Monday, 28 March 2016

House of Wonders, public event

The House of Wonders
Wednesday 6th April
Castleton Visitor Centre

 a short expedition into the world 
of personal, portable museums

Between 1926 and 1978, the Douglas House of Wonders in Castleton offered visitors a wonderful collection of curiosities from a motor that could fit into a thimble to the Lords’ Prayer written on a thread thin enough to pass through the eye of a needle. There were minerals, native spears, and a selection of locks and keys that were featured in the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. Randolph Douglas was also an accomplished escapologist who worked with Houdini but we’re not going to ask you to go down that path on this workshop!

Inspired by the original Douglas House of Wonders museum in Castleton, join artists from Buxton Museum’s Collections in the Landscape project to make your own Cabinet of Curiosity or set out to find the lost scenes from Castleton.

Victorian and Edwardian Cabinets of Curiosity were personal museums with collections that ranged from local fossils and shells to exotic trade beads and even shrunken heads from distant travels. In size, these Cabinets could be free standing glass display units or small glass-fronted cupboards mounted on a wall. In effect anything could become a “Cabinet” if it offered a space that could hold a selection of items. While at one level being simply collections of odd bits and pieces, Cabinets are also reflections of an individual’s interests and travels, offering glimpses into the interests and fascinations of Victorian society and the personal lives of their owners.

We’ll use folding cardboard boxes as bases, cutting windows, adding acrylic sheets, hidden pictures and museum trays to make compartmented boxes to hold collections of small objects. You might go looking for shells and fossils, find a special leaf or a precious feather and store your mementos and souvenirs in your own portable museum.

There will also be a selection of period pictures to use, inviting you to explore Castleton and the Hope Valley and try to find those same places a century later. If you send us those 21st century photos we will build a project Gallery of Changes

Where: Castleton Visitor Centre, Buxton Rd, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WN

Times: 11 – 1 and 2 – 4: allow 45 minutes for your visit

Bookings? These sessions are free and no booking is needed, just drop by and join in. Car parking charges may apply

what would you put in your Cabinet?

(The two Cabinets here are from the Creeping Toad collections rather than anyone else's!)

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