The Cultures of Collecting

The Cultures of Collecting

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0674179935

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Offering a spectrum of approaches to the phenomenon of collecting from the 16th century to the present, this book covers the collecting of any sort of material objects, from bus-tickets to rare books, Polynesian carvings to children's toys, and botanical specimens to Impressionist paintings. By isolating a limited number of strategic examples, the authors are able to use them as a basis for new insights into the psychological, aesthetic, social and political dimensions of the collecting impulse. For they go further than just dealing with physical objects that have been gathered together by magpie private collectors: they go on to examine the organization of ideas and intellectual models of collecting.

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it has developed far enough to become noticeable. Initial blindness is even a precondition for that eagerness to be developed, hidden from any internalized ethical, financial or political censorship. It is of the nature of eagerness to be accumulative, and again, only retrospectively can it be seen. Stories of collecting begin by initial blindness - by visual lack. So this beginning, too, is of a narrative nature. Between the object and the collector stands the question of motivation, the 'motor'

practical ends, a durable inclination and aptitude for practice without a practical function, can only be constituted within an experience of the world freed from urgency and through the practice of activities which are an end in themselves. 1 3 In other words, you can only bracket off practical ends if you truly do so, and to have this disposition (or 'capacity'!) you need to be rich - so rich, that the rest of the world hardly matters. The means are projected first as disposition, then as

Kunstkammer proper. 24 The tendencies prefigured in the later seventeenth century came to fruition in the eighteenth. During the course of the eighteenth century the Habsburg collections were transformed in a manner that is homologous, and indeed in some instances the result of the revaluation and reconceptualization of the nature and history of the visual arts that occurred in the German-speaking world. Early in the century the Imperial court architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach had

Belvedere. The ultimate aim behind the establishment of this collection was that of educating the public. joseph II had dedicated the Vienna Augarten and Prater as parks for public relaxation and amusement. The new Gemaldegalerie in the upper Belvedere was also opened, free of charge, to the public. By facilitating access to the picture collections, a contribution was to be made not only to their enjoyment, but to the general education of the populace, by providing an opportunity for instruction

were filled with sacred remains, Renaissance collections contributed to the fame and reputation of Europe's towns and cities; there were, however, strong personal motivations underlying the enthusiasms of their creators. Pomian has provided five relatively detailed profiles of collectors obsessed with the encyclopaedic ideal: Pierre Borel, who lived in Paris, and Andrea Vendramin (1554-1629), Federigo Contarini (1538?1613), Girolamo Gualdo (1496-1566) and Ludovico Moscardo (?1611-8I) in Venice.

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