What is your ephemera?

May 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I met a guy at the grocery story the other day who was saying that while getting rid of the things of this now deceased mother he came upon some S&H Green Stamps. He listed them on Ebay and got $500 for the bunch. He didn’t remember how many he’d sold but I bet who ever he sold them to knows their true monetary worth and is some sort of a dealer, maybe an antique dealer, maybe someone who is going to turn around and sell them to artists. In any case, I bet the purchaser knows how to make a profit on those stamps.

Which got me to thinking that even though Greenstamps which were in use from 1896 well into the ’70’s are largely gone and other pieces of paper which are historical, that does not mean that ephemera does not still exist.

As the Internet takes over everything and everything from mailing letters to reading actual books goes by the wayside, those involved in the appreciation, use, and even sale of ephemera will have to broaden their understanding of what it is to include not just paper goods but anything old and with a history.

Not that all items don’t have a history and there aren’t alot of older items still in existence, I mean the remaining older things made of not just paper but other items such as old jewelry, small household items, playing cards, etc.

According to the website of the Ephemera Society of America, “Ephemera includes a broad range of minor (and sometimes major) everyday documents intended for one-time or short-term use.” The term documents would make you think that only paper items can be ephemera but that will have to change as older items are bought, sold, and wear out. But I would urge artists to think of any object that is more than a few years old as ephemera and an interesting possible addition to any piece you want to spice up with a little history.

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