Originally, collectors cabinets were rooms full of various works of art, natural history objects, and antiquities first organized during the Italian Renaissance. Ole Worm, a Danish physician and professor at the University of Copenhagen, assembled the one shown here during the early 1600s. Some cabinets demonstrated the power and wealth of the owner, challenging the viewer to think about the connections among what might today seem to be randomly-arranged objects. Cabinets became a popular way to display objects from travels or items of personal interest. Collectors evolved into curators, classifying and interpreting the wide-ranging collections. In the same fashion, the series of cabinets or rooms of objects were the genesis of today’s museums. This exhibition reflects the legacy of collectors, donors, and curators who had an affinity for or relationship with the University of Delaware.
This exhibition features mineral specimens recently mined in China. Chinese minerals were not available on the market until the 1990s and were limited to a few species. With ongoing industrialization and modern mining techniques, more minerals are being discovered, valued and preserved. The variety and quality of the specimens are remarkable and they are now prominent in private and institutional collections. Specimens are on loan from the collection of James Zigras.
The medium of collage offers artists an inventive means of constructing a work of art, often incorporating everyday materials and found objects, such as newspapers, photographs and fabric. Gathered Together: Black Artists and the Collage Aesthetic explores the practice and visual strategies of collage, highlighting the University’s collection of African American art.
In the Pueblo nations of Arizona and New Mexico, pottery is an ever-changing art form. Visit Grounded Innovation: Pueblo Arts of Clay to learn how contemporary Pueblo artists innovate to strengthen bonds with their ancestors and homelands, rather than breaking them.
Opened in 1971 and renovated in 2009, the Mineralogical Museum has approximately 350 specimens on display. The entire collection contains more than three thousand specimens of minerals, meteorites, gemstones and carvings and is divided into a display collection and a reference collection. The founding collection, gifted to the University of Delaware in 1964 by Irénée du Pont, shows early examples from gemstone mining in the United States and South America and major finds from Europe. Other cases show specimens from the different continents and individual themes of crystallography and cave minerals.