Our story begins in the 1950’s in Brooklyn, New York where two teenagers named Rhoda and Harvey Kuflik became obsessed with the stars of the silver screen and began to collect their autographs. Fifty years later both siblings were still following their passion for collecting and had between amassed a breathtaking collection.
When Harvey (in 2002) and Rhoda (in 2012) passed away their collections were handed down to David, who was Harvey’s only child and Rhoda’s only nephew. David was busy raising a family and engaged in corporate life, but it always ate away at him that these amazing photos and autographs were in storage and not being appreciated by people that would be equally as passionate to own them as Rhoda and Harvey had been.
In 2014 David left his job to begin the exciting process of preparing the collection for sale. The process consumed him and took over two years. During this time it ignited his passion and bonded him to his Father and Aunt in a way he had not envisioned. David has no interest in adding to the collection so it remains that every item was personally collected by Harvey or Rhoda and therefore there is no question about its authenticity. We are thrilled at the opportunity to share the collection with you!
Harvey Kuflik Biography
Born in Brooklyn in 1942 to Austrian and Polish parents Max and Sarah Kuflik, Harvey was introduced to the world of autograph collecting by his older sister Rhoda. As a teenager Harvey would accompany Rhoda as she collected autographs in New York City. During the 50’s, Harvey amassed an impressive collection of autograph books that includes James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and many of the biggest stars of the time.
Harvey took a break from autograph collecting in the 1960’s when life became busy, but promptly started collecting again when he moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970’s. Harvey would follow his passion to collect relentlessly right up until his death in 2002. While he limited his collecting to autograph books in the 1950’s, this time around Harvey focused on obtaining signed photos and lobby cards. Harvey’s collection includes many unique signed photos and Lobby cards, almost all signed on the streets of Los Angeles, Hollywood and at various film industry events.
Harvey was well known for his uncanny ability to produce an unsigned still for almost any celebrity he’d come across. He maintained a library of thousands of unsigned photos in the back of his car and was always able to always come up with one or more photos of a celebrity no matter how obscure whenever the opportunity to collect a signature presented itself. He was also quick to share extra photos with fellow collectors.
Harvey kept detailed logs of his autograph endeavors and it wasn’t uncommon for him to amass 1000 or more in-person autographs in any given year. He may just have been the hardest working man in Hollywood!
The Oscars provided the most fertile ground for Harvey’s autograph collecting passion. Each year, he would dedicate two weeks to autograph collecting around time of the Oscars, which provided the highest concentration of Hollywood stars. Oscar parties, Beverly Hills hotels, and the Rodeo shopping district provided unparalleled opportunities for Harvey to grow his collection. Mention any Hollywood star and Harvey would always chuckle and tell a story about the time he met them and got their autograph.
From the 1980’s until his death, Harvey found himself in a unique position to obtain Industry Agency Headshots and resumes leftover from the casting process. These rare and seldom seen by the public photos make up a large part of Harvey’s unique collection.
Rhoda Kuflik Biography.
Born in Brooklyn in 1938 to Austrian and Polish parents Max and Sarah Kuflik, it soon became clear that Rhoda Kuflik was a lady with a big personality.
Rhoda began collecting autographs in 1953 at the tender age of fifteen. As a teenager, Rhoda would leave her Williamsburg home armed with her beloved Brownie camera to frequent Broadway and the favorite New York haunts of celebrities. After taking candid photos, Rhoda would develop the photos and return at a later date to have the stars sign her photos.
Much of Rhoda’s autograph collecting took place in New York’s theater district. Over the course of multiple decades, several nights a week she would meet up with her autograph friends in hopes of obtaining autographs from celebrities attending or starring in plays.
While Rhoda’s collection includes many examples of multiple autographs signed by the same person, her primary objective was always to obtain just one autograph from each celebrity and she would go to great lengths to get that first autograph. After that first autograph, she would only get a second or third if it came with minimal effort, often refusing to wait in the rain for a celebrity whose autograph she had already collected.
With the exception of the five year period from 1959 to 1963 during which time Rhoda lived in Hollywood, she lived in Brooklyn her whole life. Her Hollywood years were some of her most prolific collecting years. Rhoda would continue to visit California every year to reunite with her brother Harvey who was also an avid autograph collector and peruse autographs during the Oscars.
Rhoda, along with her lifelong autograph collecting friends continued to collect autographs right up until her death in 2011. For Rhoda, the thrill was in the chase; once obtained, her autographs were promptly filed away and seldom revisited. Rhoda never looked back on them, only looking forward to her next autograph. Her insatiable passion for collecting resulted in Hundreds of Autograph books, over 1000 unique signed candid photos, hundreds of cast signed photos, and thousands of signed move stills.