In Celebration of our 65th Anniversary this blog will publish articles showcasing the incredible objects in our collections. Bradenton’s Wunderkammer is a virtual expedition through our galleries and exhibits and sometimes even behind the scenes in private closets and chambers. Each article highlights an object from our collection as well as the explorer who originally found the object and their personal connections to our community. In featuring these individuals and objects we look to celebrate but also continue to grow, both in size and scope, always keeping a weathered eye on the horizon and our mission: to engage and inspire learners of all ages; protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe.
What is a Wunderkammer??? The word Wunderkammer translates into “wonder room,” and references the earliest form of museums- the "Cabinet of Curiosities". These Wunderkammer cabinets and rooms sought to showcase the world in a microcosm. They featured rocks and minerals, botanical specimens, fossilized remains of ancient life (often called Curiosities or "curies/curios" which is where the name for your home Curio cabinet came from!), human artifacts and historical relics as well as antiquities and works of art.
Popularized in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, during a great boom in exploration and discovery, the objects that filled these rooms and cabinets told the story of the world. Objects tell stories. This idea is at the heart of the Wunderkammer but also beats in the heart of museums today. We hope you enjoy reading the stories our South Florida Museum collections can tell. Our stories come from both the objects that form our collections, but also from the people who collected, studied, preserved and shared the past, and their passion, with others. We dedicate this blog to them.