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A: München, Bayern, Germany

Samuel Quiccheberg Publishes the First Treatise on Museums


In 1565 Belgian physician Samuel Quiccheberg (von Quicheberg), scientific and artistic adviser to Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria, published Inscriptiones vel tituli theatri amplissimi in Munich at the press of Adam Berg. This short work of 64 pages was the first treatise on collecting and museums. It provided a rationale and organizational system for an ideal princely collection of art and Wunderkammer. Quiccheberg combined the traditional fields of art and curiosities with naturalia, mirabilia, artefacta, scientifica, antiquities and exotica into his plans for the Munich Kunstkammer.

In several places, Quiccheberg argued that one of the primary purposes of collecting was to promote technological innovation. He recommended collecting "Tiny models of machines, such as those for drawing water, or cutting wood into boards, or grinding grain, driving piles, propelling boats, stopping floods, and the like; on the basis of these models of little machines and constructions, other larger ones can be properly built and, subsequently, better ones invented." The idea was the prince could collect or commission a library of machines, including alternative designs, and then, when the need arised, have full scale versions built.

Quiccheberg, The First Treatise on Museums. Samuel Quiccheberg's Inscriptions 1565. Translation by Mark A. Meadow and Bruce Robertson. Introduction by Mark A. Meadow (2013). 

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