What exactly are the Responsibilities of a Curator?
A Curator preserves history by collecting, selecting, cleaning, protecting, evaluating, interpreting and displaying objects of interest.
I am the Curator of my own collection, as you can be of yours!
I feel it’s not enough to accumulate antiques and collectibles … with ownership comes an implied duty to care for them and to share their meaning with others. A well-displayed collection is not only a testament to its owner/Curator but an inspiration to others who view it.
What can you do as Curator to best Honor your Collection?
1. Collect the best examples/upgrade as possible
2. Clean, then keep objects in display condition
3. Catalog each object with a description & photograph
4. Create displays that are both attractive & instructive
5. Continue to learn more about your objects
6. Share your knowledge with others
7. Volunteer to display your objects in public
7. Join an organization of similar collectors
Display, then Share Your Collection with Others
As a member of the Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America, I have been fortunate to meet other “Curators” of personal collections. A lot of time, effort and love go into first acquiring, then displaying their prized irons and trivets. When I was in Kansas City recently for the 2008 Convention, those of us still in town on Sunday went to an Open House hosted by two local Members. The husband and wife housed their collection in a special room in their basement … and as you can see from the 1st photo, the display was both organized and attractive.
I have one long hallway where I display the majority of my trivets, but I find places to tuck in other small displays- like my collection of antique trivets surrounding an old French gilt mirror. And a low wall dividing a kitchen from the breakfast nook provides an ideal place to display trivets.
There are always opportunities to share your collection with others in your community! Contact your local paper and ask if they would be interested in doing a feature story about collecting. If your Public Library has locked display shelves, volunteer to create a display. Or take a few of your antiques to a local nursing home and present a program. Some of the audience may have used those very items in their youth!
With fll and then winter coming, there will be more time for indoor activities. Consider evaluating the current status of your collection. Have you kept accurate records and are your items in best condition and on display? If not, then consider (as Curator) what you need to do!
Lynn Rosack is a Worthologist who specializes in trivets and kitchenalia.
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