On a recent image search I came across this article about the fairly unrecognized and nearly unknown New Zealand collector, Fred Butler. As an avid pack rat (perhaps you'd like to see my storage room sometime) I felt a fond kinship with the “eccentric” man who not only saved the history of his beloved home town of New Plymouth when others found it worthless, he lived his later years in a home he shared with 13 cats(!) which was described in The Sunday Express as:
“No ordinary home. Every shelf wall and table has a collection of objects?Mr Butler has an estimated 80,000 books, wherever you look there are shelves of them?upstairs galleries hold trunks of 19th Century clothes sealed against moth and mildew.”
Ahh, sounds like a dream home to me.
He was a determined man who suffered for his passion of collecting. Eventually he sold his collection to the Tauranga Museum and he himself lived in their historic village, but it did not end well.
“One of the problems being his insistence of sunbathing in the nude on the veranda of the house he was provided at the Historic Village.”
Now his life's work has been dispersed throughout the country including Waikato Museum and Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery. Other than those collections, only this article is still around to honor such an awesome individualist.