The Museum as a Cabinet of Curiosities And Wonders
The cabinets of art, wonders or curiosities of the 16th century are regarded as the nucleus of the museum concept as we know it today. They included not only art, but everything that was unique, exotic or valuable and therefore seemed worth collecting. It is not surprising that this time was often referred to as ‘Zeitalter des Staunens’, the age of wonders.
This passion for marvelling at the world’s phenomena is the starting point for the first special exhibition curated by new museum director Dr. Stefanie Dathe. Focus of the presentation is the ‘Kunst- und Wunderkammer’ of Ulm merchant Christoph Weickmann (1617-1681) with its unique objects and rarities. Following the archival categories of the 17th century – Naturalia, Mirabilia, Artefacta, Scientifica, Antiquites and Exotica – works by international contemporary artists resurrect the atmosphere of the early cabinets of wonders, presenting to the audience the mysteries of our world.