This exhibition features a selection of private collections borrowed from residents of the Greater Philadelphia area and employees at Philadelphia International Airport. It includes an eclectic variety as some are nostalgic objects of the past—handbags, sewing thimbles, antique glass, airline silverware, and John F. Kennedy ephemera. While others are representative of familiar objects from popular culture—ice cream scoops, bobbleheads, bottle caps, Funko Pop! figures, travel magnets, and Philadelphia Eagles hats. These wide-ranging themes reveal that collecting is an expression of personal interest as well as creativity. Each collector has made individual decisions about what to collect and what objects get added to their collection.
As diverse as the collections are, most have been gathered primarily as a hobby and for the collector’s own enjoyment. While the activity of collecting is a universal experience, each collection is personal and unique as each object often represents a specific remembrance or story. Not only are collections a wonderful record of our culture, they also provide insights about the collector’s interests and personal history.