Episode 96: Why Collectors Love to Collect: Understanding Your Behavior, with Author Dr. Shirley Mueller


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What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why collectors hate missing the chance to buy a piece they love
  • What makes collecting pleasurable, and why fakes, loss and damage can cause so much pain for collectors
  • The difference between collecting and hoarding
  • Why some people want to collect and others don’t, and how that can impact relationships between collectors and non-collectors
  • How Shirley wrote her book, Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play

About Shirley Mueller

Shirley M. Mueller, MD is an internationally known collector and scholar of Chinese export porcelain, as well as a physician board-certified in neurology and psychiatry. This latter expertise led her to explore her own intentions while collecting art, which, she discovered, are applicable to all art collectors. This understanding is the motivation for her book, Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play. In addition to writing books and academic papers, she is frequently invited to present guest lectures and curate exhibitions based on her extensive porcelain collection and the neuropsychology of the art collector.

Collectors might know they’re drawn to a certain type of art or jewelry, but they often don’t know why. Shirley Mueller, a physician board certified in neurology and psychiatry and a longtime collector of Chinese export porcelain, wanted to know what made her (and all collectors) tick. Her book, Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play delves into the neuropsychology that makes collectors want to collect. She joined the Jewelry Journey Podcast to talk about the impulses that keep collectors going, the knowledge that can help collectors make better decisions, and her own journey as an internationally known collector of Chinese export porcelain. Read the episode transcript here.

Additional resources:


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