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Object Lesson #4: a removable facsimile of a Vietnam-era license plate

Esopus 4 (Spring 2005)
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Alex Shear’s Object Lesson #4

By Alex Shear

For this issue, collector Alex Shear contributes another piece of pop ephemera—a Vietnam-era license plate (presented here as a removable insert) that offers striking contemporary resonances.

Alex Shear has compiled a collection of over 100,000 20th-century pop-culture artifacts in his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In the ‘70s, Shear was a highly successful designer of housewares and clothing; since 1990, he has focused exclusively on acquisition, and objects from his collection have been featured in exhibitions at Manhattan’s Children’s Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, among others.