Collect.ed

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About the Exhibition

Opening: 6th December 2013 | Where: Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square | Closing: 1st March 2014 | Curated by: Emma Smith (CRC Exhibitions Officer)

Shells, quartz crystals, cranium casts, meteorites and fossilised raindrops…

From the sixteenth century a developing social intrigue with the unknown and the mysterious manifested itself in vast collections of both natural and manmade curiosities. Such trophies were often the result of the respectable gentleman’s Grand Tour, or returned to Europe from expanding colonial frontiers. These ‘cabinets of curiosity’ not only served scientific study but also allowed objects to be viewed out of context and on a purely aesthetic level, providing fascinating juxtapositions and new opportunities for interpretation.

Embodying both the satisfaction of imposed order and the human desire to possess, early collecting focused on the unclassified and unique, aiming as much to instil wonder as to enlighten. This exhibition explores the unexpected and showcases the rare and remarkable from the University’s collections.