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Renaissance Cabinets of Curiosity: Collecting All Sorts of Wonders

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0251
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Cabinet of Curiosities by Domenico Remps, 1690

A narwhal tusk and a meticulous painting of a tulip might seem to have little in common, but they were among the wonders of nature and artifice displayed proudly in Renaissance collections of marvels. In their quest for knowledge, collectors ranging from apothecaries to Medici dukes acquired and categorized such intriguing pieces—both natural and artistic—from around the globe. They were driven by curiosity and a sense of wonder about what seemed to be an ever-expanding world. These early private collections, or cabinets of curiosity, ultimately led to the genesis of the modern museum.

Kay Etheridge, a biology professor emerita at Gettysburg College, describes how this passion for collecting provided naturalists with centers of study and source material for their quest to find order in nature.

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Inside Science