Tagged with cabinets of curiosities

Collectors and Collections

This is from Patrick Mauries’ wonderful, richly illustrated book ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’ which is brilliant: “The story of cabinets of curiosities is above all that of a handful of figures scattered throughout the length and breadth of Europe in the age of the Baroque. John Tradescant and Elias Ashmole in Oxford, Addrovandi and Manfredo Settala … Continue reading

On Collecting

From medieval times, or perhaps earlier, people of learning were also people who collected, and cabinets of curiosities, or Kunstkammers became foci for learned people to discuss and exchange ideas. This is from ‘Finders Keepers, Eight Collectors by Rosamond Wolff Purcell & Stephen Jay Gould: “.. our collectors do hold one trait in common – … Continue reading

Cultural Benefits of Insults

Cultural Benefits of Insults

When French naturalist Louis de Buffon described the inhabitants of the New World as : “feeble, hairless, mentally challenged and characterised by small organs of generation” his words triggered a surprising response in the colonials, especially Thomas Jefferson. The count’s thinking was that the New World was harsher than the old, so everything there must … Continue reading