• A letter from 1916 with two of the three first Liechtenstein stamps

  • Alpabfahrt heart ('Alpabfahrtsherz'), a decoration for the best milking cows when they return from the alpine pastures, where they had passed the summer

  • The small cabinet of curiosity before the opening in Montdidier highschool


Small Treasures from Vaduz

07.03.2018 - 19.08.2018

Inspired by the Renaissance cabinet of curiosity, Musée de Picardie and the Liechtenstein National Museum present Small Treasures from Amiens and Small Treasures from Vaduz. They offer visitors the opportunity to discover another European country and culture through the exchange of symbolic objects from their collections.

Cabinets of curiosity as ancestors of museums

The small cabinet of curiosity follows the concepts of the Italian ‘studiolo’ and the German ‘Wunderkammer’, the ancestors of modern day museums. Objects from natural history, geology, ethnography, archeology or (art) history were displayed next to each other in a piece of furniture or in dedicated galleries. These items were collected in various fields according to encyclopedic goals or the owners’ own tastes and interests. The main idea of these ‘cabinet of wonders’ was to surprise, generate curiosity and delight.

A modern interpretation of the historical cabinets

Today, the Musée de Picardie has respected the spirit of those precursors of museums in a modern way that enables collections to be shown outside the institution’s walls in a secure way. Whereas the historical cabinets of curiosities were conly opened to a minority of the population, the happy few, the small cabinet of Amiens breaks with that tradition. The museum created a modern cabinet that makes it possible to reach publics that are geographically or socially far from the museums. The cabinet then will place the small treasures from Vaduz outside of the museum in a local high school.

Discover another country through a cultural exchange

In the frame of the smARTplaces project, the Liechtenstein National Museum and the Musée de Picardie have decided to enable visitors of both cities to discover the other country and its culture through the exchange of the most symbolic items of the collections of the two museums.

Both museums selected objects not only reflecting their collections, but at the same time the uniqueness of their respective country. For example decorative eggs, calculating machines and stamps will travel from Liechtenstein to Amiens and puppets, religious artefacts and paintings from the Musée de Picardie will be shown at the Liechtenstein National Museum. And just like their historical models the new cabinets of curiosity aim to surprise and amaze their viewers.

Small Treasures from Amiens is on view at the Liechtenstein National Museum from the 7th of March until the 19th of August 2018. Small Treasures from Vaduz is on view in an Amiens high school in the Fall of 2019.