Curiouser and Curiouser
The following pages offer suggestions to keep in mind for your own cabinet of curiosities, in the
hope that they may help your collection become more unique and satisfying in its presentation.
Photography by (clockwise from top left) Heather McDougal, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Miranda Iossifidis, Smithsonian Institution
Libraries, Rosamund Purcell/Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Science, Kunstkamera
Fig. A: The author’s cabinet shows how
dividing shelves into cubbies can add
definition. Fig. B: A Kunstkammer painted
by Frans Francken the Younger, 1636.
Fig. C: Peter the Great, emperor of Russia
and self-proclaimed dentist, kept a collection of teeth he pulled from friends,
assistants, and passersby. Fig. D: Part of
Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson’s famous
cabinet in the National Museum of
Natural History in Paris. Fig. E: Ole Worm’s
cabinet of curiosities, 1655. See Rosamond
Purcell’s re-creation on page 135.