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Cabinets of Wonder (英語) ハードカバー – 2012/10/1
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Skulls, butterflies, hunting trophies, ancient Egyptian artifacts, the alleged skeletons of mythological creatures, and many other mysterious oddities fill cabinets of wonder. A centuries-old tradition developed in Europe during the Renaissance, cabinets of wonder (also known as curiosity cabinets) are once again in fashion. Shops, restaurants, and private residences echo these cabinets in their interior design, by making use of the eclectic vintage objects commonly featured in such collections. Cabinets of Wonder showcases exceptional collections in homes and museums, with more than 180 photographs, while also explaining the history behind the tradition, the best-known collections, and the types of objects typically displayed. Offering both a historical overview and a look into contemporary interior design, this extravagantly illustrated book celebrates the wonderfully odd world of cabinets of wonder.
Christine Davenne is a lecturer in fine arts at the IUFM d’Aquitaine and is the author of the book Modernité du cabinet de curiosités. Christine Fleurent photographs regularly for women’s magazines and advertising and has contributed to numerous books, including La Cuisine des parfums and La Maison de Chocolat.
This book begins by examining the historic origins of the collections that comprise a wonder cabinet as we know it today. As documented, the collections are dictated by the collecting whims of the assembler and may contain anything the collector found fascinating, curious, exotic or desirable. A collection may include natural objects, artwork, souvenirs, scientific instruments, ornaments, specimens, memento mori, musical instruments, medical oddities - any object that inspires curiosity.
This book documents historical collectors and their collections, and some of their motivations for assembling objects into a collection. They are motivated by a desire to understand the world around them, but also by fame, social status and obsession. These people are royalty, scholars, artists, scientists and eccentrics. Their collections and the labor it took to construct them make for fascinating reading. The book also explains how the curiosity cabinets evolved into museums as we know them today .
This book also does a thorough job of reporting on modern day wonder cabinets and their place in contemporary art. I have purchased a few books about wonder cabinets recently hoping that they would include modern examples, but this is the only book to do so, and I was delighted by what was included.
Although I enjoyed the text of this book tremendously, it is the wonderful photography and illustrations that that makes this book so satisfying. On every page you are treated to compositions of visually inspiring objects. There are skulls, bones, marble statues, taxidermy, artwork, furniture, reliquaries, globes, hides, eggs, shells, insects, diagrams, specimens, artifacts, monsters, treasures, composite creatures, grottoes, and monsters - every marvel you could hope to see in a curiosity cabinet. You can spend many hours getting lost in this fascinating book.
And a note about the binding and covering - it is more fragile than other books, so take care with rough handling (some kind of paper that easily scratches, tears, scuffs, etc.).