Cabinet of Curiosities for Museum Service

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Aberdeenshire Council’s museum service is breaking new ground to make collections in Peterhead more accessible to young people.

As part of this aim, a major creative heritage and youth-led project is to take place this year, funded by Museums Galleries Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeenshire Council.

Working alongside Modo – a circus and street theatre company known for hosting the spectacular Maelstrom and Adenstrom parades in Fraserburgh and Mintlaw – young people from Peterhead will create a modern interpretation of the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, filled with artwork inspired by objects in the collections of Aberdeenshire Council.

Once completed, the ‘Cabinet’ will be taken on tour to a wider audience, featuring youth performances and workshops to showcase the achievements of the young people involved.

The museum service hopes to re-create the excitement, wonder and spectacle of the original Peterhead collection, which belonged to Adam Arbuthnot in the early Nineteenth Century, through this project.

The Victorian ‘Golden Age’ of collecting brought many exciting and exotic objects to Peterhead, diligently and carefully collected by Mr Arbuthnot, which were later donated to the community.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s education, leisure and learning committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “This is an exciting project which I’m sure will capture the imagination of young people and bring our museum collections to a whole new generation.”

Modo’s artistic director, Martin Danziger, added: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeenshire Council’s Museums Service, and are looking forward to bringing Adam Arbuthnot’s collections to a wider audience, using creative and exciting artwork and performances”

Research and development work on the project is starting shortly, with the first public outing of the Cabinet of Curiosities due to be in June.