Richmondites’ private collections on display at Richmond Museum

Obsessions: Every Collector Has a Story is on show now until Sept. 4, 2019

Many of us collect things, but some people have taken collecting to a whole different level.

In a new exhibition at Richmond Museum, thousands of items collected by Richmondites, from toy soldiers to a Hindi god, are on display.

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“What you see here is the cream of the cream of the people in Richmond who are collectors,” said Greg Walker, chair of Richmond Museum.

“The idea started when our staff said, ‘what can we do in Richmond?’  We found out very quickly there is a lot of people who collect things, including many of the staff members.”

Collections include RCMP uniforms, sewing machines, books, costumes, trolls, mineral stones and everything about the Hanson Boys – an American rock band.

The exhibition includes an outstanding collection, which boasts a Hindu god, a door from India, a Chinese Terracotta Warrior and a Brazilian costume to name but a few items.

This collection is part of a larger collection amassed by Vancouver entrepreneur and collector Helmut Eppich, who had a very diverse workforce and travelled the world to collect objects from every country where he had an employee, bringing the items back to Canada.

“He [the collector] has donated a lot of these collections to Richmond Museum. This is a way for us to celebrate the diversity of Richmond,” said Walker.

Richmond Museum
Greg Walker, chair of Richmond Museum, is pictured in front of the Eppich Collections. Daisy Xiong photo

Another outstanding collection shows off thousands of toy soldiers. Walker said the collectors spent two days lining them up in perfect order.

“The collector is someone who has real passion for toy soldiers. Such detail only gathers among those who really really believe in their collections,” said Walker.

Ana Alfieri is an employee at the museum and is also a contributor to the exhibition. She has been following the American rock band the Hanson Boys since 1997.

“I have loved them for the past 21 years. I have seen them in 10 cities, in 23 concerts,” said Alfieri.

I always buy their T-shirts, have the original CDs, and posters, which are everywhere on my bedroom walls.”

Alfieri said she is “a little embarrassed but also very proud and excited” to show off her collection.

“I want to tag it in social media and hope the Boys will be able to see it,” said an excited Alfieri.

Walker said he hopes that by visiting the exhibition, people who love collecting will realize that they are not alone.

“If you have passion and a collection, it’s okay. Be proud of it,” said Walker.

“Everybody has a collection. I hope the exhibition will inspire people to feel like talking about their collections more.”

Obsessions: Every Collector Has a Story is on show now at Richmond Museum until Sept. 4, 2019.

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