Wunderkammer: Southend's Cabinet of Curiosity

Date: 2nd October 2021 - 3rd October 2022 Recurs daily.

Location: Southend Central Museum, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6EW

Cost: Free entry

Time: 11:00 - 17:00

Necklace made from animal teeth from the collection of Southend museums service

Photo credit: Southend Museums, Tessa Hallmann

Wunderkammer is literally translated from German as ‘room of wonder’ and in English it is usually referred to as a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.

Many Wunderkammer originated in royal treasuries, where the crown jewels and items of regalia were housed with other items of value for safekeeping. Cabinets of Curiosities acted as a precursor to museums and this exhibition will explore the evolution and the continued mass appeal of museums today.

This immersive exhibition highlights the stories of early collectors including one of the earliest female collectors, Isabella d’Este, and also features objects from the collection of Charles Nicholson, who was born in Hadleigh.

Whilst providing fun for the whole family, Wunderkammer also considers a more critical view of the history of collecting and its links with colonialism and instances of exoticism, providing an introspective look at museums and their collections.

Central Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 5pm.

For more information please vist the Southend Museums website.

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