Seeking Pathological Art Collectors!

December 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Have you ever thought about why people collect things? Some people collect fine art, while others collect everything from stamps to antiques.  

The act of "collecting", can simply be thought of as someone that consciously pursues a specific object and has the desire to add new subjects to their current inventory.  Collecting art is much more than this... 

The serious collectors that I talk to on a regular basis typically started collecting things like baseball cards or stamps as a child, and then moved on to more serious subjects like fine art, antique books, rare coins, and so on.  

Did you know that during the 16th and 17th centuries, a viewing cabinet was a symbolic display of the collector's power and wealth?  It was these early collectors who established the first museums in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America.

Are you familiar with Sigmund Freud? Freud shared his thoughts about the psychology of collecting and its motivation.  I had to read his thoughts more than once because I thought my eyes were doing something strange.  Am I psychoanalyzing myself right now? (Freud joke...) Freud thought that collecting tied back to a persons toilet training when they were a young child.  Of course he did... He suggested that the loss of control of what went down the toilet was traumatic for some people, and therefore, these people sought out to try and gain back control of possessions.  No disrespect Mr. Freud, but I think you may be full of shit.  (humor intended and your milage may vary...:) 

The Artist & Collector Connection

On a more serious note, I enjoy the relationships with my collectors as much as I do creating my artwork.  There is a special bond that is formed between artist and collector and I think it is very special.  Many people incorrectly believe that you have to be wealthy or influential in some way in order to be an avid art collector.  That simply isn't true and the vast majority of art is very affordable.  Those stories that make the evening news where an artist, usually a dead artist, just sold one of their pieces for an amazing amount of money is a distortion of the vast majority of art collecting transactions.  Most collectors are everyday people that have a special reason that drives their desire to collect.  

The Benefits of Collecting Art

The real benefits of collecting art may surprise you.  We have already cleared up the misconception about the need to be wealthy to collect art.  I actively collect fine art photography.  

In the last year I was able to acquire prints made by Fred Picker (1927-2002).  One of the prints was used in one of his video workshops that he produced, making it very special to me.  Fred was a black and white photographer who pioneered the “Zone VI” variation of the Zone System of B&W photography first perfected by Ansel Adams.  

I've also collected new work from Tim Rudman from his latest collection, Iceland, An Uneasy Calm.  Dr. Tim Rudman is well known as an accomplished photographer, master printer and authority on darkroom techniques as well as a regular writer and lecturer. I purchased several of Tim's books over the last three decades and I have always looked up to him as an authoritative resource in darkroom and analog photography techniques.  Tim's work has been widely exhibited in over 25 countries, receiving numerous international awards and is held in several permanent and private collections around the world.  And to think that photography is only part of what this great mind has to offer is simply amazing.

I have also purchased fine art prints from unknown photographers because their work moved me and spoke to me.  You don't have to be internationally known in order to create great things.  

Based on research and my own experiences as a collector and artist, I find that collecting art offers a wide variety of benefits to include:

  • Relaxation and stress reduction
  • Knowledge and opportunity to learn 
  • Competitive challenge 
  • Personal pleasure (appreciation of beauty)
  • Nostalgia and/or a connection to history 
  • Social interaction with artists and fellow collectors
  • Connect to a higher cause outside of one's self 
  • Recognition 
  • Altruism (ultimately donate art to museums and learning institutions)
  • Accumulation and diversification of wealth 
  • Freedom from self

If you are an avid art collector and your motivation isn't in my brief list above, send me an email and introduce yourself and I would like to know more about you.  

Seeking Pathological Art Collectors!

I made an attempt at sharing something different with you today and I hope that you maybe learned a little something and maybe even cracked a little smile.  On a serious note, I want to make authentic connections with avid collectors that value and appreciate the art and craft of making fine platinum and palladium prints. The history of platinum and palladium fine art goes beyond the elegant and timeless beauty of the medium.  I create because I am deeply passionate about the connection between nature and humanity and its positive impacts.  Send me a note and introduce yourself if you would like to begin a conversation.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

 

 


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