MFA creates ‘cabinet of curiosities’

June 13, 2014
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The new Kunstkammer Gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), created to display small “curios,” was created from part of a coat room.

A Kunstkammer, or “cabinet of curiosities,” is a small room containing unusual natural items or art objects that came into fashion with nobility across Europe in the 17th century, according to an MFA press release.

The MFA’s Kunstkammer, created as part of an ongoing gallery renovation project, MFA spokesperson Karen Frascona said, opened June 4 and features 123 works.

It includes objects made of such exotic materials as amber, ivory and nautilus shell; paintings on copper and alabaster; and clocks, medals and small sculptures.

A selection of works from the William Arnold Buffum Collection of amber is also on view for the first time since the 1930s, after being recently conserved.

The Kunstkammer Gallery is located on the first floor, just off the Fenway entrance. The MFA’s website is mfa.org.

“Diana and Stag Automaton,” a metalwork sculpture by Joachim Fries dating to 1610-20, is part of the Kunstkammer Gallery. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

“Diana and Stag Automaton,” a metalwork sculpture by Joachim Fries dating to 1610-20, is part of the Kunstkammer Gallery. (Photo Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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