Inside a Collector’s Head

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Chinese export transitional tea caddies, circa 1640, from the Shirley M. Mueller Collection

Inside a Collector’s Head

Why do collectors collect? Collectors are influenced by specific emotions evoked when making buying decisions. Shirley’s background in neurology and psychiatry made her curious about her own collecting choices. In this presentation, Shirley explores this exciting new area of study in collecting known as neuroeconomics which is the science behind big buying decisions. She will illustrate her talk with specific examples from her collection and those purchased by prominent American collector, Eli Lilly. In this journey we learn some basics of human nature that can assist us all in becoming better collectors.

Shirley Mueller is a passionate collector and scholar of Chinese export porcelain. She has one of the premier private holdings in the Unites States and has written numerous articles on the subject. There have been exhibitions of her collection in New York City at the Bard Gallery (2010), Indianapolis Museum of Art (The Luxury of Tea and Coffee: Chinese Porcelain from the Shirley M. Mueller Collection in 2011) and University of Iowa (Tea Time: Going Dutch in 2014). She is an MD by profession and since the late 1990s has been involved directly in the investment industry.

Light refreshments will be available.

This event is kindly supported by Anne and Bryce Carmine.

How to Pay

1. Cash at the door

2. By EFT:

Account Name: The Asian Arts Society of Australia

BSB: 012003

Account Number: 218528414

(Give ‘your name Mueller’ as a reference)

3. Credit Card via this website

You can also RSVP to Margaret White at

Walking Directions

From Circular Quay
Walk to George Street , The Rocks. Turn left into Argyle Street and walk under the famous Argyle Cut to climb the stairs opposite the Garrison Church. Turn left at the top of the stairs and follow Watson Road past the Sydney Observatory to the National Trust Centre.

From Kent Street
Follow the historic Agar Steps (opposite the Observatory Hotel) up to the National Trust Centre.

From Wynyard and the city
At No. 1 York Street walk through the expressway underpass. Follow the tunnel, keeping to the right, until you come up on Kent Street . Walk along Kent Street to the Agar Steps, or follow the approach to the Bridge, which will take you past the National Trust Centre on your left.

Driving directions

Drive down Kent Street , right into Argyle Street , right again into Watson Road and follow it around past the Sydney Observatory to the National Trust Centre. Free Parking is available on site.

Public Transport directions

Bus: Routes 311, 324, and 325 terminate at Argyle Street . Walk up Watson Road, Observatory Hill and follow the signs.

Train: to Wynyard or Circular Quay

Ferry: to Circular Quay and proceed as above.


10 March, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEDT
Event Categories:




Annie Wyatt Room at the SH Ervin Gallery
2 Watson Road
Millers Point, NSW Australia
+ Google Map