Filled with over 300 objects including paintings, prints and sculptures, as well as gems, shells, and taxidermy, World Made Wondrous recreates a fictive seventeenth-century Dutch collector’s cabinet in order to examine the political and colonial histories of European collecting practices in the seventeenth century. As Europeans assembled their cabinets, they ordered the world in deliberate ways, asserting judgments and hierarchies on the value of natural materials, forms of labor, forms of craftsmanship, as well as human worth, often with dire and deadly consequences. The exhibition will interrogate the underlying agendas and structures that were fundamental to these collections—which are precursors to today’s European and American museums, including LACMA. The visitor will be led through the exhibition with a digital audio guide that includes commentaries from experts across a wide variety of fields, produced expressly to expand the narratives of each object and their makers.
The World Made Wondrous: The Dutch Collector’s Cabinet and the Politics of PossessionExhibition: 17 September 2023 - 11 February 2024
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