Precious Fragments exquisite longing 

Displayed in apothecarial jars and glass cases reminiscent of natural history museums, this group of forms recalls the vast collections of objects found as early as the 16th century in the Cabinets of curiosities or Wunderkammer of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe. Precursors to museums also known as Cabinets of Wonder or Wonder Rooms, those bodies of oddities and specimens attempted to categorize and tell stories about the natural world, and described microcosms, a "theater of the world, and a memory theater,"1 while this historical, scientific, artistic, and cultural reenactment offers a kind of future past designed to help us recognize in our own present – where nature is at a very real risk of extinction due to human arrogance and folly – the precious fragments2 of and the exquisite longing for a paradise still in the process of being lost.

1 Francesaco Fiorani, reviewing Bredecamp 1995 in Renaissance Quarterly 51.1 (Spring 1998:268-270) p 268.


2 The term "precious fragments" was coined by Marigold Linton, a pioneer in the study of autobiographical memory


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