Summary and Info
The richly illustrated essays in Cabinet of Curiosities records the creative processes behind an installation designed by contemporary artist Mark Dion at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, a collaboration of museum staff, students, and collection curators. Drawing from university collections, Dion and the curators chose seven hundred objects representative of the state’s history, ranging from a Bierstadt painting of Minnehaha Falls to Hubert Humphrey memorabilia, as well as objects that would have fascinated Renaissance viewers—such as mirrors and the world’s smallest plant—and arranged them into categories typical of Renaissance inquiry, such as the Underworld, the Sea, Humankind, and the Library. Together, the cabinets represented the university in miniature, just as their Renaissance precursors had attempted to represent microcosms of the world. Cabinet of Curiosities offers commentary on the ways in which collecting has undergirded the creation of knowledge within universities and in Western society. Colleen J. Sheehy is director of education at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum and associate faculty in American studies and art history at the University of Minnesota. Published in cooperation with the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum
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