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The Walters Art Museum Chamber of Wonders

Throughout the Renaissance Period of time and various other times people of wealth and means often put together a collection of "wonders" from around the world. This was primarily due to the unprecedented growth that was experienced during the Renaissance. The world was opening up, science was gaining steam, adventurers and travelers were discovering new countries, new species and all sorts of wonders. A Chamber of Wonders was a place to display these things.


And the Walters Art Museum built a chamber of wonders right inside the museum. You can walk into it and see all the wonders just as it would be during the Flemish Renaissance.

Can you see how beautiful that is for the average person like you and me? You can walk in and see the wonders that would be there in the 17th century. Let's look at a few of the things.

But first lets peek at it through the doorway then lets go inside.

A look inside.

And a peek at some of the things in the Chamber of Wonders

below: Panorama with the Wonders of the Ancient World and the Abduction of Helen , Maerten Van Heemskerck 1535

And the Narwahl Tusk

Van Heemskerck painting

The Perpetual Motion Machine

perpetual motion machine

That's just a little sample of what could be found in a chamber of wonders. I have a video you can watch if you would like to see a little more. And, I have a project you can make:

Make a chamber of wonders

A chamber of wonders was a 17th century Flemish thing. People would collect up wonders from around the world and display them. I visited one, and have pictures and a video. And, turned it into a paper diorama project. You can download it, print it, and make it here: Make a Chamber of Wonders


Let's continue and see the Studiolo


The Medieval World: The Walters Art Museum

The Medieval World: The Walters Art Museum presents some of the most important aspects of medieval art, through the examination of nearly 150 stunning objects from the Walters Art Museum, one of the richest collections of medieval art in the United States. It features superb examples of sculpture and carvings, metal and enamel work, stained glass, jewellery and illuminated manuscripts, ranging in date from the Romanesque and early Byzantine period to the late Gothic and early Renaissance period.

Divided into subjects such as the classical tradition and artistic process in the Middle Ages, the church as a heavenly space, saints, relics and devotion, and earthly possessions, each chapter is generously illustrated with artworks, special feature boxes, and details, which provide a fuller understanding of both the formal qualities and social context of medieval art.

A wonderfully written and illustrated introduction to the subject of medieval art and society, The Medieval World also features an extensive checklist, bibliography and index.