The Art & Architecture Library is delighted to announce the opening of its new exhibition, "Cabinet of Wonders: A Contemporary Kunstkammer."
In the middle of the sixteenth century, in the heart of a European Renaissance, royalty and nobility from Italy to Russia to the Netherlands began assembling collections of rarities in specially appointed rooms and cabinets. These collections, variously called Kunstkammern, Wunderkammern, and Kunstschränke were, essentially, nascent art and natural history museums, attempts at encyclopedic assemblages of historically, culturally, geographically, zoologically, and artistically significant specimens. This exhibition aims to recreate the aesthetic sensibility of a sixteenth- and early-seventeenth century Kunstkammer while also describing the specific types of materials that these rooms and cabinets contained. The objects themselves, taken from the Art & Architecture Library's Locked Stacks Collection, are of widely divergent ages and origins; together they form an idiosyncratic, present-day cabinet of wonders.
The exhibition will be on view throughout the fall.