money or the horse-trading or the backlit jewel boxes shimmering with these increasingly obsolete relics of our heavily-wired past. It's about the stories.

"You won't see people just sitting there behind a table," said Lou Hall, a retired home designer from Fresno and the president of the 1,500-member group, as he led visitors Saturday into the convention floor at the Doubletree airport hotel. "It's a buzz of conversation. It's stories told and retold. Where was that one found? Who did you buy this one from? Did you hear Fred died last fall? What happened to his collection?"

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Marilyn Monroe memorabilia - yearbook and photos | RedGage

Marilyn Monroe memorabilia | RedGage:

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