Celebrating Collectors — Colors Magazine Winter 2010/2011


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Becky Martz' banana peel collection

Just a sampling of Becky Martz' banana label collection photographed for Colors

When we heard that Colors Magazine’s current issue was all about collectors (a whole magazine! About our people!) we jumped off the couch and headed straight to the newsstand to check it out. And it did not disappoint

Becky Martz, photographed for Colors #79

And here is the collector herself: Becky Martz, from Houston Texas.

Dedicated since it’s inception in 1991 to promoting the ideas that diversity is something to celebrate and that all cultures have equal value, Colors’ current group of stories and photographs, chronicling a varied crew of gatherers, is truly inspirational. Actually, maybe a bit too inspirational, as we have suddenly found ourselves online secretly looking for places that sell old items from the Concorde, among other things.

Ordinary people think that we’re a little bit crazy, that we don’t have better things to do. Collectors are creating breadcrumb trails of their lives.

Beautifully photographed and lovingly recounted, the stories told by the characters that appear in these pages (a tea bag hoarder from the UK, a vacuum gatherer from Michigan) begin to really shed some light on what motivates a person to gather so many of one particular object. And as varied as the individual stories are, what begins to surface as we move through the series is just how universal these collecting tendencies are, how each individual is just trying to make some sense out of the crazy world around them, to make a bit of order out of chaos.

There’s something about discussing toilet paper collecting at a party that really shakes things up a bit.

Or maybe it’s just about keeping things interesting. Which got us thinking about our own collections, big and small, and what motivates us to keep bringing more stuff into our lives. And wondering about you… leave us a comment and tell us what do you collect, and why?


And don’t forget to check out the COLORSLab interactive platform for even more mind blowing stories and photographs of collectors worldwide.



Portraits of banana labels and Becky Martz by Robert Seale.

  • When I was little I used to find and collect pieces of metal and broken machines and wires (yeah, where was I living, right??) and take them home to build a robot.

    Then I was in to rocks.
    Then it was Garbage Pail Kids cards.

    A few years later it was boyfriends.

  • Champe

    I have a friend whose sons used to collect fruit labels, and I would collect mine to send to them. What fun!