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The Sarcophagus of Spitzmaus and other treasures is the title of the exhibition created by Wes Anderson and his wife, the illustrator and designer Juman Malouf, in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna.

It could be the title of one of Wes Anderson movies or of an illustrated book of his wife! It is an exhibition project. Imagine inviting two creative people like them in the archive of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and telling them “choose what you want”. Initially it must have been pure euphoria, then overwhelm because the collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum are incredible –  it is one of the oldest museums in the world! – from Egyptian mummies to aboriginal and ethnographic objects,  from jewels, clocks, ceramics, old master paintings to Roman and Greek antiquities, costumes, scientific instruments…

This was the trailer of the exhibition:

The research must have been enormous. Jasper Sharp, the curator of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, was very impressed by the familiarity that Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf had of the collection and of the pieces on display. The collaboration must have been fun, a challenge for both sides.
The result is an exhibition that has never been seen before.

After being exhibited in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, now the Wes Anderson exhibition arrives in Milan, at the Fondazione Prada, from 20 September to 13 January 2020.

Fondazione Prada is absolutely the perfect place to host this exhibition: right here in 2015 Wes Anderson designed the Bar Luce, the now famous café of the Foundation, a real jump in the 50s and into the unique atmospheres and pastel colors that made Wes Anderson iconic.

The title of the exhibition pays tribute to the Sarcophagus of Spitzmaus, an Egyptian wooden box that contains the mummy of a shrew of the 4th century BC.

537 works on display, the exhibition is about the act of collecting. A great Wunderkammer! The setting by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf proposes new relationships between the works, offering the visitor a new type of visit.

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf  with the Sarcophagus of Spitzmaus. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien.

From the “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures”exhibition, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. Sarcophagus of Spitzmaus, painted wooden box from 4th century BC 21.9 x 11.6 x 11.4 cm Photo: Jeremias Morandell.

From the “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures” exhibition Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. Room n.4. Photo: Jeremias Morandell.

From the “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures” exhibition Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien. Room n.4. Photo: Jeremias Morandell.

This is not just an opportunity to see in person antique works of art from the Kunsthistorisches Museum but it is an experience, a journey in which Wes Anderson and his wife bring us. It will be interesting discovering their Wunderkammer, the choices they made, the connections and the combinations they imagined!

Can’t wait to visit the exhibition!


Photo cover Christian Mendez, Wes Anderson & Juman Malouf Picture Gallery, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna © KHM-Museumsverband