Page 20 Spring 1988
Around by Kit Summers
A Little Effort Fabulous Collections Begin
you want to expand your juggling contacts and at the same time pursue
a new and worthwhile hobby? Then become a juggling collector! It's a
good way to contribute to juggling in general, and also to enhance
your own knowledge and enjoyment of the art.
are many items associated with juggling that you can collect:
autographs, books and magazines, business cards, buttons, greeting
cards, news clippings, photos, props and videos are the most common
take a look at how some devoted collectors did it:
and Sue Bakalor of
he added another dimension to his
collection by making tapes of jugglers (with their permission, of
course) at conventions, in the streets and by recording their
appearances on television shows.
An early interest in magic prompted Ken Benge to begin a collection of magic paraphernalia. In time this turned into a juggling collection. If you're going to be a collector, it helps to make friends. Benge's collection multiplied with help from fellow collectors Roger Montandon and Lane Blumenthal.
collectors are also willing to spend money to enlarge their
collections. Blumenthal, the official photographer for the IJA in its
beginning days, passed his entire collection on to Danny Rees. Benge
ended up buying the Rees collection. He also acquired a great deal of
material from Roger Dollarhide, another official IJA photographer.
Benge's collection, a collaboration of his own material and things
acquired from other people, fills many trunks.
Bachman's collection started many moons after he started juggling.
About 20 years ago Bachman began collecting 16-millimeter movies of
jugglers, most of
are now deceased. However, Bachman's favorite items are props owned by
various jugglers - a Rudy Cardenas juggling stick, a Salerno club,
some of Trixie's plates, and Bobby May's drum.
Wilkins started buying juggling books about 13 years ago. She
subscribes to various clown, unicycle and magic magazines that
sometimes give her clues to new sources for juggling items. Then came
the photo books, and finally videos of jugglers. She now owns over 100
videos, many of which she obtained through negotiation with other
video collectors. As a former librarian, she says she knows how to
"find" things and is always on the lookout.
has a list of books and videos that are available to other collectors.
For a small charge, she'll send you a copy. Write her at Chino, CA.
Howard also started his collection by buying books on juggling and
receiving gifts from people he befriended. His most prized possessions
are old Bobby May props and a knife and fork from Salerno. Howard
scours old book stores in towns he visits to find juggling photos and
Stack, who died recently at the age of 96, amassed one of the
largest collections I ever saw in the
housekeeper has reported that the entire collection was stolen after
Stack's death. This is an unfortunate loss to juggling history and
raises the question of permanent, secure storage for juggling
collections. Part of the collection of Roger Montandon, an IJA
founder, was damaged in a flood at his home - another example of the
vulnerability of private collections.
this point, there is no juggling museum or archives for permanent
display of memorabilia. However, the IJA is storing material that
people have given to it with plans to eventually open a juggling
museum. Wilkins says her will designates that the IJA will receive
her collection after her death. Howard said he is also inclined to
leave his collection to the IJA if the organization founds a museum
during his lifetime.
valuable collections are distinguished by their careful organization
and display . You'll have to devise a system to keep your material
organized, and your photos should be mounted in a nice photo album
rather than pasted into a scrap book. After all, these photos aren't
scrap, are they?
hope these juggling/collector tidbits interest you in starting
your own collection. I suggest beginning with some good photos of
yourself that you can trade with other jugglers. It's also easy to
save articles, cartoons and other items about jugglers and juggling.
Your collection is starting! Getting more serious about it requires
writing letters to jugglers throughout the world. I have found that,
if you can find them, there are people everywhere who like to trade
juggling photos. As you get more serious about collecting you will
learn of other collectors who will be willing to trade with you. And
so on, and so on, your collection will grow and improve.
Who knows where it could all lead? Many of the best photos from my collection are included in my book, "Juggling with Finesse". Perhaps someday you can write a book based on your collection as well.
first you have to get started. Don't be a procrastinator, start your
collection now. Before you know it, your collection can grow beyond
your wildest dreams!