Many of us collect things, from baseball cards to comic books and dolls. Gary Brockman of Middleton collects buttons.
He fell in love with buttons while working in publishing in New York City. Brockman organized an event for science teachers that involved buttons. Attention quickly shifted from the science to the buttons themselves as some of the teachers oohed and ahhed over the collection on the table. Brockman started asking questions and listening to the stories about the buttons on the table.That day launched him on his current path as a button collector and dealer.
Part of what Brockman loves so much about buttons is that they bring together sociology, art history, technology, industrial history, and psychology – just about anything in human history you can think of is reflected in buttons.
“You really have the whole history of Western culture reflected in buttons,” says Brockman.
Brockman’s buttons span centuries and continents. He participates in button shows and speaks and writes about button history. He’s also active in state and national button organizations.