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Contemporary Art Exhibitions

Cabinet of Curiosities Exhibition

When visiting the Whitaker be sure to enter the Cabinet of Curiosities!

The Cabinet of Curiosities was created artist by Bob Frith, perhaps best known for his involvement with the Horse and Bamboo Theatre in Waterfoot. Over the course of a year, Bob searched the museum stores to select objects, paintings and furniture to create a theatrical showcase of the Whitaker’s eclectic collection. Together with items from Bob’s own collection and pieces commissioned by other artists, the installation explores the history of collecting and how early museum collections were acquired.

  • Dates
    This is a permanent event
    9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Tickets

    FREE

Cabinets of Curiosity pre-date the modern notion of a museum. They were rooms filled with fossils, stuffed animals and cultural artefacts from across the globe, intended to astonish rather than educate. However, the way in which some collections were amassed is not how we collect today.

With links to hunting and colonialism the history of collecting is complex.

This is subtlety explored in the Whitaker’s Cabinet of Curiosities, both through Bob’s selection of objects and the additional artworks displayed. Alternative taxidermist Nicola Hebson has created an astonishing piece, surrounded by textile plants by Kay Kennedy. The short animated film, Requiem for Stuffed Animals, by Kain Leo beautifully brings to life the Whitaker’s ‘Crayfish Man’ and the whole space is made atmospheric through sound and light by Phil Milston with music by Chris Davies.

The Whitaker’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a thought provoking space, beautiful and fascinating; a feast for all your senses.

Additional notes:

  • Recommended age group is for guidance only if you have any questions on suitability please speak to one of our team members or email learning@thewhitaker.org
  • All activities are fully inclusive, please contact our team on learning@thewhitaker.org if you have any specific questions on accessibility
  • Unless otherwise stated, for family workshops you only need to book a ticket for each child attending. Accompanying adult is free
  • Activities can be booked via our website or by visiting our Welcome Desk
  • Whilst some activities are offered free due to our current funding from ACE and HLF, we have introduced ‘pay what you can’ for some events with a suggested donation. We appreciate donations to ensure we can keep activities running in the future
  • Our events cancellation policy can be accessed here.

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