The Department of Illustration

Cabinet of Curiosities

Posted in True Stories by The Department of Illustration on March 4, 2009

undertaker1 This from a nineteenth century undertaker’s advertisement recalling  ‘wunderkammer’ or cabinets of curiosities. These were collections of bizarre objects meant to instil wonder about the world. They were precursors to museums  of eclectic collections, like  the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford.

Reminds me of  Edward Gorey’s work.


2 Responses

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  1. raewelch said, on March 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I came across a photograph collection, by James G Mundie, of anatomical curiosities he has found in museums across Europe. I found it hard to look at the babies in this collection although I guess it says something about our society and the purpose of these curiosity cabinets that I still ended up scrolling through the site.

  2. The Department of Illustration said, on March 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    interesting to register your reaction, as I suppose disgust and shock are viable things to try and communicate visually.

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