Collections

“The banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual, […] How are we to speak of these common things, how to track them down, how to flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they are mired, how to give them meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what it is, who we are.”

-Georges Perec, Species of Spaces, 1974

Georges Perec (French: [peʁɛk, pɛʁɛk];[1] 7 March 1936 – 3 March 1982) was a French novelistfilmmakerdocumentalist, and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group. His father died as a soldier early in the Second World War and his mother was murdered in the Holocaust, and many of his works deal with absence, loss, and identity, often through word play.[2]

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From Georges Perec, An Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and the Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Nineteen Hundred Seventy Four.

    

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Dean Baldwin, Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Two Thousand and Six (After Perec), 2007.
Dean Baldwin, Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Two Thousand and Six (After Perec), 2007.
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Dean Baldwin, Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Two Thousand and Six (After Perec)” Installation of 2042 Digital C-Prints Photography

On Kawara (河原 温 Kawara On, December 24, 1932 – July 10, 2014) was a Japanese conceptual artist who lived in New York City from 1965. Kawara belonged to a broadly international generation of Conceptual artists that began to emerge in the mid-1960s, stripping art of personal emotion, reducing it to nearly pure information or idea and greatly playing down the art object. Along with Lawrence WeinerJoseph KosuthHanne Darboven and others, Kawara gave special prominence to language.[2]

 

On Kawara,Oct. 26, 1971 (Today series no. 97), 1971 cardboard box, newspaper, and liquitex on canvas painting: 10 1/8 x 13 in., box bottom: 10 1/2 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/4 in. box lid: 10 5/8 x 13 1/4 x 1 3/16 in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2007. The Panza Collection
On Kawara,Oct. 26, 1971 (Today series no. 97), 1971
cardboard box, newspaper, and liquitex on canvas
painting: 10 1/8 x 13 in., box bottom: 10 1/2 x 13 3/8 x 1 3/4 in. box lid: 10 5/8 x 13 1/4 x 1 3/16 in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2007. The Panza Collection
The artist's 13th Street Studio. New York 1966
The artist’s 13th Street Studio. New York 1966
I Went, 1968–79 Clothbound loose-leaf binders with plastic sleeves and inserted printed matter Twenty-four volumes, 11 1/2 x 11 13/4 x 3 inches (29.2 x 29.8 x 7.6 cm) each Sleeve size: 11 1/16 x 8 5/8 inches (28.1 x 21.9 cm) Inserts: Ink on photocopy, 11 x 8 inches (27.9 x 20.3 cm) each Collection of the artist
I Went, 1968–79
Clothbound loose-leaf binders with plastic sleeves and inserted printed matter
Twenty-four volumes, 11 1/2 x 11 13/4 x 3 inches (29.2 x 29.8 x 7.6 cm) each
Sleeve size: 11 1/16 x 8 5/8 inches (28.1 x 21.9 cm)
Inserts: Ink on photocopy, 11 x 8 inches (27.9 x 20.3 cm) each
Collection of the artist

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Postcards-two set each the cards list the artist's time of getting up, the date, the place of residence and the name and address of the receiver another series of postcards, I Got Up At, rubber-stamped with the time he got up that morning-1968-1979- economy of means and surprising visual elegance, -Kawara creates a complex meditation on time, existence, and the relationship between art and life Also a kind of documentation of a life – collection of details, a framework within which he lived – but that leaves out so much.
“Postcards: These are two sets each, of cards that list the artist’s time of getting up, the date, the place of residence and the name and address of the receiver. In another series of postcards, he declared I Got Up At, rubber-stamped with the time he got up that morning, 1968-1979. With an economy of means and surprising visual elegance, Kawara creates a complex meditation on time, existence, and the relationship between art and life. Also a kind of documentation of a life – a collection of bare facts, a framework within which he lived – but that leaves out so much.”
On Kawara 5 MARS 1973 From I Got Up, 1968–79 Stamped ink on postcard, 4 × 5 inches (10.2 × 12.7 cm) New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Gift of Lucy R. Lippard, 1999
On Kawara
5 MARS 1973
From I Got Up, 1968–79
Stamped ink on postcard, 4 × 5 inches (10.2 × 12.7 cm)
New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Gift of Lucy R. Lippard, 1999

 

On Kawara, I Got Up, postcards, 1968-1979
On Kawara, I Got Up, postcards, 1968-1979

 

On Kawara. Telegram to Sol LeWitt, February 5, 1970. From I Am Still Alive, 1970–2000. Telegram. LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut.
On Kawara. Telegram to Sol LeWitt, February 5, 1970. From I Am Still Alive, 1970–2000. Telegram. LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut.

 

telegrams in the 70s- we are forced to think about the day they will stop arriving -by drawing attention to the fact that he is still alive, Kawara forces us to consider the negative: his death For a while – he tweeted them See if anyone can follow On Kawara!
“The telegrams in the 70s forced us to think about the day they would stop arriving. By drawing attention to the fact that he is still alive, Kawara forces us to consider the negative: his death. For a while – he tweeted them.” And it seems someone still is:  See if you can follow On Kawara on Twitter: https://twitter.com/On_Kawara

 

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Edward Ruscha TWENTYSIX GASOLINE STATIONS 1963 artist’s book

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“Ed Ruscha: produced bookworks documenting L.A’s architectural landscape. Including ’ Every Building on the Sunset Strip’, ’Twentysix Gasoline Stations’, and ‘Parking Lots (aerial views)’. Ruscha continued to publish similar books, filled with photographs depicting commonplace items or locations that commented on the sterility and anonymity of the Los Angeles landscape. These works are now considered pivotal in the history of the contemporary artist’s book.”

 

 Ed Ruscha Collection of Ten Artists Books, 1969-1978 Paperback books 17.8 x 14 x 0.3 cm (7.01 x 5.51 x 0.12 in) - Dimensions variable
Ed Ruscha
Collection of Ten Artists Books, 1969-1978
Paperback books
17.8 x 14 x 0.3 cm (7.01 x 5.51 x 0.12 in) – Dimensions variable
Ed Ruscha Nine Swimming Pools 1968-1997 nine color coupler prints each: 16 x 16 in.
Ed Ruscha Nine Swimming Pools 1968-1997 nine color coupler prints each: 16 x 16 in.

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Ed Ruscha Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles 1967, 30 gelatin silver prints
Ed Ruscha Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles 1967, 30 gelatin silver prints
From his first prints and artist's books made in the early 1960s to his latest projects, Ruscha has created a body of editioned work that is uniquely Parking Lots (aerial views) 30 1967/99 American in both subject and sensibility. He first began making prints in the late 1950s, and produced his first lithograph in 1962, which was soon followed by his landmark book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Containing 26 color and black-and-white photographs of filling stations on Route 66 between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City, the book was like nothing the art world had seen before. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ruscha continued to publish similar books, filled with photographs depicting commonplace items or locations that commented on the sterility and anonymity of the Los Angeles landscape. These works are now considered pivotal in the history of the contemporary artist's book.
“From his first prints and artist’s books made in the early 1960s to his latest projects, Ruscha has created a body of editioned work that is uniquely Parking Lots (aerial views) 30 1967/99 American in both subject and sensibility. He first began making prints in the late 1950s, and produced his first lithograph in 1962, which was soon followed by his landmark book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Containing 26 color and black-and-white photographs of filling stations on Route 66 between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City, the book was like nothing the art world had seen before. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ruscha continued to publish similar books, filled with photographs depicting commonplace items or locations that commented on the sterility and anonymity of the Los Angeles landscape. These works are now considered pivotal in the history of the contemporary artist’s book.” From Walkerart.org.

 

Ed Ruscha Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles1967 Detail of Dodgers Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave One of 30 gelatin silver prints 9.4 x 39.4 cm
Ed Ruscha Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles1967 Detail of Dodgers Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave One of 30 gelatin silver prints 9.4 x 39.4 cm
Maggs’ photographs consistently document systems of classification and identification, often isolating a single item within each photograph. His work builds a taxonomy of objects that invites the translation of visual information to experience. “ I use systems of identification as an underlying spine in all my work. Imposing this structure frees me to explore territories I would never have imagined. ” — Arnaud Maggs
Arnaud Maggs’ photographs consistently document systems of classification and identification, often isolating a single item within each photograph. His work builds a taxonomy of objects that invites the translation of visual information to experience. “ I use systems of identification as an underlying spine in all my work. Imposing this structure frees me to explore territories I would never have imagined. ” — Arnaud Maggs
Maggs individually photographed dozens of tiny, brightly-coloured fabric tags from the 19th century. He presented them blown up and in a massive grid. Each was inscribed with the name of the child labourer assigned to it.
Maggs individually photographed dozens of tiny, brightly-coloured fabric tags from the 19th century. He presented them blown up and in a massive grid. Each was inscribed with the name of the child labourer assigned to it.
For his Notifications series, Maggs photographed antique French death notices, presenting them similarly in an imposing display that highlighted their heavy graphic qualities. Up close, each takes on personal resonance as the individual expression of grief it is.
For his Notifications series, Maggs photographed antique French death notices, presenting them similarly in an imposing display that highlighted their heavy graphic qualities. Up close, each takes on personal resonance as the individual expression of grief it is.

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“Gregory Blackstock:”Seattle-based artist Gregory Blackstock is an autistic savant who, after retiring from a lifetime as a pot washer at the age of 58, created obsessive, meticulous drawings he’d been making over 18 years of after-hours…his astounding visual lists of everything from hats to owl varieties, made with a pencil, a black marker, some crayons, and superhuman attention to detail.” from Brainpickings.org.

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“His remarkable memory serves Blackstock well as he renders images on paper with paper, markers, and crayons. I commented on how many tiny differences there were in the teeth from one saw blade to the next in his piece The Saws. He replied, in a somewhat frustrated tone, that it took him two visits to Home Depot to memorize them all.” From Karen Light-Piña’s book: Blackstock’s Collections.

Gregory Blackstock, The Huts, 28.5" x 45 3/4", 2013, graphite, crayon, ink, marker on paper
Gregory Blackstock, The Huts, 28.5″ x 45 3/4″, 2013, graphite, crayon, ink, marker on paper
THE HISTORIC WORLD STRONGHOLDS, 2013 Graphite, colored pencil and permanent marker on paper 31.5 x 27 inches
THE HISTORIC WORLD STRONGHOLDS, 2013 Graphite, colored pencil and permanent marker on paper 31.5 x 27 inches

TOM FRIEDMAN

Tom Friedman, Everything (Every Word in the Dictionary)
Tom Friedman, Everything (Every Word in the Dictionary on a 81/2 x 11 piece of paper), 1992-95.

“Tom Friedman (b. 1965, Saint Louis, MO) makes extraordinary work that explores ideas of perception, logic, and possibility. His often painstakingly rendered sculptures and works on paper inhabit the grey areas between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny. His work is often deceptive, its handmade intricacy masked by a seemingly mass-produced or prefabricated appearance. Friedman’s deadpan presentation implies content and form are seamless; expectations are overturned as the viewer slowly perceives that chasm between illusion and reality.” From luhringaugustine.com

 

2002 started to photograph everything she purchased, until 2004 2004 started drawing credit card statements, she’ll continue until they’re paid off-started drawing purchases as a break from drawing statements.
In 2002 Kate Bingham-Bert started to photograph everything she purchased, until 2004 2004 started drawing credit card statements, she’ll continue until they’re paid off-started drawing purchases as a break from drawing statements.

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“What did you buy today? When artist and illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt asked herself that question, the result was 2,922 drawings, made over the course of eight years. Books, gallery shows, and major media coverage ensued, all infused with her playful and startling take on brands and consumer objects. The things we buy, the things we discard, and the community interaction that cycles of consumption can inspire. It encourages people—starting with the artist herself—to be more mindful of what they buy. Every day for eight years, she made a drawing of something she purchased: a pumpkin spice latte, two pears, or “incredible cactus: $18.” From liquidagency.com

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Lenka Clayton

Perfect Spheres from the Supermarket
2015 / sculpture / 45 round objects, numbered pins / photo: Tom Little
I purchased every object from Shursave supermarket in Pittsburgh that could be described as being a perfect sphere.
 

Kelly Mark 2003, “Everything Is Interesting” “Kelly Mark used badges, postcards, interventions and installations to extend the reach of the work beyond the institution. Badges and postcards printed with the statement “everything is interesting” (also the title of the exhibition) were circulated around Birmingham – they were on sale at the gallery but also distributed through letter-drops and mailings. Mark saw these anonymous statements as small works of art feeding into the fabric of life in the city, circulating her message by an ephemeral low-key strategy characteristic of her focus on the minutiae of everyday life. By disseminating the idea way beyond the circles of the initiated and those who visited the gallery, the badges offered a modest epiphany to an unknown and random audience.

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Kelly Mark, I Really Should, Audio file, 2002

Gather: Balloons, 2007 – 2009

This work is an archive of digitally scanned clusters of decaying balloons found on the beaches of Toronto Island. These tokens are witness to celebrations, social gatherings of families and friends. The images are a symbol marking life’s passages that now remain as memory. What remains in the landscape are the sand-encrusted fragments of balloons, ribbons and other debris: the forgotten detritus of social occasions now reborn in the digital world. This work also references the ways in which botanical specimens and social artifacts are collected and documented. Gather is a contemporary take on the Victorian Cabinet of Curiosities. From http://aprilhickox.com/

April Hilcox, Gather: Balloons, 2007 – 2009

“The Museum of Found Objects: Toronto (Maharaja and–) is an archive of everyday objects sourced from the Greater Toronto Area’s South Asian neighbourhoods. It is also a response to the AGO exhibition Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, and aims to make connections between the lavish historic objects of Maharaja and more ordinary, present-day items.”

Toronto-based artist Sameer Farooq and his Paris, France-based collaborator Mirjam Linschooten apply the typical functions of a museum – collecting, preparing, interpreting and displaying – to a selection of objects collected from neighbourhoods in Brampton, Mississauga, Scarborough and Milton. By introducing non-precious, surprising and mundane objects into a place of importance, their work challenges the ways in which museums typically portray “culture.” From ago.net

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“Exhibition that was held simultaneously with the AGO show: Maharaja, The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts” Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (France) The Museum of Found Objects: Istanbul (2010) and The Museum of Found Objects: Toronto (2011). The Museum of Found Objects (Museum of Found Objects) is a “pop-up museum”, the idea of which is a paradox. 2. The Museum of Found Objects is a collection of contemporary cultural artefacts that only exists as a collection for a short period of time. 3. This museum does not have a fixed building or exhibition space. It is not a repository, and its contents are regularly dispersed so that the museum itself is ephemeral.
“Exhibition that was held simultaneously with the AGO show: Maharaja, The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts” Sameer Farooq (Canada) and Mirjam Linschooten (France) The Museum of Found Objects: Istanbul (2010) and The Museum of Found Objects: Toronto (2011). The Museum of Found Objects (Museum of Found Objects) is a “pop-up museum”, the idea of which is a paradox.  The Museum of Found Objects is a collection of contemporary cultural artefacts that only exists as a collection for a short period of time. This museum does not have a fixed building or exhibition space. It is not a repository, and its contents are regularly dispersed so that the museum itself is ephemeral.” Excerpts from manifesto of the Museum of Found Objects, http://www.sameerfarooq.com.
4. If a museum is generally understood as an “institution that houses and cares for [curates] a collection of artefacts and other objects of scientific, artstic, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing…” [“Museum” – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed July 15, 2011], The Museum of Found Objects challenges assumptions about what constitutes the artistic or historical artefact and how their importance is defined or canonised by the historiographic, anthropological or scientific underpinnings of the museum. It reflects on history formalistically and insofar that the institution of the museum is itself a construct of a history that requires critical attention. 5. The objects in The Museum of Found Objects are typically ordinary objects in everyday circulation. These objects may not have a ready cultural value, or be traditionally considered as objects of aesthetic or critical contemplation. TheMuseum of Found Objects thereby examines the means by which objects acquire value.
” If a museum is generally understood as an “institution that houses and cares for [curates] a collection of artefacts and other objects of scientific, artstic, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing…” [“Museum” – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed July 15, 2011], The Museum of Found Objects challenges assumptions about what constitutes the artistic or historical artefact and how their importance is defined or canonised by the historiographic, anthropological or scientific underpinnings of the museum. It reflects on history formalistically and insofar that the institution of the museum is itself a construct of a history that requires critical attention. 5. The objects in The Museum of Found Objects are typically ordinary objects in everyday circulation. These objects may not have a ready cultural value, or be traditionally considered as objects of aesthetic or critical contemplation. TheMuseum of Found Objects thereby examines the means by which objects acquire value.”

 

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“The Museum of Found Objects is a formal setting for the display of selected everyday objects. The collections of The Museum of Found Objects seek to reflect on the quotidian experiences of increasingly consumerist, rapidly globalising urban societies 8. The Museum of Found Objects subverts the “aura” and authority of the museum setting to challenge how knowledge about culture is constructed and canonised by the institution of the museum.”
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“The Museum of Found Objects proposes that a sense of wonder can emerge from our everyday experiences. . The Museum of Found Objects examines and critiques the museological paradigm and the apparent authority with which it represents cultures — specifically non-western cultures that have known a history of colonisation and their problematic relationship to the authoritative, indeed colonising, framework of the museum. In this sense The Museum of Found Objects problematises the Eurocentricism underlying the institution of the museum, seeking to unsettle and thereby critique its colonising authority.”

How, then, do museums manipulate notions of cultural pride and nostalgia in outreaching to culturally marginalised communities? Can museums go beyond the tokenisms of multiculturalism? 19. And how are “westernised” South Asians — anxious to find a sense of belonging in their adopted countries — complicit in promoting an essentialised view of culture and history? 20. The problem of the museum, then, is a problem of representation: who is
“How, then, do museums manipulate notions of cultural pride and nostalgia in outreaching to culturally marginalised communities? Can museums go beyond the tokenisms of multiculturalism?
19. And how are “westernised” South Asians — anxious to find a sense of belonging in their adopted countries — complicit in promoting an essentialised view of culture and history?

20. The problem of the museum, then, is a problem of represe ntation: who is representing whom and how? Who speaks for which community and does that community in fact relate? How do museums engage communities in constructing the narratives of history that represent them? How can museum exhibitions exhibit the contingencies of history? 21. The Museum of Found Objects: Toronto (Maharaja and —) examines the everyday contexts and experiences of the South Asian community who live in towns and cities of the GTA(Greater Toronto Area): in Brampton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Scarborough, Markham.
20. The problem of the museum, then, is a problem of representation: who is representing whom and how? Who speaks for which community and does that community in fact relate? How do museums engage communities in constructing the narratives of history that represent them? 
21. The Museum of Found Objects: Toronto (Maharaja and —) examines the everyday contexts and experiences of the South Asian community who live in towns and cities of the GTA(Greater Toronto Area): in Brampton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Scarborough, Markham.” Above are excerpts from the manifesto of the Museum of Found Objects, http://www.sameerfarooq.com/

The Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Chevalier Jackson Collection

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Sara Berman’s Closet at the Metropolitan Museum

 

Everything in my Father’s wallet / Everything in my wallet : Sara Angelucci

Approximately 96 (10 x 10 inches), 2 (15 x 15 inches) colour photographs

Everything in my father’s wallet …developed from the discovery of my father’s wallet in a box of family memorabilia, ten years after his passing. The wallet emerged intact, as if it had just been removed from his pocket. In examining its contents, (55 items including driver’s license, old photographs, heart medication prescription, etc.) I became fascinated by how these items built a portrait of this man – an immigrant, labourer, father, husband, hunter…etc.

Indeed, I began to wonder what the contents of my wallet would reveal about me. By bringing the contents of the two wallets together the work not only builds two portraits, or suggests clues of a father/daughter relationship, but themes which go beyond the individual owners emerge. For example, my father’s wallet contained a Steel Worker’s of America Union Card, while mine contained a University Alumni Card, my father’s a hunting license and a note permitting him to hunt on private property, while mine contained cinema, gallery and library memberships. These items not only point to activity, but to ways of living. Presented in two grids of approximately 50 photographs each, the relationship between the two raises notions of generational differences, gender differences, and a class/cultural shift resulting from my father’s immigration and lack of formal education, while I was born, educated and raised in Canada. (From http://sara-angelucci.ca/Everything-in-my-Father-s-Wallet2005)

Chevalier Jackson Collection

Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadephia

Chevalier Jackson, MD (1865-1958), was a renowned Philadelphia otolaryngologist and Fellow of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He developed methods and tools for removing foreign objects from human airways. The Jackson Collection includes 2,374 inhaled or swallowed foreign bodies that Dr. Jackson extracted from patients’ throats, esophaguses, and lungs during his almost 75-year-long career. Most of the items are on display.  

Dr. Jackson kept careful records of each object he removed from a patient because he thought this information would be useful to other doctors.  Broncho-esophagology was still in its early stages, and the Jackson Collection was a way for others to learn what to expect when performing a bronchoscopy. Doctors with similar cases could consult Dr. Jackson’s records for the best way to remove a potentially deadly foreign body. His notes included the age and sex of the patient, the type of foreign body, where it was lodged, if anesthesia was used, and how long it took to extract the object. More than 80% of the patients on record were under 15 years old.

The Jackson Collection includes 2,374 inhaled or swallowed foreign bodies that Dr. Jackson removed from patients’ throats, esophaguses, and lungs.

Objects are housed in drawers. Objects extracted from patients include buttons, pins, nuts, coins, bones, screws, dentures and bridges, small toys, among many other items. From http://muttermuseum.org/exhibitions/chevalier-jackson-collection/

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