Why Do People Collect Things?

Why Do People Collect Things?

“Oriental Lace,” an original monoprint by artist Reina Cohen

One of the characteristics of human beings is their love and enjoyment of collecting things. Not everyone does it, but most often, you might observe an accumulation of certain objects in a person’s space. One person might have seashells and rocks, another art prints, and another, seemingly useless knick-knacks. Some make a living out of it, while for others it is merely a subconscious hobby. Whatever the capacity and whatever the item, people tend to collect things for at least one of several reasons.

Human Nature

As mentioned above, human beings seem to collect things because of the pure joy of doing so. It is human nature to accumulate and gather things that give the collector pleasure.  Perhaps there is also some competition involved—i.e. “look what I’ve got (and you don’t!) And this item was very rare and difficult to find, so see how smart I was to have found it!!”

A Love of History

One main reason why some collectors do what they do is because of a love of history. They are lovers of knowledge on a particular subject and time, and acquiring certain objects from that era helps them understand it better. For example, a lover of 20th century history may gather vintage art. The result is the preservation of a time that others can study and enjoy.

The Thrill of the Hunt

For others, the thrill of the hunt is worth even more than the collection. Elements of adventure, pressure, and competition make collecting into a professional game. Those who enjoy the mental rigor of outsmarting their auctioning neighbors may feel a sense of fulfillment. The adventure of the hunt should not be minimized.  Wandering through antique stores, flea markets, or antique shows is just plain fun if you like history!  They just don’t make things like they used to!  Just looking at items you don’t recognize and asking the dealer what people did with an item is an education and gives a person insight as to how people used to live “in the old days”!

A Practice in Astuteness

On the other side, investing and selling objets d’art may be privately fulfilling as well. It may make someone feel good to snatch a great deal, obtain the best of the best, round out a collection, and catch items that prove highly valuable later on. Some invest in order to auction items off at the time when their value soars, providing a substantial income.

What Is Lithography?

“Philadelphia Museum of Art” Limited Edition Color Lithograph Print hand-signed by Joan Miró

To Socialize

Collecting things also has a social side to it. People can make friends through their shared interests and regular investing activities. Having a collection on display at home can wow guests and bring them into a new sphere.

A Love of Beauty

At the end of the day, people love what they collect and they collect what they love! For people of all tastes, there is an object of beauty or interest for them. 

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Since 1979 Zimmerman Editions Ltd. has worked closely with many internationally acclaimed artists to execute editions of their most unique images. Collaborating directly with the artists, Zimmerman Editions’ atelier has printed, fabricated, and published many special limited editions of fine art, including both prints and sculptures. All images have been faithfully produced to meet the artists’ most exacting requirements. Many of these high-quality art prints and objets d’art are represented in public and private collections around the world.

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