The Cabinet of Frederik Ruysch
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Frederik Ruysch's cabinet of curiosities, commonly referred to simply as the Cabinet, was a museum Ruysch created in the Netherlands in the late 160ss. The Cabinet filled a series of small houses that Ruysch rented in Amsterdam and contained over 2,000 specimens, including preserved fetuses and infants. The collection remained in Amsterdam until it was purchased by Tsar Peter the Great of Russia in 1717 and transferred to St. Petersburg, Russia. Similar to Gunther von Hagens' twenty-first century Body Worlds exhibition, which presents bodies preserved through plastination, the Cabinet was open to both medical professionals and laypeople. The pieces in the Cabinet were life-like and aesthetically pleasing, making them valuable education tools for prenatal and infant anatomy as well as an effective way of garnering public interest in anatomy.