Is it ignoble to spend one’s life caring so much for objects?

The 2013 novel,  The Goldfinch,  by Donna Tartt may tell the story of how a terrible tragedy— a terrorist bombing in The Metropolitan Museum of Art which kills his mother— affects the life of a thirteen year old boy.  However, due to the fact that a major character is furniture restorer,  it also happens to provide a good introduction to the examination, repair, and replication of antique furniture.
There is one bit of dialogue which occurs late in the story which may hit home for any conservator who has been called upon to justify his calling:
      “I suppose it’s ignoble to spend your life caring so much for objects.”   
      “Who says?”
      “Well—“ , turning from the stove—“it’s not as if we’re running a hospital for sick children down here, let’s put it that way. Where’s the nobility in patching up a bunch of old tables and chairs? “
Is the only moral career choice one in which you directly help people? Why should it be wrong to care so much  about objects?