The Victorian ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ as a Source of Creative Outcomes: The Novelist as Museum Researcher

By Gary Crew.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Given that the Victorian era revelled in ‘the trappings of death,’ (Wilson 2003, p.539) and that Victorian era museums have often been considered as sterile ‘Cabinets of Curiosity’ providing no more than a ‘storehouse for all the “wonders of creation”‘, (Wilson 2000, p. 209), this presentation will both contend and demonstrate that such ‘storehouses’ and the exhibitions they displayed may serve as a source of inspiration for the positive and lively outcomes of creative works such as the novel. Dr. Gary Crew is an academic and internationally acclaimed novelist who has used the older style ‘cabinet of curiosity’ museum for this creative purpose. Specific reference will be made to collections in the Adelaide Museum, the Old Queensland Museum and the Natural History Museum, London, as research sources in the creation of novels. Wilson, A 2003. The Victorians, Arrow Books, London. Wilson, J 2000. The Forgotten Naturalist: In Search of Alfred Russel Wallace. Australian Scholarly Publishing, Kew, Victoria.

Keywords: Cabinets of Curiosity, Creative Research, Creative Outcomes

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.81-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.127MB).

Gary Crew

Associate Professor, Creative Writing, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maleny, Queensland, Australia

Gary Crew has been an Internationally published author since 1986. He has won the Australian Children’s Book of the year four times and specialises in factually based novels for adults and youth.


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