What Lies Within:the Eclectic Collections of Andrea Noel

Who knew that within this quiet home covered with wisteria, located in a small town in southern Georgia that there lies the most eclectic collections gathered by a very unique woman, Andrea Noel.

I had no idea of the magnitude of items when I first started photographing them over 6 years ago. When I ask Andrea about doing this project she presented me with an envelope that contained a sheet of notebook paper filled, listing over 60 different collections. And so began an interesting discovery of the collector's world.

Starting with bottle caps and matchbooks as a child the collections have exploded into so many different directions. There are dollhouses which are painstakingly set up by scale. There are hundreds of Barbies and dolls of all sizes either being displayed naked or impeccably dressed with coordinating accessories and there is a story to go with each set up. There are wetters, corn holders, kitchen utensils, pin cushions and a wide assortment of shoe shine boxes. There are shoe boxes filled with postcards, alphabetized by state or country then further categorized by alphabetized them by city. Some of the more unusual items are bed pans and urinals (pre-plastic), old framed photos of people that she does not know as well as broken silverware and eyeglasses. There is a wide array of discarded metal ranging from her precious metal to the heavy metal which includes a small anchor. And the list goes on and on.

Andrea can see something special in each of her over collections. And being a Luddite, she feels that it is her way to connect with people, past and present. And of course there is always the thrill of the hunt. She searches estate sales and second hand stores looking for treasures. She has friends as well as employees of the second hand stores that assist her with additional finds. The breadth of all that Andrea has seems endless and she has added new collections to the list since we have started our venture. Her collections are a time capsule of items. I have learned a lot through this experience plus I have established an enduring friendship.

“Collecting is a curious vice, it changes your whole life— your whole way of looking at the world.” Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr.

Latest Projects

Sign up to our weekly newsletter

Stay in the loop