Collectors Night

Bedford + Bowery Collector’s Night video coverage!

A reporter for Bedford + Bowery stopped by Collector’s Night to talk with a few of our collectors. Check out this short video to hear City Reliquary founder Dave Herman talk about the concept behind this annual event and to see some highlights from the evening!

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COLLECTORS NIGHT 2017

Hosted at the New York City Fire Museum
Saturday, April 8 @ 5 PM

The City Reliquary Museum is proud to present its annual Collectors’ Night on Saturday, April 8 at the New York City Fire MuseumCollectors’ Night celebrates of one of the quirkier cultural practices of everyday New Yorkers. Every year, self-proclaimed archivists and packrats of every stripe gather to show off their collections. Displays range from the charming and quotidian to the intriguingly morbid.

With special presentations by guest speakers. This year’s special guests are Miriam Sicherman of the Closet Archaeology project, Mike Zohn of Obscura Antiquities and Oddities, and artist and activist LuLu LoLo of the Where Are The Women Monuments project.

To showcase your offbeat assemblage in a table display, submit the form below. A 6′ long table will be provided–see Event Details. You’ll also be invited to participate in the evening’s Rapid-Fire Show & Tell! We’ll accept submissions through Friday, March 24. For a mention in our press release, please respond by Monday, March 13.

Event schedule TBA

Event Details

Table Deposit:
A $10 fee will reserve your table and help support The City Reliquary. You can submit the $10 table deposit in the Other field on our Artfully donation page. Be sure to note “Collectors Night 2017 table” in the Special Instructions area of the Checkout page.

Collector’s Rights and Responsibilities:
Collections will remain in the care and protection of their owners. The owner understands that photo documentation may be taken of his/her display and used for press and other promotional purposes. Protective measures will be taken to assure that all collections are respectfully guarded from harm, but neither The City Reliquary nor New York Fire Museum is responsible for any damage or loss.

Presenters will transport and set up their collections between 3:00 and 4:30 PM on Saturday, April 8. Collectors must remove displays from the premises by 9 PM.

Display Guidelines:
We invite you to display your collection as creatively as you wish.  In the past, collectors have taken a “school science fair” approach and used a trifold display board. Flat objects, background information, or titles and informative labels work well against a cardboard backdrop. Helpful display accessories include: small boxes to raise objects; fabric to drape over table tops; glass or Plexiglas/acrylic vitrines; pins; clips; labels; extra lights; and extension cords. The New York City Fire Museum does not allow collectors to attach anything to the walls of the ballroom.

Collector’s Night 2015

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Collector’s Night 2015
Presented by The City Reliquary Museum
Hosted at Brooklyn Historical Society
Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

The City Reliquary Museum is proud to present its annual Collector’s Night, a celebration of unique ephemera and those who curate it. Every year, collectors with a passion for amassing the unusual gather to present their objects and the fascinating stories behind them. This year we’ll meet at Brooklyn Historical Society on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 PM. Admission: $10, $5 for BHS and Green-Wood members. Beer generously provided by Brooklyn Brewery. Sandwiches from Hope Deli!

NelsonThe first part of the event presents the Treasures in the Trash collection of Nelson Molina, retired DSNY worker. We’ll begin with Kelly Adams’s One Man’s Trash (run time: 17 min.), first screened in the 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival. Next, a discussion by Dr. Robin Nagle, DSNY Anthropologist-in-Residence and Director of the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought, NYU. (Watch her in this TED talk!) We’ll end with a Q&A with Nelson Molina himself.

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The second part of our event features…you! All collectors will give a brief show-&-tell of their displays. Confirmed displays include taxidermy and jarred animal specimens from Morbid Anatomy Museum guest lecturers; archival 16-mm cartoons; classic Broadway memorabilia & artifacts; unusual record formats; mutilated/altered US currency; and more! Cameo appearances by Paul Lukas and Harley Spiller, aka Inspector Collector.

Want to show off your own collection? Submit a form! We’ll accept submissions for table displays through November.

Questions? Contact us at collector@cityreliquary.org or by phone at (718) R-U-CIVIC

Photo credit:
Ashtrays from “Treasures in the Trash”: James Mulry
Still from “One Man’s Trash” (dir. Kelly Adams): Kelly Adams
Mark Splatter’s Anole lizards in a jar: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

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Christina Ray is a co-founder of the brilliant on-line project called “Glowlab.” She also collects “Dead Umbrellas” from the streets in our neighborhood. In a city where umbrellas magically appear on every busy corner during a rainstorm, you can imagine a few of these become disposable. One big gust of wind can create all new types of umbrella forms, most of which get tossed onto the curb. My favorite in her collection had been run over many times by traffic until even the metal handle became paper thin. Christina also presented a collection of “Pen Test Papers” which she gathered from stationers and art stores.

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Harley “Inspector Collector” Spiller with his line up of fortune teller hand bills. Harley also created an impromptu workshop where guests could design their own hand bills on-site. An excellent way to bulk up his collection with such a sizable crowd on hand!

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Here is New York’s famous WFMU disc jockey, Fabio. Instead of spinning vinyl, on this night Fabio was playing a sample of his 8-track recordings, “the failed format.” Fabio is also a co-owner of Williamsburgh’s favorite record store, “Earwax,” on Bedford Avenue and North 5th Street.

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is Eddie Gonzales of the Classic Riders Bicycle Club. Eddie rolled with his 1964 Schwinn Jaguar and his vintage Schwinn Orange Krate chopper. Both bikes where cutom restored with original parts by Eddie. He also brought in an impressive collection of G.I. Joe action figures (remember the old big ones?) and Hot Wheel cars. In Puerto Rico, racing Hot Wheel cars on custom made tracks is a popular pastime.

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Mr. Bill Scanga presents his Museum for the Collection of Extraterrestrial Biological Entity Figurines (M.C.E.B.E.F.) and the Parenthetical Eyeball Project (P.E.P.) Notice the high-grade, professional quality display case featuring an undetermined mass of occular figurines. Of course, being the Reliquary’s V.P. of Collections, Bill had to represent a high class presentation!

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Here, Rose Bochansky is displaying her pyramid of canned mackerel brought in from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, PA. A photo of her grocery store stack was featured in the New York Sun following the event! A closer look will reveal a cicada broach on her lapel. Serendipitously, the same broach was featured in Peter Arckle’s Cicada collection.