The Origins of Museums The Cabinet of Curiosities in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe

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Edited by Oliver Impey and Arthur Macgregor

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Ashmolean Museum/Woodstocker Books
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 8.75 in x 11 in
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 78 color, 30 b&w

RRP $70.00

  • A reprint of the original 1985 edition with updated photographs
  • Thirty- three essays from scholarly contributors on the evolution of collecting, and how this lead to the formation of the modern museum
  • One of the first books to explore how collectors live with their objects, a subject which has become increasingly studied and popular

The Ashmolean Museum is proud to make this important volume containing the fascinating story of the modern museum's beginnings available again. This ground-breaking book traces the story of collecting, which is the story of curiosity about objects and the world, by focusing on the nobility and specialists who laid the important groundwork for the current concept of museums. The first edition in 1985 sold out within a few months, the second a year or two later, and the third in 1989. There has been no reprint of the original edition since then. The topics covered by these essays are wide-ranging, and the scholarship is impeccable, enlightening, and full of unknown facts. It represents a broad-sweep of history that will captivate and surprise the expert and the interested reader alike.

The late Oliver Impey and Arthur Macgregor were both Assistant Keepers at the Ashmolean Museum, and both were involved with the Journal of the History of Collections.