Wondrous Strange: Closing Event in Honor of Goethe's Birthday

Saturday, August 28, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

Artists Gallery at Fort Mason

The sixteenth century's cabinets of curiosities, precursors to today's museums, were encyclopedic collections of specimens from the natural world, as well as man-made artifacts. These cabinets served as educational resources for artists and natural philosophers of the early modern period in western Europe.

Featuring works by more than a dozen Bay Area artists and including photography, sculpture, and painting, the exhibition explores themes such as evolutionary biology and history, progress and decadence, and the carnal and the intellectual. These contemporary artists adopt a range of styles that pre-date twentieth-century modernism and mine the early modern period — that age of discovery for sources of wonder.

Image: Joseph Karl Stieler, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at age 69, 1828.