Saturday, February 12, 2011

Herb & Dorothy and the Case for Collectors

After allowing it to linger on my "must watch" list, I finally managed to see Herb and Dorothy.


I had seen bits and pieces about it floating around the internet and but was completely oblivious to the Herb & Dorothy phenomenon prior to that. The documentary did not disappoint. I loved watching this doddering couple age. In addition to the passion they bring to art collecting, they also demonstrated some wicked savvy when acquiring pieces. I'm not talking about their forward thinking and ability to get in at the forefront of several major art movements. These folks are people savvy. I believe the film, at one point, talks about how they didn't just collect art but also collected artists. They took time to form relationships and that, in the end, benefited them greatly. To me, that just seemed so sharp.

About halfway through the movie, I started to get a little worried about Herb and Dorothy. They were so obsessive about collecting that I began to wonder if they might be well suited for an episode of Hoarders. Stored art filled so much of their living space that there wasn't room to live. I changed my mind knowing that they were prepared to donate their collection so that future generations could enjoy and learn from it.

That was actually my favorite part...the fact that they so selflessly gave most of their collection away to the National Gallery of Art and museums around the country (50X50).

Such an interesting film that, of course, got me thinking about collections. I think most everyone has experience collecting something at some point in your life. I started out with stamps...and Elvis memorabilia. My collections now include metal robots and the letter 's' in movable type. Some of my favorite collections belong to other folks...
Are there collections that find their way into your life?


  1. This sounds like such a great documentary! I might have to re-up with Netflix to see it.

    I have informal collections of aqua blue Ball jars, old photos of girls with big bows in their hair, and beloved books. I don't seek these things out particularly, but if I happen to be somewhere and see a photo or a jar, I'll consider it.

  2. I just discovered those blue ball jars last year at an antique mall and can understand the love.

    By the way, I'm happy to mail you my copy of Herb & Dorothy to borrow if you don't want to bother with Netflix.