Without a Past… There is No Future

This wise quote has been attributed to a number of people including Tanya Savicheva, a contemporary of Anne Frank whose diary resides in the Museum of History at Saint Petersburg. Pope John Paul II and Vitali Chenalinski, a Russian poet are also credited.
What it simply means is that the past wisely applied will inform our future.

Collecting antiques, collectibles, treasured family heirlooms is the Twenty First Century ultimate in living “Green”! Of course, collectors have known that, have practiced that for many generations. Long before it became fashionable, collectors practiced and continue to practice preservation. Collectors personify in action the art of recycling, green consciousness, and preservation.

Long past, ages ago, people kept and preserved family heirlooms and, if they had the money purchased old items that stimulated their knowledge, their love of beauty, or whatever caught their particular fancy. They became collectors. I would hope that with shared knowledge and appreciation we can continue this love of preservation, this human need to remember, treasure and learn from the past.

Once you take a dusty, dilapidated, or out of favor antique or collectible, you research what proper care it needs, you provide the minimum it needs to be restored to its original function and/or beauty….You get “hooked”. You become an advocate, and most often a collector! You learn from the past which then informs your future.

Antiques, art, collectibles reflect ingenuity, creativity, and workmanship. An antique or piece of art can speak to each person individually, appeal (or not) to their own specific identity. We who are advocates should do all we can to empower and encourage current generations to an understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the past. We can encourage “Twenty First Century Green Living” at its best by preserving and sharing the history, craftsmanship and art of the past

Art Antiques & Collectibles Why Collect Why Care?

Why is history important to us and the generations that will come? Why is Tradition so important in this day and age? Why should we care about old things that have survived 50 years, 100 years or more? Why should our younger generations care about all this “old stuff”? Why should we?

History teaches us that lessons unlearned are doomed to be repeated. History is essential to each and every one of us. It gives us knowledge, wisdom, and perspective from which to realistically keep and save our future. It defines who we have been, who we are.

Tradition brings families together, creates an enduring love and respect from which each member may grow and thrive. Tradition teaches us the importance of respect and caring for things and people past. Tradition teaches time out for what is important. Tradition teaches us lessons of responsibility to family, community, nation. Tradition is the springboard that teaches lessons that can not be learned otherwise in a world gone crazy with immediate gratification, limited focus, and little moral boundaries.

Old things, in whatever form…antiques, collectibles, heirlooms, or art teach us first to slow down and observe, to smell the roses, to taste that family dinner with all the beautiful old china and grandparent’s traditions that live in all our memories, to feel the texture of an old textile or sculpture. The things of the past teach our senses, revive our treasured memories, and inspire us to new creativity and purpose. They teach us preservation and responsibility.

In a world gone hectic, collecting what appeals to our senses gives us a breather to stop and know that we are alive. It teaches us that we have a purpose, that we can make a difference. Antiques, collectibles, art, teach us through the responsibility of caring, recycling, restoring, preserving to be better citizens, better people. They teach us that putting time into a creating or preserving something is important. It teaches us respect and appreciation.

Preserving, restoring an old piece to its original beauty is satisfying, an accomplishment to be proud of. Taking an old obsolete item and reinventing it to a new current usefulness is inspiring. We find whispers, messages from the past in an old piece of furniture that a fine craftsman spent countless hours creating. We find a piece of art can provide a respite, a personal inspiration, a meaning, a touching of the spirit that is priceless. Reading an old book, seeing old photographs and their techniques teach us.

I invite you to share a commitment to inform and share this long practiced art of green living, of recycling the past to enhance the present. Share a commitment to learning about and preserving the historic, the traditional, the art forms of the past. By sharing and preserving the past we teach wisdom, beauty, ingenuity, creativity…the tools that will safeguard our children’s future.

Restoration Preservation Appreciation of Art Antiques & Collectibles

Long through the ages antiques & collectible collectors found something that caught their eye. Probably since cave dwellers, people would find, collect, treasure, preserve a pretty rock, a shell, or a flower. Thus began the art of collecting. By the time we got to the Middle ages and Renaissance era, collecting art, antiques, collectibles was indeed an art form. Thank God for that! We humans love to preserve, even to hoard, that which appeals, informs, or inspires us.

Our current “Green” awareness in not a new concept. Collectors of art, of antiques, of preserving, restoring, or recycling into a new useful form, were green long before it became fashionable. History teaches us that what goes around, comes around. Hopefully, in the current Green awareness, the original teachers of recycling and preservation will not go unheard.

The green advocates of the past, the preservationists of art, antiques and collectibles operated with a twist that may often be missing in today’s Green movement. These collectors of the past did it with a twist…study, knowledge, responsibility, commitment, and common sense. They did all they could to learn the history, the facts of what they preserved. They committed to the responsibility of correct preservation and appreciation of the past. They appreciated and revered craftsmanship, talent, ingenuity, and beauty.

Words are cheap, it is actions that attest to the character of the age, of the people. Art, antique and collectible enthusiasts share a commitment of preserving all the teaching and beauty of each item collected for the future generations. They pass it forward.

Through museum and private collections, we have added to the knowledge of our past history, of craftsmanship, of inspired vision and commitment to excellence. We have added to our culture and traditions. We have preserved. How will we in this present day do in our mission of instructing, preserving, and instilling the virtues, so relevant in the past, into the current and future generations?

Art, antiques, collectibles, heirlooms, teach priceless lessons that are critical to the current and future generations. Example is our best teacher for those who follow us. Preservation, restoration, repurposing, appreciation of our past not only protects our environment from a mindless throw away mentality, it teaches so many important moral, fundamental lessons. These lessons provide us with timeless and lovely accents, jewelry, furnishings, textiles, art, books, memorabilia. We collectors are teachers, environmentalists, restoration advocates, preservationists; we are truly masters in the art of “Green”.