Cabinet of Curiosities: A VR museum full of wonders

Cabinet of Curiosities: A VR museum full of wonders

Robert Morris’ Virtual Reality Cabinet of Curiosities features hundreds of rare and wondrous objects digitized through photogrammetry.

The so-called cabinets of curiosities date back to the 14th century and represent an early form of a museum where rare and strange objects of different types, origins and destinations are collected and exhibited.

US artist Robert Morris is working on a cabinet of curiosities that is being developed specifically for virtual reality. VR users can move around freely in it, pick up the wondrous objects and view them up close. Every drawer and every display case can be opened and explored.

The room is designed in the style of the Victorian era and packed with real and rare exhibits from around the world, which Morris has digitized in a photo-realistic way. The objects, which come from his private collection or from museums, are said to be so detailed that they are worth looking at with a virtual magnifying glass.

The VR cabinet is a byproduct of the pandemic

Morris has worked successfully as an artist for 25 years. His specialties include art drawings, special visual effects, 3D printing, photogrammetry and virtual reality.

Work on the Cabinet of Curiosities began during the pandemic. Morris has been experimenting with photogrammetry for ten years and had the idea to present the digital counterparts of his personal collection in a VR space. Gradually, objects from other collections were added.

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Virtual reality makes them accessible to a wider audience while preserving them in digital form for posterity. “This experience is for artists and explorers of the natural world, who may now see these curiosities collected from around the globe, in the comfort of their own home anytime they wish,” Morris writes.

Morris wants the museum to grow

The VR experience is scheduled for release on Steam later this year and will gradually expand to include new objects as well as new forms of interaction. VR users will be able to pick up each exhibit and learn more about its origin and purpose, Morris promises.

Those interested in learning more about the artist can visit his website. A Discord server for the project is also already up and running. Cabinet of Curiosities can now be added to the wish list on Steam.