Do I sell or donate my collection of animation books, art, and merch?
March 22, 2020 4:16 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with my collection of rare animation books, art, and memorabilia?

Over the past decade I've assembled a lovely collection of things that have brought me a lot of joy. I have 70+ animation books (the "Art and Making of" variety), multiple art prints from famous animators, and pieces of official merch for different fandoms.

Lately, though, having these items around and on display has made me insecure, because I have always worried that people who see them will view me as juvenile or odd. Sometimes this has proved true, sometimes not. So, after years of feeling anxious and exposed any time someone comes over, I've decided it's time to let the majority of my collection go so other people can enjoy it in the ways I no longer can.

So. How do I do this?

Everything is animation related, so think Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar, Sony, etc. A lot of what I have is out of print, in mint condition, and/or vintage.

Is it worth it to try and sell some of this stuff, or would it be better to donate it all to local schools, libraries, and bookstores? Are there arts initiatives in Los Angeles that would like to have these things? Do independent bookstores even accept art? (None of it's framed. Just high quality prints.)

For personal reasons I do not wish to bring anything to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

What would you recommend? Obviously I can't do anything super immediately due to COVID, but I'd like to have a plan ready to go once the shelter in place mandate ends.
posted by Kitchen Witch to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
 
The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco might want your collection. I have no idea if that would be a tax-deductible donation but it might be. You ask if it would be better to sell or donate and that depends on your goal. You haven’t given us enough information to know what your goal is apart from getting rid of the collection. What would make you feel best, donating or attempting to sell, which would probably be more complicated?

Lately, though, having these items around and on display has made me insecure, because I have always worried that people who see them will view me as juvenile or odd.

Marie Kondo encourages people to keep things that bring them joy. You say your collection has brought you a lot of joy. Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to keep your collection and see a therapist about your anxiety before you get rid of it? I have a friend who collects vintage pinups. He owns and continues to buy all kinds of naturalist magazines and men’s magazines from the 1920s through the 1960s. What they have in common is skimpily clad women in period lingerie. There are a ton of collectors who collect all kinds of considerably less potentially offensive things than men’s magazines. Cars, guns, political buttons, laser pointers, potholders, all things Star Wars-related, and animation stuff. I am pretty sure there’s a national organization of people who collect Coca-Cola branded objects.

Collecting is a very human activity. If you are done with this collection that has brought you joy, then I very much hope you find an excellent home or homes for it. If you feel ashamed of your collection and of yourself as a result of judgmental strangers or judgmental family members, I hope you will reconsider your decision and tackle your anxiety rather than your collection. Please flag this and have a moderator remove this comment if it violates the guidelines or is inappropriate. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 8:00 AM on March 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


I know you're not asking for reassurance on your collection's acceptability, but for what it's worth? I'd see your collection and think you were cool as hell.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 9:00 AM on March 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


Since you're in LA, you have easy access (after Coronavirus quarantine) to Van Eaton Galleries, which is one of the premier venues for buying/selling animation-related art. Reach out to them and see what they say. (They also accept queries via email.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:14 AM on March 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I've enjoyed these things for 10+ years and now it's time to let them go. The books should be read, the art should be cherished, and the merch should be played with. The idea of letting it all go is bringing me a lot of comfort -- but I appreciate you asking about it, just in case.

I'll share some photos of all the books later today. :)
posted by Kitchen Witch at 11:35 AM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I’d also love to see what you have—I work in animation so this is definitely of interest to me
posted by sprezzy at 11:45 AM on March 22, 2020


Here are some (but not all) of my books. There are a bunch of larger format titles that are stacked together in such a way that you can't see their spines. They're all out-of-print art books for Mulan, Tarzan, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, and a few Pixar titles as well. After doing a recount I actually have well over 100 in my collection!
posted by Kitchen Witch at 6:32 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


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