No Two Alike: Play and Aesthetics in Collecting

Tamar Katriel, Brenda Danet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interviewed approximately 85 adult and 80 child Jewish Israeli collectors concerning their experiences. Elements of play in collecting and the processes by which objects became collectibles were analyzed. A set of rules that constituted the collecting game was formulated. The aesthetic principle that guided the construction of a collection was elaborated. It was hypothesized that collecting is a means of striving toward a sense of closure or completion. Five strategies used by collectors to pursue closure are described, including completing a series or set, creating a display, and striving for perfect objects. The significance of collecting as a cultural form is addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 253–277
JournalPlay & Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989


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