Celebrities Who Collect: Accumulating, Decorating & Collecting, Part 13

Clare Danes, who first broke plot boundaries and hearts on the TV show “My So-Called Life,” says she collects mid-century furniture. A USA WEEKEND report (Oct. 7-9, 2011) indicated the Emmy-winning “Homeland” actress, who today plays a bipolar CIA officer, does her shopping on eBay.

Lots of celebrities collect. Why wouldn’t they? But for the celebrity status, they are just like the rest of us. Right?

Well, maybe mostly. Some are better looking. And they get to have one home located in southern California. And then there’s the money thing.

(Why are there weather forecasters on Los Angeles TV? It’s the same forecast. Every day. Steve Martin made a movie playing a role with this theme. Oh! Martin collects art.)

With pretty fair regularity, different antiques trade papers and popular magazines run columns and features about celebrities who collect one thing or another.

Occasionally, reports of celebrity sightings at public auctions occur.

Once, I remember reading about Oprah Winfrey. According to the report, she rather ostentatiously arrived at a New England-area auction of Shaker objects. The press report indicated she purchased a rather expensive item.

The report suggested someone might have been running her up.

And that’s why celebrities prefer telephone or Internet bidding.

Barbra Streisand was a well-known Arts & Crafts collector. So is Brad Pitt.

I don’t know whether actor Jeff Bridges collects. “60 MINUTES,” though, did report he is a practicing ceramist. And that’s a connection to Frans Wildenhain. (I’m available as a consultant when the Wildenhain biopic’s screenplay gets green-lighted.)

I do know that Bridges’ co-star in “Starman” (1984), Karen Allen, is a collector. I used to see her at Arts & Crafts auctions in western Massachusetts. (And she continued to possess every bit the “All-American-Girl” appearance.)

What’s special about celebrities who collect is their status as celebs. Not so much what they collect. Though that, too, might be of interest. If only for purposes of voyeurism.

And it’s not that celebrities are somehow less likely to accumulate stuff. We can be pretty sure they do. But they probably don’t broadcast that fact to the rest of us.

And we know darn well that celebs use decorators. Open virtually any slick, glossy “style” or “shelter” magazine. Wonderful photos of the interiors of celebrity homes … and, often in the image’s cutline, a note about the decorator.

Celebrity collectors. Nice knowing they’re just like us.

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