Musée des confluences

In the House of Wonders

The cabinet of curiosities – and all the marvels it contains – has won over visitors since the museum first opened. In view of this infatuation the exhibition has been extended to 10 April 2016. A new opportunity to explore this enchanting itinerary, which pays tribute to the museum’s roots.

Enter the intimacy of cabinets of curiosities and discover an atmosphere, a spirit, the evocation of a time when men, fascinated by the world’s complexity, accumulated objects stemming from man’s genius, the Artificialia, and the most prodigious creations of nature, the Naturalia.

From the Renaissance onwards these “curious minds” harvested objects simultaneously strange, fascinating, out of the ordinary or mysterious, which they collected and showed to privileged visitors to share their thirst for knowledge.

In the beginning the stagings and compositions were to arouse admiration and wonder. Little by little, guided by the emergence of a scientific spirit, collectors specialized and proposed new classifications for their collection. Cabinets of curiosities then played a major role in the circulation of knowledge and ideas at the time.

This exhibition presents a selection of 800 pieces, mainly coming from the museum’s collections.