Pointe-à-Callière presents Into the Wonder Room, an exhibition that invites you into the mysterious and unique world of cabinets of curiosities. A true homage to the beauty and strangeness of the world, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey around the globe, showcasing over 1,000 rare, often exotic, and sometimes unusual objects displayed in impressive installations. The exhibition brings together objects from the collections of the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France, as well as hundreds of items from the collections of several museums in Québec and Canada, and from private collectors.
The exhibition gives visitors an opportunity to explore the history of cabinets of curiosities—or “wonder rooms”—down through the ages, from the homes of European aristocrats, great explorers, and scholars in past centuries to Québec “curiosity rooms” and the homes of certain contemporary collectors. The exhibition layout leads to a truly eclectic and immersive wonder room, recreating the spectacular effect of a cabinet of curiosities in a monumental installation that includes scores of multicoloured butterflies and birds, along with a profusion of unusual objects from around the world.
The final zone of the exhibition is dedicated to the all-consuming passion and singular universe of seven Montréal- and Québec-based collectors, featuring interviews and several objects from their collections. Of note are some objects belonging to a collector who is at once a plangonologist (doll collector), an arctophile (collector of old stuffed toys), and a ludophile (toy collector).
The exhibition showcases mysterious objects, fantastic creatures, mounted animals, and scientific instruments. Among the more impressive and fascinating are a mastodon tooth, a dinosaur egg, an albino moose, a Victorian-era ornithological display case, a Kaga school samurai armour, a two-headed calf, an armillary sphere, and Virginia deer whose antlers became locked in battle, causing their death.