In the heart of the historic Italian city of Arezzo, there is a unique art gallery called Theatrum Mundi, the 21st century cabinet of curiosities. Founded in 2015 by Luca Cableri, this gallery is located in the most dynamic antiquarian district in Tuscany.
With a prestigious career in the art world and a personal passion for the unusual and the bizarre, Cableri decided to pay his tribute to the old tradition of the wunderkammer. The most striking thing about Theatrum Mundi is its eclectic and experimental approach to the cabinets of wonders, which display pieces from space exploration and some of the most celebrated fantasy and science fiction films in the last decades.
The result, without any doubt, is truly spectacular. The gallery is a 16th century former theater with imposing vaults depicting battles painted by Teofilo Torri, a close associate of the artist Giorgio Vasari. Visitors can admire fascinating treasures from the natural kingdoms, rare scientific devices and automata, and some of the most extravagant artifacts from human and geologic history. Cableri’s goal is to create a universal reflection of our current era, in collaboration with a distinguished team of architects, historians, paleontologists, and photographers.
Among the pieces displayed in the gallery are the skull of a triceratops, a pterodactyl, two complete dinosaur skeletons fighting, a stele from the kingdom of Ramses II, pre-Columbian, Inuit, and Papuan erotic and magic objects, and original costumes from films such as Star Wars, Alien, Batman, and The Mask.
Cableri’s interests also extend beyond our planet. He created the “Space Cabinet of Curiosities” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. This extraterrestrial exhibition includes original Soviet and Russian spacesuits, fragments of lunar rocks and martian meteorites, and ancient astrolabes and telescopes.
The possibilities of Theatrum Mundi are unlimited. Apart from its commercial activity, the gallery participates in art fairs across Europe and organizes exclusive dinners and parties where guests can approach and even touch singular pieces, such as the lunar rock. The gallery also has a central role in the film Wunderkammer – World of Wonder, a tour through the world’s most eccentric and flamboyant private collections. The gallery has released three books on its exhibitions, supported by the local cultural authorities in Arezzo.
Cableri’s goal is to organize a great exhibition every year, focused on a different subject; perhaps the next exhibit will be devoted to eroticism in history or the topic of monsters seen by different cultures. Thanks to his wondrous imagination and commitment for the dream of his life, we will always expect miracles to happen in Theatrum Mundi.
Know Before You Go
Visits to Theatrum Mundi are available by appointment, and can be scheduled by contacting the gallery.