Opening the Cabinets of Curiosity

Cabinets of curiosity

There’s currently a selection of curious objects lurking at Bankfield Museum in Halifax, as some of the more obscure items from Calderdale Museums’ collections form part of a new exhibition.

The Cabinets of Curiosity exhibition offers the chance to see some of the diverse objects looked after by Calderdale Museums. The new exhibition questions what is collected, how things are interpreted and what makes things curious.

There’s also a Steampunk-themed section and an exhibition of 19th Century Dressmaking featuring original dresses, accessories and fashion images from the Museum’s collections. 

Cabinets of Curiosity is suitable for all ages and this free exhibition includes a children’s trail and activities. There is also a series of children’s workshops running throughout the holidays, which require advance booking.  

For adults, the museum is hosting a Conference of the Curious on Monday 21 September. The conference will highlight topics raised in the Cabinets of Curiosity exhibition with a selection of speakers discussing a range of interesting subjects, including taxidermy, weird and wonderful costume and even vampire slaying kits! 

There’s also a behind the scenes tour of Bankfield with the curator of the Cabinets of Curiosity exhibition on Saturday 12 September, where you can look at the museum’s stores and collections. 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Steve Sweeney, said: 

“This new exhibition demonstrates some of the weird and wonderful items that are held in museum collections. 

“Calderdale Museums look after around 70,000 different items. They obviously can’t all be displayed at the same time, so it’s great that some of the more obscure items can be viewed as part of this intriguing new exhibition.” 

The free exhibition is open until Saturday 3 October, Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 4pm. 

For more information about this exhibition or to book on the children’s workshops or other events visit 

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