Curiosity: Art and The Pleasure of Knowing

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

28 September 2013 – 5 January 2014

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An eclectic collection of artefacts brought together to reveal humanity’s thirst for knowledge.

The artist and writer Brian Dillon has a skilful ability in finding unexpected connections between objects and ideas. This exhibition focuses on the human compulsion for knowledge together with our more frivolous desire for things that are strange and new.

Presenting a veritable cabinet of curiosities taken from museums, galleries and institutions across the nation, Dillon guides audiences through the passions and obsessions of latter day naturalists, and in the process, reveals how these fascinating specimens have influenced the history of art.

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There are some lovely artefacts here, from the wonderful woodcut of an iron clad Rhinoceros made by Albrecht Dürer in the sixteenth-century to some exquisite models of aquatic creatures by the German glassmakers Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka.

Meanwhile, a king penguin collected on Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition reveals just how far humans are prepared to go in their quest for knowledge.

Venue information

Opening times

2 Jan – 29 Jun, 1 Oct – 31 Dec
Mon – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm
Sun, 1 – 4.30pm

30 Jun – 30 Sept
Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 1 – 5pm

Closed 1 Jan, 24 – 26 Dec

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