CURIOUSER features the Museum of Natural History's antiquarian collections in six unique installations.
At the Museum of Natural History + Planetarium
Roger Williams Park • 1000 Elmwood Avenue • Providence, RI
Drawing from over 250,000 rarely-seen items held in the Museum's vaults, six artists will create new installations that bring the humanities and sciences together with the arts, offering a unique lens on the Victorian era’s obsession with natural studies and specimen collecting. Curiouser‘s innovative works invite viewers to look forward as well as back, exploring the ‘history of natural history’ while drawing connections with our own complex relationships with nature today.
Featuring New Work By:
- Alison Owen
- Susannah Strong
- Lasse Antonsen
- Jennifer Raimondi.
- Erik Gould
- Adrianne Evans
(click names for links to artists' websites)
Curiouser was created with the goal of giving the public a glimpse into the Museum’s vast vaulted collections. The idea is not to show these seldom-seen items as arcane specimens, but rather as vivid evidence of a time when people were perhaps curiouser than we are today. Curiouser will free the Museum’s antique collections from the strict imperatives of science and analysis, releasing them “down the rabbit‐hole” of artistic production. Artists’ works incorporate actual pieces from the Museum’s vast Victorian collections of insects, shells, fossils, bird skins, plants and taxidermied mammals
The exhibit will be on display from November 6, 2010 through mid-September 2011.
A Public Opening will take place on Saturday November 6th, noon - 2pm, as part of the Museum's Community Day. (Community Day runs from 11am - 4pm)
‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice.… Alice’s exclamation at Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland offers a compelling reflection of the Victorian obsession with the natural world. As science, trade and travel entered a new era, the old frontiers rolled back to reveal a fantastic array of animal, mineral and vegetable marvels from far‐flung lands. The era’s enthusiasm for this wide new world was not just academic: everyday people got in on the natural history movement, becoming avid collectors of the life they found around them. Though we may find it hard to believe today, at the height of the Victorian era natural history was its own sort of pop culture.
CURIOUSER was conceived and curated by Erik Carlson and Erica Carpenter.
Curiouser is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.