Originally developed in 2010 by Lonnie Hanzon as a mainstay installation at MOA’s former Englewood headquarter galleries, MOA’s Cabinet of Curiosities & Impossibilities is a whimsical immersive exhibition showcasing the talents of various artists in a collaborative installation revealing unique stories, ephemera and radiant displays. The juxtaposition of disparate objects is sure to delight the historian, tinkerer, and armchair scientist. Among the many oddities, you will see Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland cabinet featuring bronze maquette’s by Harry Marinsky, an original 19th Century ‘rocking ships’ automaton by Jean-Marie Phalibois, Nick Bantock’s “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man”, and David Zimmer’s “I am Lost”.
In 2018, MOA revamped the installation to include even more whimsy. The rework was led by Scott Soffa.
After MOA relocated its headquarters in 2022 to Marjorie Park, the Cabinet is being permanently installed in a new standalone structure at MOA’s Marjorie Park. The Museum has once again teamed up with Lonnie Hanzon to reenvision this rendition as master work of Hanzon’s. The installation is expected to be completed with member only previews in fall 2023 with full programming open to the public beginning in spring 2024. Read the full press release with additional details.
Original cabinets dated from the 16th century and were entire rooms of specimens. The most famous, best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class, and early practitioners of science formed collections that were the precursors to the museum. In the Cabinet of Curiosities & Impossibilities, MOA seeks to recreate the wonder and contemplation once aroused in the 19th century cabinets.
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