Published by Prestel Spring 2020
For over a decade, from a tiny storefront in east London, the artist Viktor Wynd has been reinventing the cabinet of curiosities for the twenty-first century. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History is now one of the city’s most tantalising tourist destinations. Wynd first introduced his worldview in the book Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders, which John Waters called ”an insanely delightful how-to guide . . . told with lunatic humour and absolute joy.” In this new volume, he takes readers on a tour inside his mildly-twisted mind, delving deeper into his philosophy of collecting, and describing personal connections to the objects he treasures. Written in his trademark charismatic style, which blends whimsical stories with odd facts and obscure references, this book is filled with lavish and theatrical photographs and drawings. Loosely organised into thematic chapters, it ponders the beauty of skulls and masks; explores beasts, freaks, monsters, fairies, and mermaids; covers magical plants, hallucinogens, erotica, and dandies; and dips into the world of the occult. This might not be a book for everyone. However, it is a book everyone interested in cabinets of curiosities should have on their shelf.
Published by Prestel Autumn 2014
Viktor Wynd’s gallery and shop in East London is arranged with the sensibility of a 17th-century Wunderkabinett. It displays and sells an eccentric and seemingly random collection of objects – everything from shrunken heads to narwhal tusks, united only by the sense of wonder they inspire in their curator. Now, Wynd takes readers on a tour of homes, private collections and museums that share his fondness for things arcane, desiccated, antique, or just plain odd. The book visits rarefied locations lovingly curated to by dilettantes, bohemians and artists: from David McKinley’s rambling Devon farmhouse and its historic taxidermy to an Italianate villa in East London built near tower blocks; to the House of Dreams Museum and artist Marcelle Hanselaar’s studio. It also includes advice on how to start a collection of your own, covering details on auction houses, private dealers, flea markets and fairs, and shows that having distinctive taste does not necessarily require a massive budget. Designed in a style that reflects its author’s delightfully idiosyncratic perspective and with illustrations by the Theatre of Dolls, and photography by Oskar Proctor, this book is dedicated to collecting the wonders of the world.