Collecting Culture is a podcast about passionate collectors and the objects they love. Each month we talk to a collector in the realm of art, design, history or nostalgia.
Bonus Episode! Actors Read Old Love Letters!
Earlier this month, we released episode 10, “The Mysteries of Old Letters,” which was an interview with collector Hallie Bahn, who collects letters written roughly between 1900 and 1960. We thought some of these letters—particularly the juicy love letters—were worth hearing in full, so we asked two actors to interpret them dramatically through voiceovers. Enjoy!
Episode 10: The Mysteries of Old Letters
Hallie Bahn collects old letters, and she has more than 200 individual missives in her collection. Oftentimes, she has a packet of letters that are all from the same person: the mother of a soldier in World War I; a housewife writing to her husband who’s a traveling salesman. Hallie enjoys the enigmatic quality of these letters. She tries to piece together the lives of the letter writers, and, as an artist, she uses their stories as inspiration for her stop-motion animations.
Keep an eye out for our bonus episode, coming October 15, in which two actors will read from some of the letters.
Episode 11: Galloping Ghost: an Epic Arcade Game Collection
Since 2010 Doc Mack has been the operator of Galloping Ghost Arcade, an old school arcade in Brookfield, Illinois, outside of Chicago. It’s the world’s largest public arcade game collection. Doc grew up on fighting games and developed an interest in martial arts, game design and arcade electronics restoration. Since then he has helped open new arcades, legitimize professional gaming through high score verification and is currently working on bringing the next generation of fighting game, Dark Presence, to arcade floors from his own Galloping Ghost studios.
Episode 12: Holiday Edition: Our Favorite Things
It’s the holidays, which often means spending time with family — and maybe growing a collection or two at the same time! So, for this month’s episode, Andrew and I got together with our parents to talk collecting. Our dad, who is an extreme collector of many things, shares some stunning poetry broadsides. Our mom tells us about some of her funky and fantastical wearable art jewelry. Andy talks about his screenprint poster collection, and I explain my love of bags and purses.
Episode 1: McMakin Plans: Falling in Love with the “Simple” Furniture of Roy McMakin
For our very first episode, I interviewed Elaine Smith, a design lover in Oakland, California. Elaine is legitimately obsessed with the furniture of Roy McMakin, who is a well-known artist, architect and designer; she’s collected more than 30 pieces of furniture in the last 20 years or so. McMakin has honed his distinctive style—basic, colorful forms in an exaggerated scale, with idiosyncratic details—since the ‘80s.
Episode 2: A Brief History of ‘Zines & the Healing Power of Yard Sales
Katie Haegele is the author of two books (with a third coming soon!), and many awesome ‘zines. I talked to her about the ‘zines she’s made, the history of this DIY publishing phenomenon, and about her undying love of all things secondhand—as evidenced by her book, “White Elephants: On Yard Sales, Relationships, and Finding What Was Missing.”
For more info about Katie and her work, visit her website, thelalatheory.com.
All photos by Katie Haegele.
This podcast inspires me to (literally) look at the collections and learn more about the collectors. It exposes the listener to the passions of people who find inspiration and beauty in objects that others might ignore. I like to think that some of what I'm taking in will get outwardly expressed in my own creative endeavors. Interesting and fun!
Can't wait for more!
The interviews are more conversational, and fees much more personal, I almost feel like I'm hanging out with them; I also really appreciate the slideshow of photos that support the conversation during play, it's so nice to see an image of what is being discussed!
I felt as if I were sitting around the kitchen table meeting not only a new friend, but also a kindred spirit. I look forward to next time.