March 31 through June 13
The urge to collect is one of human nature’s most natural instincts. From the typical collections of baseball cards, stamps, and coins to extremely varied collections, people are constantly gathering objects and classifying them with their own personal system. Bennington Collects brings together an eclectic selection of collections that have been compiled by residents of the greater Bennington area. Each collection presents an opportunity to learn a little about a topic that may have never crossed our mind. They also provide a glimpse into the life and personality of their collectors and, in turn, into a small facet of the local community and surrounding region. There are numerous reasons for collecting; ranging from vocational interest to associations the objects evoke of a particular person, place, or event. Oftentimes it is the sheer interest of the objects themselves and the various “stories” they have to tell. Besides the personal associations collections often harbor, they also can tell us much about the time, place, and people who made them.
It is through the care and thought put into the gathering and preservation of objects such as those seen in the exhibit that institutions such as the Bennington Museum are able to step in later and watch after and interpret them for perpetuity. In the end, our human desire to collect may be an instinctual way of preserving our culture, not only for ourselves but also for generations to come.
Bennington Collects hits the WAMC airwaves. Read or listen to Josh Landes’ Midday Show on WAMC. He interviewed Jamie Franklin and some of the collectors from the Bennington Collects exhibition. Click here.