Curiosity shows are hand-picked

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A Cabinet of Curiosities at Scarborough Art Gallery including stuffed birds and festive items will provide a fascinating insight into the Scarborough Collections over the next few months.

The Scarborough Collections is the name given to all the museums objects held by Scarborough Museums Trust on behalf of the borough. From Saturday until next spring, each month a member of the Trust’s Visitor Services team will choose a variety of objects around a theme of their choice to be displayed in the gallery’s reception area.

The first visitor services assistant to curate a mini exhibition is Jim Middleton, who will choose items from the Trust’s extensive collection of taxidermy, and has called his cabinet What’s hit is history’: the rise and rise of the Victorian ‘bird stuffers’.

Jim said: “With a resurgence of interest in the art of taxidermy, this is an interesting look at the history of ‘bird stuffing’. It aims to explore what caused its growth, the factors contributing to its decline, and the professional naturalists and stuffers of late Victorian Scarborough.”

On December 8, Jim’s cabinet will be replaced by objects chosen by visitor services assistant Sarah Moore, who will present Christmas at Crescent Villa.

She said: “Scarborough Art Gallery was called Crescent Villa when it was originally built as a family home in 1845. For the next 80 years or so, it remained a home for various occupants until it became a maternity hospital in the Second World War.

“I plan to display festive items and toys that may have been used throughout this 80-year-period – Victorian, Edwardian and later.”