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`Things We Collect and Why' opens at Smith Museum of Anthropology


Stamps are among the myriad collections in the C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology exhibition. (Photo: Marjorie Rhodes-Ousley)

  • March 6, 2011

“Lamps & Stamps, Toys & Tins: The Things We Collect & Why We Collect Them” has opened as an exhibition at the C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology on the Cal State East Bay campus in Hayward.

The exhibition, plus part of the previous show “Trails to Rails: Building the Transcontinental Railroad” from 2010, is open through June 3 (excluding March 21 through 25, March 31 and May 30). Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is in Meiklejohn Hall, room 4047, on the south side of campus at 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

The question behind the exhibition is, “Why are people driven to collect?”

For millennia people and animals have accumulated things – from the common to the extraordinary. This exhibition, which includes collections by CSUEB faculty, staff and students, will help explain what drives collectors.

The collections include chopstick rests, snuff bottles, rosaries, butterflies, stamps, PEZ containers, lighters, handkerchiefs, figurines, toys, models, cards, pins, ornaments, condom tins, tinplate trains, mountains, railroadiana and Disneyana.

“Collecting has become a part of our popular culture and has sparked shows like `History Detectives' and `American Pickers,'" said Marjorie Rhodes-Ousley, museum associate director. "This exhibition gives visitors a chance to spend some time examining the stories behind what different people collect. It’s surprising how often people collect very different things for similar reasons.”

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor at (510) 885-7414 at least two weeks in advance if accommodation is needed. 

Campus parking is $10 per vehicle per day, Monday-Friday, or $2 per hour at meters. Permits may be purchased from machines in a lot across Harder Road from Meiklejohn Hall, or in lots E2, F, G, H, K or N.

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