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In Flagrante Collecto: (Caught in the Art of Collecting) Hardcover – 26 May 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 01 edition (26 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810955407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810955400
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 3.2 x 30.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,362,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Fun and fascinating.
-- Period Living magazine, March 2007

About the Author

Marilynn Gelfman Karp is a Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art Professions in the Steinhardt School at New York University and the founder of the first Masters degree programme in Visual Arts Administration and Collecting.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ah yes, my kind of book and oddly I completely missed it when it came out in 2006. Marilynn Karp has hit on a rich vein of collecting with her book: the stuff we normally just throw away or at least junk when we get tired of it. A couple of really off-the-wall collectable items caught my eye: other folks shopping lists (page 151) and soap shards in a frame (pages 66/67).

Of course, much of the book features plenty of established collectables, like postcards, fruit crate labels, playing cards, political campaign buttons, matchbox labels and the old favourite: stamps. I thought the strength of the book was in picturing throwaway everyday printed ephemera and cheap production items like wire shirt-hangers, skate keys or shoe Blakey's that normally no one would bother to collect. Karp sees keepers of such stuff as true collectors.

As a designer for print I'm into any scrap of paper that has type on it so most of the book is quite fascinating for me as it shows so much printed material. Recently I started to collect the menus from chocolate boxes and after a while, like any collector, I came up with the problem of finding out about the subject. Collect something too obscure and you're the only one doing it so there's no chance to trade or connect with others. You'll know when your collection has `arrived' because Schiffer Books will publish one of their dreadful looking titles on it with the predictable cover line: Includes Price Guide.

An interesting point all the lovely illustrations throw up is that individually so many things do look dull and boring but collect several of them and suddenly they start to look visually quite exciting.
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Format: Hardcover
A beautiful and thoroughly engaging personal obsession in its own right, In Flagrante Collecto (caught in the act of collecting) documents a huge range of some of the oddest of collections out there, proving that often the most bizarre and `unloved' items (in this case mainly Americana) prompt us to want to investigate further. Karp's obvious obsession soon becomes apparent, with philosophical musings and plenty of her own memories to accompany the documented collections, with over two hundred being her own!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A perfect book for all collectors.
Nice pictures of a wide selection of objects.
If you would like to collect soothing, start with this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9079cfa8) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x906ed09c) out of 5 stars Just terrific great fun 6 Jun. 2006
By F. Gillen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The first thing to hit me was how beautiful this book is. The photographs of the thousands of collectibles are delectable. It made me want to run out and find some of this stuff, or find new things to start collecting. The author unfolds her theories about why people collect, and describes many wonderful childhood scenes of Bronx life and early collections of marbles, baseball cards, sewing kits, you name it. Adult adventures collecting all over the world, and the collecting adventures of her friends and family, are included, and make for a wonderful warm biography of a collection of collectors. The descriptions of the original uses and methods of manufacturing of various collectibles is fascinating, and it's lovely to see simple and sometimes disposable things treated with such interest and respect. The history and character of our country shine through in the old graphics and designs of postcards, matchbooks, lawn sprinklers, and countless other items, and after spending time with them in this book, I can feel more deeply what's been lost to more efficient means of production. I'll never browse a flea market or garage sale quite the same way again. It's a wonderful conversation piece, a fun book to have around for guests to peruse. It gives you permission to bring out those old shoeboxes of stuff from under your bed and show them to your pals, even though you're not a kid any more. I loved this book, it was part anthropology, part history of design, part memoir, part encyclopedia, part travelogue, all work of endearing art.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9057bf24) out of 5 stars A treasure trove! 28 Mar. 2006
By A Collector - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I got a preview copy of this fantastic book and what a treasure. Insightful and informative, it has wisdom and information to offer on antiques, collecting, collectibles, history and psychology. The writing is engaging and the photgraphs practically glow; there is something fascinating in here for everyone.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c039750) out of 5 stars A Remarkable Book by a Vanguard Collector That Appeals to All Tastes 3 Jan. 2007
By Carlo Lamagna - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have purchased at least seven copies of this fascinating book to give as gifts to a wide variety of friends. For those interested in collecting, the book offers fresh insights into the forces that motivate people to acquire, while illustrating a remarkable diversity of eccentric collections that surprise and delight. For the novice or general reader, the breadth and types of collections are amazing. The book is superbly designed and the objects beautifully photographed and presented. The author is a farsighted collector with an awesome range of historical knowledge and an accessible, highly informative writing style. I highly recommend this book for readers of all persuasions who simply enjoy being intellectually and visually stimulated.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905709cc) out of 5 stars Best book on Collecting - EVER 12 May 2007
By Stephen Blumrich - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have found on Collecting. The writer gets into the state of mind of a collector, then presents profusely illustrated collections of an almost unbelievable scope. Like - you mean people really collect THIS? Yes they do and it's there. COOL book that will broaden your horizon - and you'll never throw anything away again because someone out there collects it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x912e215c) out of 5 stars Equisite eccentric and great looker. 17 Mar. 2007
By Natasha Hubshman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully produced look book. The unusual and very particular collecting subject matter is very personal. Quirky, wonderfully photographed and of superior quality.
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