If your great aunt passed away and left you something from her jewelry collection, would you be more excited to find a boxful of tangled chains and costume trinkets, or a single statement piece featuring a your birthstone in an elegant setting?
I personally would go for the topaz brooch — and the older I get, the more I appreciate beautiful things, and the less I want to tolerate any crappy-looking stuff, even when it’s functional.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband Jay and I road-tripped east, mostly on I-40, where we stopped in smaller cities like Palm Springs CA, Winslow AZ, Albuquerque NM, Elk City OK, and Hot Springs AR. In New Mexico, our friend John told us he’d been visiting city museums that are, literally, all over the map. He said that a lot of them seem to display the same junk, including rusty old farm tools and a token iron lung. Honestly, I didn’t know what he was talking about, but sure enough as we drove on, we started seeing signs. “Oh my God, City Museum! Turn left, turn left!” For me, they became the most compelling part of the trip. They usually requested a small donation of about $5 per person, and displayed amazing historical collections of objects…usually, it seemed, from around the time the town was formed.
So I offer a few sample photos as a Rorschach test of sorts: too much stuff? too little? all interesting treasures? more fascinating if there was less of it?
To be continued…