Curiosities in Vienna

This item appears on page 68 of the July 2012 issue.
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Starting in the Renaissance, European royalty began assembling Kunstkammers, collections of “curiosities and wonders” from both the natural and man-made worlds.

One such collection, started by Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol in 1553 and carried on by his Habsburg descendants for three centuries, was displayed in the Vienna Kunsthistoriches Museum (Maria Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna, Austria; phone +43 1 525 24 0), but the space has been closed for renovation since 2002.

In December 2012, the collection of 3,000-plus objects will be open to the public again in a newly renovated, 13-hall, 2,700-square-meter space. A small sample — Saliera’s golden saltcellar; items worked in gold, bronze and ivory, and “scientifica,” from the mundane (ostrich eggs) to the exotic (a “unicorn horn”).

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Starting in the Renaissance, European royalty began assembling Kunstkammers, collections of “curiosities and wonders” from both the natural and man-made worlds.

One such collection, started by Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol in 1553 and carried on by his Habsburg descendants for three centuries, was displayed in the Vienna Kunsthistoriches Museum (Maria Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna, Austria; phone +43 1 525 24 0), but the space has been closed for renovation since 2002.

In December 2012, the collection of 3,000-plus objects will be open to the public again in a newly renovated, 13-hall, 2,700-square-meter space. A small sample — Saliera’s golden saltcellar; items worked in gold, bronze and ivory, and “scientifica,” from the mundane (ostrich eggs) to the exotic (a “unicorn horn”).