If you’re in the business of collecting, or would like to begin your own treasure trove of artifacts and memorabilia, nothing could be quite as rewarding as gathering militaria; that is, items related to military history that narrate particular periods of conflict. The pastime of collecting militaria has exploded in the last decade, particularly as important anniversaries have come around, and there has never been a better time to begin your own collection.
The importance of connecting with history via our collections
So, why is collecting militaria so popular? While it’s certainly true that recent anniversaries, including the centenary of World War One, have bolstered the public’s interest in military memorabilia, it’s our deep-seated passion for connecting with our country’s past that really draws us to such artifacts; collecting militaria isn’t only about gathering items together for our own personal pleasure, but about preserving them, and the stories they tell, for future generations. These items are the military’s legacy, and our past, present, and future. In addition, collecting militaria will introduce individuals to a community of likeminded people, all keen to keep history alive; the knowledge of the events that have shaped our country can never grow old if we keep discussing, and honouring them.
The following interview with Zaha Hadid RA took place in the Royal Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts in London’s Mayfair. The invited audience have been generously welcomed byCharles Saumarez Smith, the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, and I ask Zaha:
Zaha, you have said that architecture is not for people who want an easy life. Is this not the case for anyone who wants to excel in his or her job?
There are other professions that are very difficult, but architecture is particularly difficult because your career is reliant on the people you work with, and that’s the first hurdle. The second hurdle is the people you work with as a client. You have no control over the developer or the economics.