displaying collections ARRANGE TO INSPIRE
Old House Journal|January - February 2022
Ideas, inspiration, and tidbits on the beautiful and safe arrangement and display of collectibles both traditional and eccentric.
PATRICIA POORE
displaying collections ARRANGE TO INSPIRE

People collect all kinds of things: pottery and silverware, sure, but also souvenir Statues of Liberty, vintage quilts, geodes, wind-up toy snails, manual typewriters, seascapes, wax fruit, and tiny succulent houseplants. Regardless of the value (or even the quality) of a collection, how it is displayed makes the difference between its being clutter and art. In a curated display, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Separate objects become a unit that tells a story. This is true whether the collected objects are hung on a wall, placed on a narrow shelf, arranged in a cabinet—or occupy their own gallery wing.

displaying GLASS

Because of its translucence, glass is best displayed so that light moves through it. Consider glass front cabinets with subtle integrated lighting. A mirrored back, or a mirror placed behind glass on a shelf, shows off both sides of the objects and also bounces light through them. A very effective and inexpensive display is on glass shelves set into a window well, backlit by daylight or a light source. Colored glass in a window will throw colored light into the room, changing with the angle of the sun. Glass objects can simply sit on a windowsill for a similar result. A very different effect is produced depending on whether all of the glass is in one color, or if colors are mixed.

• For displays more than one object deep, glass is effective placed in front of white porcelain or stoneware.

This story is from the January - February 2022 edition of Old House Journal.

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This story is from the January - February 2022 edition of Old House Journal.

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