Hidden world of the rich man’s cabinet at Holburne Museum in Bath
Visiting an exhibition of cupboards might not sound the most spectacular of days out but these are not ordinary cupboards and are not being presented in an ordinary way.
The Holburne Museum in Bath is showcasing the ‘hidden world’ of Baroque cabinets and claims to be doing so in a ‘theatrical’ manner, with an impressive array of cabinets being fully opened for the first time to reveal ‘their dazzling interiors’.
The exhibition, which opens on Saturday and runs until the New Year, includes three of the Holburne’s own fine 17th century cabinets in its collection, as well as a selection from the Victoria & Albert in London.
“Cabinets were among the most spectacular pieces of furniture produced during the 17th century,” said a Holburne Museum spokeswoman. “Made from a variety of exotic materials they were status objects that were designed to show off the wealth and importance of their owners.
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“Their doors were opened to only the most privileged guests to reveal lavishly decorated interiors designed to display their owners most prized and precious objects. Visitors will now be able to share this experience as the cabinets will be displayed fully opened for the first time.
“Often displayed with their doors closed and locked in unlit corners of country houses and museums, these cabinets are often overlooked by visitors. This will be the first exhibition to concentrate solely on these magnificent pieces of furniture and to give them the attention that they fully deserve,” she added.