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©Copyright 2015 Eric Wrobbel



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The Village Theater in Coronado, California near San Diego. From 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm The concept of 'Collecting Design' illustrated with this excellent and exuberant lettering on the Martinique Apartments in Arleta California, north of Van Nuys. More at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm 'Dora Goes To Boystown, U.S.A.' Cover of a funny, early Betsey Johnson catalog from around 1982. With photo of Betsey, Chantal, Phil, and Amanda. A creative, interesting catalog featured on 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm 'No shoeshine today...thank you!' Page from an early Betsey Johnson catalog, around 1982. From 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm Page from a funny, early Betsey Johnson catalog (around 1982). More at 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm 'Excuse me, Miss, the gentleman over there would like to buy you a car.' Funny, early Betsey Johnson catalog from around 1982. From 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm Great mid-century modern architecture at St. Matthew Catholic Church in the Zilwaukee (Saginaw) area of Michigan. From 'Collecting Design' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/collecting-design-1.htm

“Stop the car!” I’m glad I had my camera with me in July 1986 when I spotted this Village Theater sign in Coronado, California near San Diego. It was designed and built in 1947.

Collecting isn’t always about buying stuff. The leaf or rock collector finds examples “in the wild.” Collecting Design is something like this. The collected object doesn’t have to be “owned.” After all, it’s a little tough to collect an actual theatre marquee when they are still using it. So why not save a photograph? Next best thing. Like my c.1980 photo of the Martinique apartments sign, 8770 Woodman, Arleta, California.

The point isn’t ownership, the point is access. Which is why some of us get so angry when an iconic structure is destroyed, usually to make way for new development. And why those developers, who are all about ownership, never seem to understand what all the fuss is about.

Below: Pages from a catalog that landed in my mailbox circa 1982, after a visit to Betsey Johnson’s new boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. This catalog was unlike anything else I’d seen in fashion— edgy and young, of course, but funny too. The models even smiled! I felt immediately that this was a brand with a future and this catalog joined my design collection while still new. From the cover picture: “Hi! Betsey here. Today’s August 10th. We’re celebrating my birthday & our 5th year in business together. Meet my partner Chantal, her husband Phil, and their new baby Amanda. Lulu’s home with Grandma! Enjoy your holidays!!! XOXOXOX Bye!”

The catalog’s theme: “Dora Goes To Boystown, U.S.A. Boystown, where there’s no such thing as a bad boy...or a bad bar!”

Credits: photos by John Kisch, model is Billi Woods, text by Max Blagg.

Collecting Design is perhaps the overall theme of all of my collecting. If you’ve looked at some of the other pages here you will know what I mean.

Roaming the backroads of semi-rural suburban Michigan with its modest houses and open spaces, suddenly the St. Matthew Catholic Church burst into view. Wow! It’s in the Zilwaukee (Saginaw) area. 2008.