Permanent exhibition

Exhibition objects

History of the collections

Strange objects and natural history


The first of what we now call “ethnographic objects” entered the Genevan collections in the 18th century, at a turning point in history. Around 1750, the ambition to construct scientific knowledge of the world competed with curiosity about strangeness. Voyages of exploration, maritime trade, evangelisation and colonisation facilitated the acquisition of souvenirs, trophies or collections.

© 2021 Musée d'ethnographie, Genève