Sunday, December 12, 2010

Collector Profile Brian Whitley

My Background:

I’m a Southerner, born and bred, through and through. I was born in Newnan, GA in 1973 but have lived in Macon, GA the last 8 years. Trish is my very patient and indulgent wife. We have 2 wonderful little boys. Sam is 6 years old and Brice is 3 1/2 years old. I attended the University of Georgia and obtained a degree in International Business. My wife and I own and operate Rainbow International Restoration & Cleaning ( which is a disaster restoration company as well as carpet/upholstery cleaning. Being small business owners affords me the opportunity to pursue my hobbies which include all outdoor activities (camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, sports) and art collecting. Something most people don't know about me is that we own a dirt track race car and I have a lot of fun racing it on Saturday nights!
How I Started Collecting Bookplates:

I have way too many things that I like to collect! But when I step back and boil it all down the common denominator is art. I started collecting comic books when I was 13 years old and that eventually led me to buying original comic book art. I have a fairly large collection with several important pieces. In my young adult years I became fascinated with Japanese art, particularly woodblock cuts. In late October of this year I had an itch for some new art so I started searching for Japanese woodblock prints on eBay. Well, one thing led to another and I found myself looking instead at some wood engravings by a Czech artist named Jan Konupek (he is now one of my favorite graphic artists). Literally 8 hours later, I felt like I half-way understood what an Ex Libris bookplate was and I haven't been the same since. A month and half into collecting bookplates I find myself richer in the knowledge of bookplates and poorer in the wallet.

What I Collect:

My collecting interests are fairly scattered ,which will continue to pose a problem to my wallet. I am mostly interested in pictorial plates in all manners of production. However, the more I see and learn the more I find myself drawn to woodcuts, wood engravings and etchings. Like many others, I am sure, I really enjoy plates by the "American Masters" such as E.D. French, J.W. Spenceley, A.N. Macdonald, W.F. Hopson, & S.L. Smith. Other notable artists that I really enjoy are J.J. Lankes, Asa Cheffetz, Paul Landacre, Claude Bragdon, Dan Burne Jones, Carl Junge, & Allen Lewis to name a few. European artists that I enjoy are Jan Konupek, F. Kobliha, J. Hodek, Bruno Bramanti, Adolfo de Carolis, & Emil Doepler. I am on the verge of heading down the path of collecting Presidential bookplates. My heart says "GO!" but my wallet says "Listen to The Ventures and Walk, Don't Run!"

Themes or topics that I like are: pictorials of outdoors activities (particularly fishing and hunting), Greek/Roman mythology, World War II, science fiction, political themes, bookplates that have ties to the State of Georgia, and Gothic imagery to name a few

For now my collection is arranged in binders by country, then artists, then owner. I have separate binders for American Masters and for my favorite European artists. I do have plans to mat and frame some of my favorites.

I am also doing my best to amass a reference library. In some instances , this is a more difficult challenge than finding bookplates!

My Contact information is
Ian Schoenherr has written about E.D. French and Howard Pyle on his blog (12/11/2010)
Here is a link:
Fellow Collector Gabe Konrad is offering custom designed boxes with assortments of small bookplates . Here is a link:
One final note- I would be delighted to receive collector profiles from collectors outside the U.S.
Don't be shy . Send a paragraph or two about your bookplate collection to
See you next Sunday

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