A Beautiful Collection of Pencils

from the collection of pencils of Bob Van Breda

This gorgeous collection of pencils should send waves of excitement through the brain’s pleasure centers in writers, artists, collectors and anybody with a penchant for Things Organized Neatly. The systematized implements belong to Bob Van Breda whose Giant Pencils were recently shown at Electric Works in San Francisco. For those who missed the display of leviathan lead, Electric Works’ Richard Lang shows us a virtual gallery of some of Van Breda’s amazing collection.

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Van Breda began his collection of pencils in 1981. Here’s Lang on the value of collecting:

All collections gain value by telling a story. A branch of semiotics traces the steps of an object as it moves from being just one more “something” into something useful then into something of great value. How does a chipped chunk of pebble picked out of the welter of stones in East Africa, identified as “the earliest tool known” end up as priceless evidence in a glass case in the museum of human development? How do the skeins of cheap auto body paint dribbled onto a 4 x 8 foot piece of fiberboard by Jackson Pollock sell for $140 million dollars?

Lang sees Van Breda’s collection of pencils as a story of human imagination and the will to communicate.

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Chalk Boxes, collection of Bob Van Breda

Richard Lang’s words and poetry pair beautifully with these photos of Bob Van Breda’s pencil paraphernalia. Click through to see the pics I’ve nicked for my OCD Art archive, but I highly recommend visiting the SF Electric Works blog for the full experience.

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Bakelite, collection of Bob Van Breda

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

School Days, collection of Bob Van Breda

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Collector’s Pencil Sharpeners, collection of Bob Van Breda

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Mechanical Pencils, collection of Bob Van Breda

from the collection of Bob Van Breda

Crayons and Colored Pencils, collection of Bob Van Breda