Museum of Curiosities

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities Fine Art & Natural History

Introduction

 

The Last Tuesday Society presents the first all encompassing museum to open in London since the Horniman in 1901. The Museum will present an incoherent vision of the world displayed through wonder enclosed within a tiny space, no attempt is made at classification and comprehensiveness, instead the museum focuses on the pre-enlightenment origins of the museum as Wunderkabinett – a mirror to a world so suffused with miracles and beauty that any attempt at categorization is bound to fail. Where contemporary museumology hides 90% of a collection, attempts to educate and explain, to put the world into neat little labeled drawers dictated by an obscurantist elite establishment that has shown itself in error many time over the centuries & is obsessed with a pedantic overspecialization of so called "knowledge" that means little or nothing to anyone outside it's narrow little field & oft discredited metanarratives this museum will merely display everything that has glittered & caught the eye of it's founder – from rare priceless marvels of the natural and scientific worlds like Dodo Bones or speculum to the intriguing beauty of McDonald's Happy Meal Toys, from old master etchings to prison inmates & mad women's doodles, occultists paintings and pop art prints, the horrors and wonders of nature, two headed kittens and living coral. By placing the rare and the beautiful on the same plane as the commonplace, banal & amusing this museum seeks not to educate but to subvert, to show the world not in a grain of sand, but in a Hackney basement. The Museum has no overreaching aim beyond the theft of it's visitors time and the hope that it will provide amusement by return & hopes to fill the vacuum between what the establishment elite believes is worthy of worship & what exists in the world.

- The Museum will include a permanent collection, lectures, parties, exhibitions, cocktails and food. A place for the wraiths and strays of London's forgotten bohemian world to gather amongst the dead and the beautiful on deep crimson velvet banquettes, sip absinthe & encage in lively and languorous intellectual debate.

The Museum will be divided into two parts – The Upper Galleries with up to two art exhibitions a year and The Wunderkabinett displaying high (& low) lights from the permanent collection in a double vaulted basement, arranged as a gesumskunstwerk in custom built and salvaged museum & jewelry cases. At the end of the final chamber, past the dead babies & butterflies in The Lion Room deep velvet banquettes surround a sarcophagus holding a 19th century human skeleton, surrounded by erotica & overlooked by a caged lion skeleton & a disturbingly powerful Mervyn Peake painting. The Lion Room is available for private hire for dinners and intimate encounters for up to ten people.

 

Collections

 

The museum will show work and objects both from The Viktor Wynd Collection and from private and institutional loans.

 

Curiosities

 

Shrunken Head, Asmat Human Trophy Skulls, Tribal Art from New Guinea & The Congo, Tin Toys, Juvenilia, Dolls, a bullet and piece of bone from a boys foot, odd books, two headed calf, kitten & lamb, 8 legged lamb, dead babies, Napoleon's Death Mask, a casket containing some of the original darkness Moses called down upon earth, hair ball from a cows stomach, kidney stone/bezoar, amber,
Erotica – from the Kama Sutra to Shenga, French 19th Century water colours & outsider porn, silly books, stone axes, unidentifiable worms...

 

Natural History

 

Sea shells, 100s of animal, bird & fish skulls - from a mouse to an elephant, extinct bird feathers, dodo bones, giant ant eater skeleton, Taxidermied dogs, fish & trophy heads, skeletons from a Giant Anteater & Lion to a mole, squirrels, sparrow & swan, playing cards, fossils, minerals, marine invertebrates from a Japanese Spider Crab to a Giant Isopod, every single British Butterfly, Giant Dragon Flies, Spiders, Beetles & Exotic Butterflies, the skull of an extinct Auroch - A large living coral reef aquarium

 

Fine Art

 

Artists represented in the collection include:

Michael Ayrton, Hans Bellmer, Zoe Beloff, Paul Benney, Peter Blake, Ian Bruce, John Buckland –Wright, Reg Butler, Leonora Carrington, Matt Collishaw, Ithell Colloquhoun, Tessa Farmer, Maeve Gilmore, Hendrik Goltzius, Gunter Gras, Alasdair Gray, Marcelle Hansellaar, Vanessa Hodgkinson, Axel Hoedt, Jiae Hwang, Baptiste Ibar, William Hogarth, Augustus John, Ilya Kabakov, Matthew Killick, Karl Largefeldt, Molly Micklethwaite, Polly Morgan, Willy Mucha, Martin Parr, Pablo Picasso, Mat Shinoe Pui, Lina Scheynius, Austin Osman Spare, Graham Sutherland, Stephen Tennant, Keith Vaughan, Agostino Veneziano, Raisa Veikkola, John Waters, Hugo Wilson, Wols, Stephen Wright, Ossip Zadkine and others who I have forgotten, not to mention the worlds largest (if not only) collection of work by Viktor Wynd.

In depth collection of Austin Osman Spare, Stephen Tennant, Leonora Carrington (graphic works), Mervyn Peake & Gunter Grass.

Loans from the collection have been made to major institutions including IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Tate Liverpool, The Lowry, and Kendal Museum & Kelvingrove.

 

Dandies

 

The Museum holds an in depth collection (much on loan from the estate) relating to the Dandies Sebastian Horsley & Stephen Tennant, ranging from Sebastian Horsley's nails from his crucifixion & sequined suit to the 1920s scrap books of Stephen Tenant and a large collection of his drawings and paintings. It also contains a sketch of a life modeling Quentin Crisp

 

Cocktail Bar, Café & Restaurant

 

The ground floor will play host to a tiny café bar restaurant run by Clapton's Bonneville under chef Oly Launcy serving simple sandwiches & light bites as well as an extensive evening cocktail menu. The Lion room in the Wunderkabinett will be available for private hire for magnificent feasts of game and seafood.