The first “Wunderkammer” I chose to review here is installed in Geological Museum located on Oster Voldgade, at the northeast corner of the University of Copenhagen Botanical garden. It is part of Natural History Museum of Denmark.
American artist Rosamund Purcell recreated Ole Worm’s museum in her “One Room” installation, which is also part of “All Things Strange and Beautiful” project. She respected the only existing drawing of Worm’s Cabinet of Curiosities by G. Wingendrop. Three of the four walls in the room were visible in that drawing.
Ole Worm was a physician, antiques collector and natural historian from Denmark who lived in the 17th century. He also wrote treatises on runestones and collected texts written in runic. His collection consisted of great variety of curiosities, selected specimens from native artifacts from New World to taxidermy animals and fossils.
One of the interesting discoveries that Ole Worm wrote about in 1638 was the fact that unicorns did not exist. A discovery that all previously found “unicorn horns” where originated from the narwhal. Despite this finding he still experimented with ground up narwhal horn in case of lethal poisoning and surprisingly reported that his pets recovered from being dead…
The way that the installation is organized in the Geology Museum of Copenhagen really helps you feel the essence of the 17th century hobbies, filled with most positive and active curiosity of intellectuals like Ole Worm.
Apart from the “Wunderkammer”, it was very interesting to see the geology specimens and the entire space of the museum. In the photos above you can see two rotunda ceilings. The colorful one painted by a geologist Per Kirkeby and the one with human figures by Oscar Matthiesen. Together with checked floor it fully satisfied my imagination needs for a museum that houses a cabinet of curiosities.
For more information Geology Museum of Copenhagen