Karen’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Welcome to Karen’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’

Let me explain: Ever since I had started as a (still fairly) young and (ever so) naïve Museum & Gallery Studies undergraduate here at the Aberystwyth University School of Art (SoA) back in September 2011, I had wondered what lay hidden behind that mighty door that’s leading off the Reading Room. However, it took me the whole length of my BA course to finally get the opportunity to step over the threshold into the hallowed treasure trove. Nothing but one grey mobile shelf after another – on two levels. Rather an anti-climax to my long-nourished fantasies of unimagined and – at least by me – undiscovered riches. Thankfully, my mood was quickly lifted when Phil Garratt, Senior Technician and Assistant Curator, showed me around and revealed some of its secrets. Eventually, we chose some copper plates to show them in the exhibition Wood, Down, Farm, Field: Art in the Aftermath that was on at SoA in spring/summer 2014. Little did I know back then that I would end up working here as a Curatorial & Technical Assistant almost two years later and would walk across that very threshold on a daily basis. I thought I might share the journey into the unknown depths of the storage room (such a mundane and uninspiring expression) with you. I hope you will enjoy the exploration just as much as I surely will and see my ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ fill up nicely over the next twelve months. Happy reading!

By the way, although I will endeavour to research each ‘curiosity’ thoroughly and to give details correctly to the best of my knowledge and understanding, this contribution to this website is by no means meant to be purely academic, but rather an entertaining and interesting way, I hope, to spread the word about the School of Art collections.

(Karen Westendorf)


















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