Museo Cartaceo de Cassiano dal Pozzo

In museum history there is one period that fascinates me: Cabinets of Curiosity.
The starting point of most European museums were these private collections of rich and scholarly intellectuals from the 16th and 17th century that collected curious and marvelous naturalia and artificialia.
In fact, collecting is in the human nature and most of us, in one point in our lives, keep a small cabinet of curiosities: a drawer filled with strange stuff; a shell collection; a wall covered with photos, cards and posters.
As I was writing a chapter about this period for my thesis, I came across and amazing cabinet originally belonging to the roman collector Cassiano dal Pozzo that bought and commissioned 7 000 watercolors, prints and drawings creating his «Paper Museum» documenting ancient art and architecture, botany, geology, ornithology and zoology. Aside from textiles, paper collections are second on my list, specially the meticulous drawings of fruits and vegetables.
Cassiano personally noted and cataloged the entire collection with methods similar to current museum practices. The collection was dispersed and sold after his death and now is part of various museums and private collections. However there is a work in progress to study the Paper Museum in a massive 36 volume catalouge raisonné which will reunite the collection for the first time since the 17th century.

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