Jack Hinton, Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts & Sculpture, announced the opening of a new gallery at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Titled ART AND WONDER: A CABINET OF COLLECTIONS, the gallery displays a collection of
extraordinary objects and works of art from the 16th to early 18th centuries. Among the highlights of the exhibit are a group of portrait
medals from the collection of Ben Weiss. The collection includes 17th century medals by Muller, Dadler, Soldani-Benzi, Vismara, Hamerani,
van Abeele, and Dupre.
"Death of Admiral Maarten Harpertzoon Tromp at the Battle of Texel" by O. Muller
Ben kindly provided the above images of one of the displayed medals. Talk about high relief! Here's some more information on the
exhibit. Sounds great! -Editor
PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
Art and Wonder: A Cabinet of Collections
January 22, 2015 – ongoing (Gallery 257, Main Building, 2nd Floor)
The desire to collect extraordinary objects and works of art is explored in a new installation at the Museum titled Art and Wonder: A
Cabinet of Collections. Featuring around 100 finely wrought and fascinating items, the display examines the formation of encyclopedic
collections in Europe between the 1500s and early 1700s, often described at the time as cabinets of curiosities or a “Kunstkammer” (art
room in German.)
The ideal Kunstkammer contained works of nature and human invention in exceptional and varied forms, to create a microcosm of the known
universe. This interest reflects the perception-changing discoveries in geography, astronomy and science that took place in the period.
With objects ranging from paintings and sculptures to tools, keys, game boards and shells, the installation explores the phenomenon of
collectors cabinets and the varied categories of works gathered within them.
Highlights include a painting by Jan Brueghel the younger (acc. cat. 656) depicting an imaginary collection of the time, a princely
chiseled steel powder flask given to Augustus the First, Prince Elector of Saxony and founder of his own courtly Kunstkammer (acc.
1991-9-3,) and a rare ebony and ivory game board from the workshop of Ulrich Baumgartner, master curiosity-cabinet maker of Augsburg (acc.
1964-91-17.) A significant group of portrait medals lent by collector Benjamin Weiss, including Muller’s silver Medal of Admiral Maarten
Tromp, Dadler’s Medal of The Battle of Breitenfeld and one of Soldani-Benzi’s medals of Queen Christina of Sweden, reveal the importance of
these objects for collectors to demonstrate their connections to and interests in historical and present-day individuals and events.
For more information about the illustrated medal, see: DEATH OF ADMIRAL MAARTEN
HARPERTZOON TROMP (www.historicalartmedals.com/MEDAL%20WEB%20ENTRIES
To read the complete article, see:
Wonder: A Cabinet of Collections (www.medalcollectors.org/News/Art%20
Wayne Homren, Editor
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