Collector's Item - Gift at the Gardner

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Collector's Item

This one-off magazine was conceptualized and designed by Dutch artist Melvin Moti (Artist-in-Residence 2010), with additional contributions by artists Runa Islam and Douglas Ross.

Moti believes that collectors such as Isabella Stewart Gardner inspire us to become collectors. "We are looking through the eyes of the collector when we follow the very spontaneous yet sensitive connections between all the collected objects," Moti says. "The collector is materialized through the visitor, who becomes another component of the scripted orchestration of the collection."

The magazine includes texts, drawings, and photography by the three artists, and investigates the extent to which the Gardner Museum's conceptual approach can be found in other museums. Douglas Ross points to the very dominant presence of the collector and complex instructions for displaying the collection as characteristics shared by the Gardner Museum and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. The unusual transformation from a private collection to a public museum is the central focus of Runa Islam's project on the Sir John Soane Museum in London.

By Melvin Moti with Douglas Ross and Runa Islam
21 pages
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2012
8 x 0.3 x 7.25 inches
Paperback