Allan Gurganus on Collections in The New York Times


Collections collect collectors. It doesn’t work the other way around.

Allan MantelA certain object misses its own kind and communicates that to some person who surrounds it with rhyming items; these become at first a quorum, then a selective, addictive madness.

Other boys of 7 owned leather satchels full of marbles. But marbles themselves somehow left me cold. So I assembled multiple marble bags. Something about them spoke to me. “How many do you think you’ll finally need, son?” my father asked, sounding concerned. I arranged my Top 10 best along a windowsill and invited family to a private viewing. They didn’t get it.

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Photos by Frank Hunter