Longtime collector and enthusiast Gary Greenberg has sold his incredible
Popeye collection to Steve Geppi, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond
Greenberg said that he is happy that the
collection was going to a good home and that portions of it would be on display
at the Gallery for visitors to see.
"I'm really honored that Gary would
entrust this collection to us," Geppi said. "To see the breadth, depth and
quality of what he's assembled is breathtaking."
Geppi, who was already a
serious Popeye collector himself, said that some of the items would be
prominently displayed at Diamond International Galleries, while others would be
seen at an upcoming museum exhibition in Baltimore in 2006. Others, particular
items that are duplicates from his personal collection, may be offered through
Hake's Americana & Collectibles in the future.
Born in 1955,
Greenberg said he always gravitated to Popeye.
"He's human. He's not a
cat or a mouse or a duck. He's not a different type of image in our minds," he
said. "He's a guy that just won't give up, that you just can't
Starting out with the TV cartoon version when he was a child,
Greenberg said he also saw the 1930s cartoons interspersed with the then-current
version. This helped him get a feel from the start that there were different
eras of the character, but that he was basically the same relatively timeless
With training in illustration and as he progressed in his
career in advertising, Greenberg began collecting, and he said he was fortunate
to start at the top. He began his efforts with what were some of the more
expensive items instead of at the opposite end of the spectrum.
basically started from the top down," he said, pointing out that his art
training informed his decision making as he bought simply what he found visually
He quickly developed a reputation of collecting only the best
and formed lasting relationships with dealers and other collectors as he
assembled his one-of-kind collection.
Greenberg attributes the lasting
appeal of Popeye to the "David versus Goliath" spirit of rooting for the
underdog to triumph over evil. We'll all get a chance to see if he's right as
Popeye's Voyage:The Quest for Pappy, a brand new animated special, airs
tonight, December 17, 2005, on Fox TV.