Mark Dion’s Virginia Curiosity Shop at UVA
The Virginia Curiosity Shop is a large-scale temporary public artwork sited on the Arts Grounds of the University of Virginia. The work consists of an impeccably crafted, aged vernacular structure that gives the impression of having been located on the site for decades. The modest building, resembling countless structures dotting the rural landscape of the state, appears as an orphaned vestigial building miraculously untouched by the modern era. With its diminutive stature, tin roof, multi-paned windows and weathered gray siding, the building appears humble and charming. Nothing on the exterior prepares visitors for the visual feast they will encounter when they peer through its low windows and ascend the porch to its viewing vestibule to see the building’s interior. The vision of the interior greeting the public is one of shocking material excess, wonder, and beauty.