Pictures, Patents, Monkeys and More…On Collecting

Thu, Jan 18, 2001 through Fri, Mar 9, 2001

In the realm of collecting, everything is fair game from Old Master drawings to comic books. This exhibition offers a representative selection of objects from three different kinds of collections: contemporary fine art, popular culture, and public record. From the Robert J. Shiffler Foundation, a nationally known collection of contemporary art in Ohio, is a selection of approximately 25 mixed media works by such noteworthy artists. From a private collection in New York comes 100 examples of sock monkeys, a hand-crafted toy whose golden age was the 1950s. The third example of collecting originates in the archives of the United States Patent Office, to which every future inventor submitted a miniature, usually extraordinary, model of the great idea. The show raises provocative questions such as: why do individuals and institutions accumulate objects; what distinguishes an object as art; how does the creation and collecting of contemporary art differ in value, interest and purpose from other pursuits.

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