The collections known as Cabinets are first and foremost spaces for simultaneous studies and exhibitions and have a history dating back to the Renaissance, when the nobility or the enlightened bourgeoisie, in their eagerness to establish themselves through high culture, sponsored studies on the most varied subjects, botany, art, the new world, the new sciences and, through the objects displayed, aroused discussion, intellectual production or simply curiosity.
Systematising themselves from the 16th century onwards, such collections, also known as "Chambers of Wonders", gradually became the museums we know today. They began, therefore, with the accumulation of objects in cabinets or galleries and then began to be divided into specific types such as paintings (or pinacotecas), sculptures, sacred art, modern art, etc.
However, museums have preserved their cabinets as specific spaces for the preservation of works based on paper as support - such as drawing, engraving, photography - and requiring similar care and conditioning. These study and exhibition spaces have remained as environments within museums - such as the Carlos Oswald cabinet at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, or the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, with the José and Guita Mindlin Cabinet - presenting their own characteristics of packaging, reading and museographic or museological organization.
The De Etser Collection has now over 200 works, including original prints by renowned artists (click on the artist's name for short biography), such as Aldegrever, Rembrandt, Goya, Rubens, Schongauer, Dürer, Hokusai,Holgarth, Daumier, etc. and Brazilians such as Otávio Araújo, Goeldi, Grassmann, among many others. Below a small sample of this important collection.