Campana Brothers Select: Works from the Permanent Collection

Book: LocuplettissimiI Rerum Naturalium Thesauri…

  • Written by Albertus Seba (1665–1736)
    The Netherlands, ca. 1734
    Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design
    Museum, f QH41 .S44 2001
    Photo: Matt Flynn

  • Albertus Seba, an apothecary based in Amsterdam, was a fervent collector of natural artifacts, including rare plants, animals, and art. Cabinets of curiosities, precursors to the modern-day museum, were sources of great pride, and Seba’s was so extensive that by 1710 he opened his house to visitors.

    Seba employed skilled artists and naturalists to document his objects. In an attempt to portray animals as they would exist in the real world, he would digress from fact into fiction and often humanized his subjects, especially the mammals.

Browse the collection: creating texture, entwining, inspiring arrow, morphing nature, quizzical delicacy, solid dreams, whimsy kaleidoscope
The above tags were provided by the Campana Brothers as an alternative way of organizing the objects in the exhibition.