Art, Artifacts and Specimens from the Collectors Cabinet

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Discover the world of collectors cabinets—the precursor to modern-day museums—with Art, Artifacts and Specimens from the Collectors Cabinet.


First organized during the Italian Renaissance, collectors cabinets were rooms full of various works of art, natural history objects and antiquities. These cabinets became a popular way to display objects from travels or items of personal interest. Collectors evolved into curators, classifying and interpreting the wide-ranging collections. In the same fashion, these cabinets or rooms of objects were the genesis of today's museums.


In this exhibition, explore the connections among what might today seem to be randomly arranged things. With more than 100 objects and specimens on view, the exhibition pays homage to a traditional cabinet while making the concept accessible to all through a 21st century lens.


The exhibition is on view September 7 – December 10 in Old College Gallery. Old College Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is also available online.


Admission is free. Please observe the University’s current COVID-19 health and safety protocols when visiting.

Friday, December 10, 2021 at 10:00am to 4:00pm

Old College Gallery, University of Delaware

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Students, Faculty & Staff, Community



Library, Museums and Press




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Contact Name

Vicky White

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