Artists as collectors/ archivists/ hoarders

Stanley Kubrick “Cinema’s most renowned director was also the industry’s biggest hoarder

Andy Warhol, a compulsive collector and shopaholic who never threw anything away, applied a method to his acquisitive madness. As rapidly as his stuff accumulated—cultural ephemera, source material and casette tapes—he put it in boxes, sealed and dated. The Time Capsules, arguably his most massive work, a self-portrait in the form of a miscellaneous archive, went largely unknown until his death. Every few months the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, where the collection is kept, exhumes the contents of a previously unopened Time Capsule for display.

What you should do is get a box for a month and drop everything in it and at the end of the month lock it up. Then date it and send it over to New Jersey. You should try to keep track of it, but if you can’t and you lose it that’s fine because it’s one less thing to think about, another load off your mind. - Warhol

An Archive occasionally takes the form of a landfill, with treasures buried among heaps of disorder and decomposition.

Surprise Bounty for Cleanup Artist

Harry Shunk had photographs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and he worked with some of the great artists of the late 20th century. Mr. Shunk was a recluse and a compulsive hoarder.

Their fates crossed in 2006 under the worst of circumstances: in Mr. Shunk’s West Village apartment, where his body had decomposed for about 10 days before it was found, upside down and trapped by stacks of his accumulated possessions, with only his ankles and his feet visible.

“There was a stink coming out of there that was out of this world,” recalled Mr. Kelly, 

From among the seven dumpsters worth of stuff packed floor to ceiling, the cleanup crew unearthed a trove of 2,000 major artworks including prints by Yves Klein (Leap into the Void), Andy Warhol (Monroe prints) and Christo, now part of a major collection.