John McDonanld; 26/7/08
Collecting is a compulsive-obsessive form of behaviour for which there is no cure, short of running out of money. The great collectors, no matter how pathological, often end up as culture heroes – founders of museums and university departments, generous donors to public art galleries and major exhibitions. The collector is driven to acquire and possess certain objects of desire but this does not mean that he or she does not want to share the acquisitions with the largest possible audience. I dare say that the smallest category of collectors is those who hoard away their treasures for purely private delectation. For most collectors, part of their pleasure derives from the enjoyment it inspires in others. Naturally, we all crave reassurance: some confirmation that we have made the right choices and, by implication, are people of taste and distinction. But there is a special gratification in being acclaimed by experts in the field, by prominent dealers, connoisseurs and academics.