Kitsch

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My new book “Aged To Perfection” is finally in bookstores throughout the country. It’s a Country Living book about adding rustic charm to your modern home inside and out. One of my favorite chapters is on retro collections under which I have a section called “Kitsch.” Of German origin, the word kitsch came into use in the nineteenth century and has been used to categorize art that is considered to be a tasteless copy of an existing style. It was originally associated with art that is sentimental. Today, garden gnomes and other lawn ornaments are often considered kitschy, as is a collection of Cupie dolls. Such items, while looked down upon by serious art collectors, are highly desirable among retro collectors. I think of these items as particularly appealing to Key West homeowners as it seems to go with that style of decorating. It isn’t that the houses are tasteless, it’s that I think of Key West, more than any other place, as expressing a sense of humor and appreciation for high camp.

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