As part of the research and exploration for my Final Major Project I’ve been visiting different collections of natural forms around London. One of the places I’ve been most excited to visit is The Last Tuesday Society and Victor Wynd’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The museum can be found in Bethnal Green, a few minutes walk from the underground station and its beautifully bizarre.
As you walk into The Last Tuesday Society you are immediately surrounded by taxidermy animals in the bar area. The bar is inspired by prohibition, theres plenty of cocktails and a whole list of absinth’s to try! Go down the staircase into the museum and cabinet of curiosities and things get a whole lot weirder (In a good way). The Museum is filled wall to wall with strange and unusual natural and man made curiosities. From the doodles and paintings of prison inmates to a two-headed cat and even Amy Winehouse’s Poo in a jar. This museum doesn’t even attempt to categorise its thousands of objects, everything is placed together on the shelves and tells its own twisted stories, much like the wunderkabinett’s of the past.
“By placing the rare and the beautiful on the same plane as the commonplace, banal & amusing this museum seeks not to educate but to subvert, to show the world not in a grain of sand, but in a Hackney basement.”
Ive looked at this museum because it is the best example of a modern Cabinet of Curiosities. Its where the unusual and extraordinary natural curiosities of the past meet the kooky collections of the present and future. Fossils of extinct animals sitting alongside McDonalds happy meal toys collected through the 90’s. The lack of categorisation is important, Cabinets of Curiosities, attempted to tell stories about the wonders and oddities of the natural world through collections of weird and amazing objects. It was an attempt of understanding the world by collecting and self categorisation in a time where there was very little scientific categorisation of the natural world. As we have developed as a society these weird collections are bound to be influenced by the man made world around us more and more. Basically people are pretty weird.
“The Museum has no overreaching aim beyond the theft of it’s visitors time and the hope that it will provide amusement by return & hopes to fill the vacuum between what the establishment elite believes is worthy of worship & what really exists in the world.”
Check out the Website here!