19 Apr — 20 Sep 20
One of the most beautiful ways to display natural objects originated in the Enlightenment. The desire in the 18th century to study nature, to systematically record the world in collections and put it on display, brought about the first xylotheques, collections of wood specimens. This exhibition presents a new wood library compiled by Marion and Karlheinz Miarka and fashioned after historical samples. Over the years, they have transformed the wood of 240 native and imported tree species into books.
The bark of each tree, ranging from maple, beech, oak and tulip tree to oleander and black walnut, forms the spine of the book; its wood the sturdy book covers, which, when closed, become a small box to preserve the branches, leaves, buds, blossoms or fruits of the respective tree. Marion and Karlheinz Miarka work sustainably, obtaining wood of tropical species from old shipping palettes, other woods from felled trees in gardens, and still others from nurseries with unsaleable specimens. The exhibition also provides insight into the history of the xylotheques and offers visitors a tactile experience of the diversity of wood species.