Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections

Exhibit Details

September 16, 2017 - February 11, 2018
Opening Reception: September 15, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Weisel and Kelly Galleries

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 collections usually included a wide range of objects from taxidermy to paintings and sculpture. As their popularity grew, these rooms were called wonder or curiosity cabinets, from the German wunderkammer.

Wonder Rooms examines the human desire to collect, with a specific focus on private collections in Southwest Missouri, in order to discover the underlying stories and driving impulses behind collecting. The exhibit will present representative works from ten local collections, and will feature a wide range of media arranged in cabinets or 'rooms,' including ceramics, photography, outsider art, local art, furniture, prints and drawings.

Exhibit Resources

View the Exhibition Preview Video

Wonder Rooms Gallery Guide

Program Details

Director's Talk: October 5, 2017 at 5:30 PM
Join Nick Nelson, Director of the Springfield Art Museum, as he shares his thoughts on the nature of art collecting.

Collector's Talk Series
Weisel and Kelly Galleries
Join collectors as they share stories and insights about their collections currently featured in Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections.

  • Alex and Cathy Primm: October 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM
  • Marian Stahl Chamberlain: November 9, 2017 at 5:30 PM
  • William Brandon Bowman: December 7, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Curator's Talk: January 25, 2018 at 5:30 PM
Weisel and Kelly Galleries
Join Sarah Buhr, Curator of Art at the Springfield Art Museum, as she discusses the process of curating Wonder Rooms: Ozark Collections.

Family Day: January 27, 2018 from 10 AM to Noon
Community Room and Galleries
Family Days are drop-in events designed to help kids and grown-ups explore the Museum's exhibits together through hands-on gallery and art-making activities. No registration required.


Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

a black and white etching of the interior of a cabinet of curiousity

Frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worm's cabinet of curiosities.

Gallery Guide

Wonder Rooms Poster