HomeAbout the Nature Cabinet

About the Nature Cabinet

The Nature Cabinet is a natural history collection and innovative resource center on the campus of Salve Regina University dedicated to the study of the natural world.  Founded in 2018, it is curated by the students and faculty of the Art and Art History Department.

The Nature Cabinet is inspired by the tradition of cabinets of curiosities that date back to the Renaissance.  Cabinets of curiosities were created to conserve, document, and organize knowledge.  They represent a passion for the encyclopedic aim of creating a microcosm of the world in a single room.  Cabinets of curiosities from the Renaissance reflect the time's spirit of Humanism combined with strong religious underpinnings as a way of exploring humans' place in the world, of understanding our place in relation to nature and the natural world, which was thought of as God's creation. 

The Cabinet of Curiosity, sometimes called the Cabinet of Wonder—in German called the Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer—historically brought together many different objects and works.  Not only specimens from nature and natural history, but also books, religious relics, historical objects, antiquities, and works of art like paintings.  Traditionally, the word "Cabinet" referred not to a piece of furniture, but to an entire room.  The name of Salve's collection—the Nature Cabinet—becomes part of this tradition, since Cabinet can refer to both the beautiful glass-fronted cabinets that house our  collection as well as the entire room itself.  Cabinets of curiosities that developed in the Renaissance were the precursors of modern-day museums.  Salve's Nature Cabinet hopes to capture the spirit of scholarly exploration, adventurous study, and aesthetic wonder that comes from contemplating the natural world.  We hope that the Nature Cabinet will inspire and instill a sense of wonder in you. 

Reproduction of Images

Images may be reproduced or published without fee as long as they are credited as follows: Courtesy of The Nature Cabinet at Salve Regina University, Department of Art and Art History, Newport, Rhode Island.  Copies of publications should be sent to the following address:  The Nature Cabinet, Dept. of Art and Art History, Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island 02840.

Contributors and Collaborators

Faculty Curators of The Nature Cabinet

Ernest Jolicoeur, Associate Professor of Art and Director of Hamilton Gallery

Anthony F. Mangieri, Associate Professor of Art History and Chairperson, Department of Art and Art History

Susannah Strong, Associate Professor of Art

Creators of The Nature Cabinet's Website

Nicole Marino, Digital Scholarship and Instruction Librarian, McKillop Library

Ernest Jolicoeur, Associate Professor of Art

Anthony F. Mangieri, Associate Professor of Art History

Caylee Post, Salve Regina University Class of 2020 (Art History major)

Danielle Plouffe, Salve Regina University Class of 2021 (Cultural and Historic Preservation major)

Deirdre Lafferty, Salve Regina University Class of 2023 (Art History & Cultural and Historic Preservation majors)

Photography and Images

Caitlyn Rubino, Salve Regina University Class of 2022 (Environmental Studies major)

Jodie Mim Goodnough, Associate Professor of Art

Logo Design

Mirano Suzuki, Salve Regina University Class of 2019 (Studio Art major)

Student Contributors

Sarah Beach, Veronica Beretta, Brooks Cobb, Mikayla Crieger, Sara Dunn, Ryan Fox, Mary Kate Hickey, Caitlin Kelley, Taylor Lovrien, Bella Margi, Taylor Marshall, Brooke Pennington, Christina Romano, Samantha See, Helen Shiepe, and Josephine Taranto.  


The Nature Cabinet was made possible through the generous support of a Therese Antone Academic Excellence Award for Special Projects at Salve Regina University.