The essay Eduard Fuchs: Collector and Historian Walter Benjamin begins with a seemingly naïve sentence: There are many kinds of collectors and each of them is moved by a multitude of impulses. Behind this statement lies Benjamin’s deep interest regarding both collections and collectors. He
himself was a collector and he understood this activity as a way of understanding and dealing with the modern world. In this sense, a collector’s collection would be a mere symptom or the most evident expression of a stance regarding the problems and manifestations of the reality in which one must live and grow. As to Eduard Fuchs, he analyzes a specific, but nevertheless frequent case: that of a person who gathers certain kinds of objects from the past which are not necessarily valuable in themselves but which still make up a historical collection (specifically, in Fuchs’s case, of satirical and erotic prints and engravings).