Wonder Rooms provides glimpse into private art collections

Wonder Rooms

The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to present Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections, featuring over 200 works from ten private art collections, highlighting everything from late 19th century painted porcelain to rock posters from the 1960s, all arranged in cabinets or rooms, simulating the private realms where these objects usually live.

Wonder Rooms examines the human desire to collect, with a specific focus on local collections in southwest Missouri, in order to discover the underlying stories and driving impulses behind collecting. After all, modern day museums developed out of two apparently basic aspects of human nature - our curiosity and our desire to collect. Early collections were arranged and contained within private homes in rooms referred to as ‘cabinets.’ These rooms were called ‘wonder’ or ‘curiosity cabinets,’ from the German wunderkammer. This exhibit is titled Wonder Rooms for its literal translation, but also because it reflects the power of objects to enchant, to promote contemplation, and to emit a sense of wonder.

Featured collectors include William Brandon Bowman, Marian Stahl Chamberlain, Kaye Foster-Gibson, Art and Pam Haseltine, Tom and Kim Prater, Alex and Cathy Primm, John and Katherine Simmons, Tom Whitlock, and two anonymous collectors. Featured artists include those with local name recognition like Julie Blackmon, Robert E. Smith, and Jacob Burmood, among many others, to those with international recognition like Rembrandt, Picasso, Marc Chagall, Annie Liebovitz, and Norman Rockwell.

This exhibit includes a free gallery guide, as well as a slate of free public programming including art talks with the local collectors.Wonder Rooms opens with a reception on September 15 at 5:30 PM and runs through February 11, 2018. The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.