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Old Mother Hubbard and the Cabinet of Curiosity: The Story of Storage

Novelist and academic Ian Sansom explores what cupboards and cabinets reveal about human nature and whether they tell our life stories.

Novelist Ian Sansom delves into cupboards and cabinets to explore what they reveal about human nature. Le Corbusier didn't approve of the clutter cupboards encourage, wanting to free our lives of 'junk'; whereas artist Herbert Distel filled a cabinet with trinkets donated by Man Ray, Annette Messager, Andy Warhol, and John Cage - 'a roll-call of twentieth-century conceptualists, creatives, collagists and curators of the curious' in his Museum of Drawers. Rimbaud wrote about an old sideboard crammed with memories, and Duchamp fitted his life's work in a suitcase, but Ian wonders if the contents of our cupboards really do tell our life stories, complete with the all the hopes, dreams and broken promises suggested by unused pasta machines and unfinished jigsaws - or in the end does it all 'amount to nothing, just so much junk?'.

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15 minutes


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