Collecting #1: Forrest J. Ackerman's Ackermansion

Beginning in 1958, Forrest J. Ackerman (born 1916, died 2008), was editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland for 190 issues. Open by appointment for almost half a century, the ‘Akermanuseum’ houses some 300.000 horror, sci-fi and special effect items.

Mike Kelley on Forrest J. Ackerman's collection :
“Forrest J. Ackerman former editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, has created the largest existing collection of horror and fantasy film special effects objects, which are displayed in his home in the Hollywood Hills. Touring it is like walking through a morgue. Everywhere there are recognizable fragments of Hollywood film reality. But, unlike a normal museum where things are organized in a seemingly logical way, his collection is arranged like a child’s bedroom – things are pilled everywhere in a cacophony of film history. In one corner there is a rubber cast of Jame Fonda’s breasts used in the filming of Barbarella (1968) and a wall of life masks of actors (including those of Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price). In another, a faux black panther head from The Most Dangerous Game (1932), the head of an extraterrestrial from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and various others claws, body parts and models from films long forgotten. On a shelf is a small clay animation figure by Ray Harryhausen, experienced on the movie screen as a gigantic monster. Upstairs, in the living room, is a one-eyed blob from an episode of the science fiction television series Outer Limits. This prop is close to five feet high, yet I remember it as almost microscopic on the TV show. You realize that to experience the projected figures on the movie theater screen as life-size involves the reduction of your own body to the size of a doll; while with television, conversely, you must mentally blow yourself up to the size of a giant to account for the minuscule scale of the figures on the small screen. All of this hit home when I was confronted with Akerman’s collection of objects never meant to be seen in the light of day but only under the magic lantern of film-induced day dreams. Refusing to give up their dream-like reality, his ‘statues” keep me detoured outside of consciousness. Thjey were too familiar as intensely felt simply to become objects.”
From : Mike Kelley, “Playing with Dead Things”, The Uncanny, Verlag der Buchandlung Walther König, Cologne, Tate Liverpool, (1993) 2004, p. 28