• Total Immersion Collecting: Baptism Photos Collecting anything is fun—somehow any group of objects always equals more than the sum of its parts. Personally, I prefer groups of three. That’s enough to show differences and similarities at the same time. But there is another reason to collect, and to collect specifically in a narrow category: Your efforts could wind up in a museum. An exhibition called “Take Me to the Water: Photographs of…
  • The Bromance, Found in Vintage Photography Blogger Maria Popova, who runs the wonderfully eclectic Brain Pickings site, unearthed this gem of a book, "Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918," by David Deitcher. These photos prove that the phenomenon of the "bromance" existed—well before Brad Pitt and George Clooney, Lance Armstrong and Matthew McConaughey, or Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. To me, one of the mo…
  • Walker Evans, Preeminent Photographer and Passionate Postcard Collector In 1994, I had the great pleasure of acquiring the complete archive of Walker Evans for the Metropolitan Museum. The archive is quite vast, including 30,000 black-and-white negatives and about 10,000 color transparencies. It includes collections of his business and personal correspondence, both letters he sent as well as those he received. It also includes his library and his collections. He had w…
  • 19th-Century Photographs, from Daguerreotypes to Cartes de Visites I’ve always been interested in antiques. As a kid, I collected a variety of stuff – fossils, rocks, minerals, natural history stuff, Indian artifacts and antiques. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and my mother had a lot of Victorian antiques. We lived in an old Victorian neighborhood, one of Louisville’s old traditional neighborhoods. In the 1910s and ’20s it had been very vibrant, but started …
  • Daile Kaplan of Swann Auction Galleries on Collecting 20th Century Photographs Swann, which is New York City’s oldest specialty auction house, was founded in the late 1940s as an antiquarian book house. In the mid-1970s, as popular interest in photography became more widespread, the specialist at that time realized that Swann should have sales that featured documentary and fine art photography as well as albums and photobooks. Until that time, auctions dedicated to photograp…
  • When Postcards Were the Social Network I worked for 35 years as a reference librarian with the Madison Public Library and I just got interested in Madison’s history through my reference work. My husband and I collect antiques of various sorts, and as we would go to antique stores or antique shows in malls, I began looking through boxes of old postcards. I just started buying Madison postcards to learn about Madison history. I’m …
  • Attending the Theatre, Via Postcards Andreas Praefcke (Ravensburg, Germany) collects postcards of old and new theatre buildings worldwide. His complete collection can be seen on his website Carthalia. I spoke to him recently about how he got interested in this unique and interesting postcard collecting theme, how he finds cards, and what some of his favorites are. : How did you become interested in collecting postcards featuring T…
  • From Ambrotypes to Stereoviews, 150 Years of Photographs We both come from families that had collections and we both had collections as children. Jack lost his when his grandmother threw them out at one point. His grandmother collected china and glass. My parents had collections. When we married, we had both studied photography. In Chicago, we hardly ever saw any photographs. We went to antique shops and we prowled around in flea markets and the malls, …