Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities

Short course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

This course explores how and why Renaissance and early modern collectors amassed their antiquities, scientific specimens, religious relics, and examples of virtuoso craftsmanship in the first era of globalisation from the sixteenth century to the Enlightenment. The course will examine the ways in which such objects were acquired, categorised, and recirculated by connoisseurs who used their encyclopedic collections to understand their rapidly changing world.

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Course Leaders
Dr Martha Fleming, Dr Elaine Tierney, and Alison Bennett

Dr Martha Fleming is the Deputy Director of the V&A Research Institute (VARI), Dr Elaine Tierney is the Teaching and Training Coordinator for VARI, and Alison Bennett is currently completing a Collaborative Doctoral Award with University College London and the British Museum.

V&A short courses have been one of the most interesting things I have ever done - it has been a delight. 2015/2016 Short Course Student

Course overview

Cabinets of Curiosity were created by both princes and scholars and housed collections of extraordinary
objects drawn from art and nature throughout the world. Talks will address collections amassed in the Dutch
Golden Age, Baroque Spain, the Northern Renaissance, and in England, by collectors as varied as Hans Sloane,
the Duchess of Portland, and the Earl of Arundel. Weekly guided collection visits include the V&A, its South
Kensington neighbours, as well as the British Museum.

This course is being run in association with the V&A Research Institute (VARI) and will be of particular interest to AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) Students. Students are eligible for a special
VARI rate of £359.00, made possible through generous funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
There is limited availability for this rate. Please contact 020 7942 2000 for more information.

This 8 week course has a half term on the 12 February.

£399 full price, £359 over 60s, £325 concessions
(concessions are available for ES40 holders and registered disabled people)


Explore the subjects you love

Delve deeper into the subjects you love in a group who share your passion, and enjoy guided access to the V&A collections with expert tutors and lecturers. Refreshments served each day.

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Short course: Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities

8 January 2018 - 5 March 2018

£325.00 - £399.00

Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)