Overview of Cabinet of Curiosities  2000

Bulto Hands, Spanish Colonial, 1st or 2nd Quarter of 19th C.; Red Coral (Corallium rubrum s.p.); Carnival Masks, German, ca. 1915-1919; 'Number One' 2000 Natasha Nicholson, American; Basket, Japanese, ca. 1890 -1910; Miniature Basket, Chinese, 1st Quarter of 20th C.

Red Coral (Corallium rubrum sp.)

Carnival Masks, German, ca. 1915-1919.

Number One  2000, Natasha Nicholson, American.

Bultos Hands, Spanish Colonial, 1st or 2nd Quarter of the 19th C.

In the fall of 1998 the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., organized A Collector's Cabinet. The exhibition recreated the spirit of the Dutch and Flemish encyclopedic collections commonly called kunstkammers or wunderkammers. These accumulations or cabinets included natural and man-made wonders - natural history specimens, scientific and musical instruments, sculpture, painting, and all manner of oddities and marvels. 

The exhibition of primarily seventeeth-century work, installed in three small galleries comprising only 800 square feet, was indeed a wonder.  The exhibition received rave reviews and was immensely popular, so much so that its run was extended by three months.

After my fourth visit to the gallery in two days, I became intrigued with the idea of organizing
a similar exhibition from a slightly different point of view by using the cabinet as a structure in a more literal sense and having the artist/collector select and install material of a broader nature, including objects that might not fall within traditional museum classifications.

I returned from Washington captivated by the possibilities. A few months later after an artist friend suggested that my studio, installed in situ, would make a provocative and compelling show, I began to explore seriously the viability of assembling a collection or collections with the artist's hand and eye as the primary elements of an exhibition of things.

From the catalogue introduction by Natasha Nicholson 
Cabinets of Curiosities, Four Artists, Four Artists, September 2000
The Chasen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI

 Number Six  2000, Natasha Nicholson, American.


Number Six  2000, Natasha Nicholson, American.

Number Seven  2000, Natasha Nicholson, American.

Checkerboard, American, ca. 1940; Bulto Head, Spanish Colonial, n.d.

Landscape Stone, Italian, Eocene limestone with passages of iron and manganese oxide;
Hand, Hellenistic, 3rd or 2nd century B.C.; Chair, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, 1919-1983

Snake Skeleton (Elaphe obsoleta), male.

Joppa, 1990, (detail of painting) Gary Lang, American;  AmericanMicroscope Slides (boxed), English, 2nd half of 19th century; Bark Bottles, American, ca. 1940; Male Torso, 1961 Roger Majorowicz, American.

Music-Playing Angels, ca. 1538  Pomponio Amalteo (Italian, 1505 - 1588)

Landscape Stone, Italian, Eocene limestone with passages of iron and manganese oxide.

Abalone Opera Purse, French, 1910; Gold Weights, Africa, Ghana, Ashanti, n.d.; Hat, South German or Austrian, 1675; Urn, Tibetan, 16th century; Untitled (#21) Painting, Rebecca Shore, American; 'Number Two' 2000, Natasha Nicholson, American; Flowers, contemporary reproductions from 18th century originals, Didier Gardillou (French.)

Male Figure in Supplicant Position, 500 -350 B.C., Egyptian, Ptolemaic, 29th - 30th
dynasty B.C.