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

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?'.

Release date:

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Thu 23 Apr 2015 22:45

The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

The Essay podcast

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

Listen Online First

The Essay Online First

Hear all five episodes of the latest episodes of the Essay before they're broadcast