Thursday, May 10, 2012
One of my recent readings has been In Flagrante Collecto: caught in the act of collecting by Marilynn Gelfman Karp. In Flagrante Collecto presents the relative value of collections by considering the type of collector and how the objects are valued beyond their functionality. In part of my choosing this book is towards my research on the private collector and public museum collections.
One of the prominent objects mentioned in the book that relates to my interest in the collecting process is the Dixie Lid. The functionality of the Dixie Lid is to cover the ice cream cups. From 1930 to 1954 photographs of personalities from that time period were printed on the underside of the lid. Marilynn Gelfman Karp describes the process of licking the ice cream off the wax paper surface of the lid to reveal an actor, actress, baseball player or even a cowboy. She continues the description of the Dixie Lid as ephemera. The lids have a function as a wrapper for the ice cream along with displaying the cultural commodities, photos of personalities of the time period.
The Dixie Lid is an example of the print media culture that could have been collected from the public domain. I am relating the Dixie Lid object to my current coupon collection. Both are from the print media culture and are a printed object with functionality. There transitional state of becoming an artifactual object does differ. My coupon collection has a printed expiration date and the possibility of being replaced by the QR code. One concept for the Dixie Lid of becoming an artifactual object tends to come from the cultural change. The personalities or “celebrities” of the 1930’s to 1954 time period have all been replaced with different presentations in commodity form of the current “celebrities.”
With a little further research, I was able to find a timeline of the first images printed on the Dixie Lids up till the personalitities. The Southeastern Antiquing & Collecting Magazine offers this timeline as well as values of common lids, vintage, and the lid’s condition. These two concepts of value and the condition of the object tend to be referred to with the interest of a private collector. The only mention of an ephemera print object and the lids functionality is implied in the In Flagrante Collecto book. My research is developing within these concepts and I would like to focus the research towards a present day inquiry of another artifactual object (ephemera print object) to my collection.