Phil Collins will Continue his Infatuation with the Alamo

The British musician donates 200-plus Alamo artifacts but says he’ll keep collecting.

British musician Phil Collins said he was just a kid when he fell in love with the romanticized television versions of the Battle of the Alamo. A chance encounter with a Davy Crocket letter years later sparked an enormous collection of artifacts from the battleground, part of which was donated to the Texas General Land Office, which attained authority of the Alamo in 2011. During a ceremony at the mission on Thursday, June 26, Collins said he was glad to be bringing the items back home. “I am enormously pleased and proud to have my collection ‘going home’ to the Alamo.” Collins said.

During an event in front of the Alamo with Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Collins said while he looked into having his collection split up between museums, he decided it best if people were able to enjoy the collection as a whole, and having it rest at the Alamo will allow him to do just that (after some construction). Part of the collection will be shipped in October, and for many of them, it will be the first time they return to the site since 1836.  The remainder of the 200-plus items donated by Collins will eventually be housed in a new visitor’s center, that the Texas General Land Office will begin to raise funds for at a gala this fall. “This is the mother of all Alamo collections,” Patterson said. “It needs a world-class facility to be stored and displayed in so future generations can be inspired by it.”

Collins said it was after he encountered a letter written by Davy Crocket in the 1980s, his eyes were opened to the fact that pieces from the historic battle were still around. “Before long, I started spending money on that, money I had made from music.” Collins says. “Some people would buy Ferraris, some people would buy houses, I bought old bits of metal and old bits of paper, and before long I had this very large collection.” Though he is donating a large amount of his collection, Collins says he is determined to keep collecting, and plans to forward on the pieces he finds (after he’s enjoyed them for a time) to the Alamo.

Anyone interesting in seeing the collection before it goes on exhibit can turn to Collins’ The Alamo and Beyond, a 384-page book Collins published in 2012, filled with pictures of the artifacts in his collection. “To me, these items aren’t just about a battle,” Collins says, “they are about the idea of the men and women having a choice and staying to fight for what they believed to be just and right. That’s what makes these things special.” 


This post was originally posted on sanantoniomag.com

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