I love a good thrift store. I love the element of the unknown, the thrill of a deal, the nostalgic connection to our recent past. We go to the thrift store almost every weekend.
It always feels sort of sad and beautiful and funny, all at the same time. A trip to our local Amvets shines a light on the many hundreds of average lives existing simultaneously, like when you drive through a neighborhood at night and see the glow of all the television sets through the living room windows.
Here are all of our mundane, unsophisticated life choices, displayed. Here, the plates we’ve used, the patterns we’ve chosen. The crafts we’ve labored over, the frames we’ve purchased and never used. Board games, old appliances, shirts with silly slogans.
I find myself snapping photos of items that speak to me–whether they’re just quirky or funny, completely weird, or deeply nostalgic. One moment, I am musing over a ridiculous UFO magazine and the next my heart skips a beat as I recognize the same china pattern a loved one had in their home.
I’ve created a little pet project, and I hope you will take a peek! It’s a virtual museum of sorts, a growing display of the things I find while thrifting. I am posting my finds to the Instagram account @museumofthrift. I research each item to learn more about who made it and when.
In these odd scraps of materialism and midcentury Americana, I feel like we find bits of ourselves…the dustier, grimier, less attractive bits, perhaps.
Maybe these items are just junk, but I think there is art in the process of slowing down and reflecting on them more deeply…it’s about fast fashion, ethics and the environment, the items we hold on to and keep in our homes, and the surprising longevity of practical goods. I hope you’ll follow along and find some enjoyment in my little collection of photos!