Bringing Nature Inside

Working from the celebrated frontispiece and catalogue of Worm's Museum, or the History of Very Rare Things, Natural and Artificial, Domestic and Exotic, Which Are Stored in the Author's House in Copenhagen (Leiden, 1655), installation artist and photographer Rosamond Purcell recreated the private museum of a Danish professor of medicine, Ole Worm (1588-1654), by using natural history specimens and ethnographic objects borrowed from collections at Harvard and elsewhere in the United States.  In reconstructing Worm's world, Purcell, and Curator Sara Schechner, explored not only the place of Worm's cabinet among other early museums and the ways in which he organized his collection, but also the issues that arose in representing nature through the sense of sight.