Sunday, December 16, 2007

Call for Wunderkammern: an UnContest

My kitchen Cabinet: a taxonomy of food?

I'm looking into people who have their own Wunderkammern, or Cabinets of Wonder, with the view of featuring a select few on the blog. Send me pictures (up to four of them) and an explanation of how you started it and why you did it.

I am particularly interested in hearing what you think about what it takes to create a Wunderkammer. What is the most important feature in making one? The taxonomy? The size? The labels? Or is it the exquisiteness of what is displayed? Or perhaps it is simply that it matters to the person making it? How is a Wunderkammer different from a museum display? Tell me about it.

Email me at the address under the "About Me" header, below. I will answer everyone, and if I am particularly taken with yours I may email you asking more questions.

Looking forward to seeing the results!


mordicai said...

if my xmas gift buying skills were pointed at ME then i think i might have something good to go it is i can't complain? today i got the severed hand of a saint & a spider in formaldehyde. not too shabby, mates!

Heather McDougal said...

Ooo. Care to disclose where you found them? It might do some of these other shoppers some good...

GreenmanTim said...

One of the submissions to this month's Cabinet of Curiosities Blog Carnival would seem to fit the bill.

Heather McDougal said...

Ah! I will look into that. Thank you.

Jerub-Baal said...

I grew up in a 250 year old post-and-beam farmhouse which my parents had filled with old books. The furniture was all second hand or 'junk shop' stuff (which now would mean 'antique'). My Dad had the back shed full of tools and old parts, and a room full of 40s and 50s era ham radio stuff (both areas off limits to little kids). The place was a sort of grand scale Wunderkammern. This is probably the root of my fascination with eclectic collections.

What best means a Cabinet of Wonders to me is the urge to rummage around in it. If it brings thoughts of "What is that?" and "Oooh, what's behind that thing?" then it pretty much fits the bill. (Which pretty well describes you kitchen cabinet.)

A great example of the "Wunderkammern" as an art form is the work of Joseph Cornell. You just want to reach out and open up the little drawers and see what's inside.

Anonymous said...

The Unknown Museum............ I've got 2 pictures from inside the old warehouse. And a picture of the old white hatchback, with all the doll heads, that was parked in front. They were taken in 1978. If anyone wants copies of them, email me at:

Director said...

I wish more people had actually ponied up with their collections. This is a great idea for an exhibition.

Apropos of... well, wunderkammern, I have a rather nice wunderkammer group on flickr which often has interesting things from people's personal collections.

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