Andy Warhol was known to be a collector of cookie jars. After Warhol passed away, Gedalio Grinberg, the chairman of the board of the North American Watch Company, who bought most of Warhol’s cookie jars, said of Warhol that "his eye was very special; he saw art where you and me did not see it."
Lee Bofkin
Late 1900s
Early 2000s
At Global Street Art, our collections mirror this sentiment – to see art in objects that are often overlooked. However, we agree so wholeheartedly with the late Mr. Warhol, that we ourselves caught the cookie jar bug. Our own collection, humbly, is only around a hundred cookie jars but there is still much we can say about them. 

We are not alone in being fans of the humble cookie jar – one Facebook group “Cookie Jar Collecting – Vintage and New” boasts nearly 10,000 fans. Mr Warhol therefore, clearly was only one amongst many who saw the art in protecting the biscuit from the grubby hands of the sugar-seeking toddler.
Cookie jars, as with all objects, tend to represent the norms or aspirations of the industries they came from: there are many cookie jars in the shape of barrel-chested chefs, baking grandmas, Christmas ornaments and cartoon characters. The nostalgic charm of cookie jars takes us back to memories of our childhood, of being a kid and being rewarded for good behaviour, or of being naughty and trying to get away with cookie-pilfering.

“Perhaps that’s why so many cookie jars feature characters from our childhoods?”

Perhaps! But there’s something else about cookie jars we find fascinating: because of their large size (for a ceramic object) and the fact you only really “need” one at most, they are more expensive to produce and also to buy, relative to other kitchen ceramics like bowls and plates.
Therefore, if you go to the effort of making and selling cookie jars, you want to be pretty confident you can sell them, and charge well for them. It’s perhaps no surprise then, that many of our favourite and most iconic characters: Mickey Mouse, Yoda and, ahem, The Predator, have all been turned into cookie jars.

Selling the sparsely necessary by making it more familiar – that’s good marketing. Indeed, the incredible variation in the cookie jars available online is a testament to how many recognisable characters our society has produced in the name of our entertainment.
Flip it the other way round: if you want to sell several thousand cookie jars, Mickey Mouse will probably do better than an unknown rodent that just happens to also wear white gloves (the creep). Cookie jars, then, almost become busts at the temple of consumerism. They represent the characters that made it, that were popular enough and could therefore sell enough, to be used in the name of protecting biscuits.

It’s one to mull over while you eat another cookie… now which jar did I put them in?

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