By Rick Wills
They horrify and amuse reality show viewers, perplex even the best psychologists and are probably a firefighters' worst nightmare.
"Hoarders are not well understood, even by professionals. They have a very difficult time throwing anything away, and it gets worse with age," said Mary Brodland, a graduate student in social work at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brodland is one of several Pitt social work graduates who organized this weekend's free public art exhibition "Canvassing Clutter." It's on display at the school today and features work by more than 20 artists.
The exhibit aims to raise public awareness of hoarding. To an extent, that's already happened in recent years thanks to cable television shows like "Hoarders" and "Buried Alive," which display hoarding at its most gaudy and compulsive.
Some cases of hoarding are legendary. In 1947, brothers Homer and Langley Collyer of New York were found dead in their Fifth Avenue mansion amid 130 tons of trash that included 14 pianos, 25,000 books, decades of newspapers and the chassis of a Model T Ford..." More