Their collection of scale-model battle dioramas includes Fort Sumter, the Battle of the Ironclads and their masterpiece, four years in the making, Pickett’s Charge, 1,900 cat soldiers in all (SLWaPo)
“African American history’s been smoothed out. You lose focus of how it was, how cruel. But this is the most impacting museum I’ve ever been to. It’s amazing, it’s face-to-face, like reading Nat Turner’s Rebellion—though that was written by a white man.” How a museum in Baltimore shapes African American history—in wax.
[PREVIOUSLY ON METAFILTER] The Museum of Jurassic Technology contains strange exhibits that test one's sense of authenticity. It has been the subject of a radio documentary and a book.
Edward Lovett was a bank employee and amateur folklorist fascinated with charms and amulets and the superstitions they represented. He rambled early 20th century London collecting charms from soldiers, sailors, street vendors and others. Today the charms are preserved in the Wellcome Collection, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Horniman Museum. [more inside]
Fascinating Photos from the Secret Trash Museum in a New York Sanitation Garage. (sl Atlas Obscura)
Six scientists at the American Museum of Natural History explain what we know, and what’s still mysterious, about the disappearance of six different species/genera. [more inside]
The Tiniest Gallery "I like art, so I built a single-serving art gallery that features local artists and hung it on the fence outside my house. " [via mefi projects]
After logging onto their computers today, staff here at the MERL were greeted by an unusual email from the Assistant Curator:
155-year old mouse trap claims its latest victim
How a mouse died in our Victorian mouse trap [more inside]
There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap,it began,
…which is not described as being there on the database.
155-year old mouse trap claims its latest victim
How a mouse died in our Victorian mouse trap [more inside]
"It Started Here." With great excitement, living history attraction Colonial Williamsburg spent more than a million dollars to put out its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl. The splurge may have backfired, as its use of footage of the World Trade Center towers falling on 9/11 to a Tom Brokaw voice-over angered and upset many in its target markets and puzzled plenty of others. Takes from Daily News, Esquire, Gothamist, USA Today, NY Post, Slate, HuffPo. [more inside]
Starship Enterprise in the shop for repairs [Washington Post]
After 50 years of imaginary intergalactic service and epic flights of science fiction, the starship Enterprise, registry number NCC-1701, lies in pieces on a table at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
A tyrannosaur of one’s own. by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [Aeon] Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more — film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
The world’s most famous palaeontologist doesn’t understand why anyone wants to collect dinosaurs. Mark Norell sits across from me in his expansive corner office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and launches right in: ‘People are weird. I think: “Who is buying this shit?” No accounting for people’s taste. I have a passion for dinosaurs, but certainly not what I would call “dinosaur insanity”. Dinosaurs are just a medium for me to do science. But if I were doing the same thing on some other organism – you wouldn’t be here.’
The home of late artist/illustrator Maurice Sendak may or may not become a museum. It may be more difficult to house a wild thing than it would seem. Controversy broils over Sendak's disputed legacy.
The whale is so big, the frogs are so bright, the Hall of Biodiversity an astonishing swarm of life. The planetarium space show tells a story, but it holds your attention by engulfing your senses with an experience. And then maybe this excitement inspires a little girl to go home and learn the names of the constellations and all the planets and their moons, and the night sky is no longer spooky darkness, but a beautiful realm full of things she can name. The museum today teaches you about science, but it makes you care by getting you to fall in love.
Le Petit Théâtre Dior: An exhibit of miniature Dior creations was mounted in China earlier this year. [more inside]
On November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank off Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior. In the intervening years, weather researchers have compiled and simulated the data of the weather that led to the sinking. In 2010, Gordon Lightfoot revised the lyrics to his famous song about the sinking, based on claims that a "rogue wave" was enough to cause the Fitzgerald to sink. [more inside]
Marion True, former curator at the Getty, discusses the charges of looting leveled against her in 2005. “The art is on the market. We don’t know where it comes from. And until we know where it comes from, it’s better off in a museum collection. And when we know where it comes from, we will give it back.”
As well as founding the field of sexology, Alfred Kinsey was an avid entomologist who collected 7.5 million specimens of gall wasps and plant galls. After his death his collection was donated to the American Museum of Natural History.
In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live. [more inside]
Do you like cats? Don't lie, we know you do! Cats at the Museum of Moving Image, and you know it's because you love cats!
A program at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts inviting visitors to don a replica kimono from a Monet work has sparked protests over appropriation. Boston Art blog Big, Red & Shiny also has a write-up. [more inside]
James Comisar has amassed a collection of movie and TV props which he currently houses in storage while he sets up the actual Museum of Television.
For the first time, "the wreckage of a slaving ship that went down with slaves aboard has been recovered." The recovery of artifacts from the 1794 shipwreck is a milestone for the African Slave Wrecks Project, a collaboration by six partner groups (including the National Museum of African-American Art and Culture and the National Parks Service) to find, document, and preserve archaeological remnants of the slave trade. Some of the objects will be included in exhibits in the NMAAHC.
The Asians Art Museum is a parody site bringing a cirtical lens to orientalist tropes in art museums, prompted particularly by rhetorical choices of the San Francisco Art Museum's 2009 Lords of the Samurai exhibition [audio]. It highlights the tendency for museums showing Asian art to present their shows as a"a harmless trip to a fantasyland of romanticized premodern Otherness, a place where dreams of Manifest Destiny never have to die?" [more inside]
The late Roger Ebert writes about a piece conceptual artist Chris Burden performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1975. Chris Burden previously on Metafilter.
Seattle artist Matthew Offenbacher recently won a $25,000 prize. So he and his partner Jennifer Nemhauser decided to do something revolutionary with it. They bought 7 pieces of art by local female and queer artists and donated it to the Seattle Art Museum for its permanent collection: Deed of Gift.
New York's Museum of Biblical Art is closing June 14th, despite large recent crowds (NYT). Often confused for a evangelical organization, perhaps because of its name, MOBIA is something unique: a secular institution that is serious about placing religious art clearly in the context of the beliefs that inspired it. David van Biema explains what we are losing.
A New Whitney It has been interesting to watch the High Line progress from nothing more than a dream to its current wonderful reality mixing green, gleam and grit. Jason's early unauthorized foray introduced many around these parts to the High Line. Now the Whitney moves in.
In 2000, Luciano Faggiano wanted to open a trattoria in Lecce, in the "boot-heel" of Italy. He bought what looked to be a modern building, but he had to open the floors in 2001 to find a leaking sewer pipes that were causing continuous humidity problems. He didn't find pipes, but a subterranean world tracing back before the birth of Jesus: a Messapian tomb, a Roman granary, a Franciscan chapel and even etchings from the Knights Templar. Instead of opening a restaurant, his family has a museum, which is also available to virtually tour on Google Maps.
Museum Dance Off 2. 28 participating museums have created videos showcasing their staff/interns/volunteers etc. dancing and lip-syncing to their melody of choice. Voting begins on April 20 and runs through April 29, with several museum dance videos highlighted each day, out of which viewers choose one favorite. Those favorites will ultimately battle it out in the next rounds, until only one is left standing. Anyone can vote, from anywhere in the world. Voting rules and videos are at the main link. Here is the official trailer. Smithsonian Magazine article on the competition.
Bill Watterson, the famously reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, has given his longest interview to date, to be published in the exhibition catalog for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum's exhibit, Exploring Calvin & Hobbes.
“It’s an unbelievable sensation,” Mr. González said. “I’m feeling this painting down to the detail of each fingernail.” (SLNewYorker)
Building the First Slavery Museum in America - David Amsden, The New York Times
"From their weathered cypress frames, a dusty path, lined with hulking iron kettles that were used by slaves to boil sugar cane, leads to a grassy clearing dominated by a slave jail — an approach designed so that a visitor’s most memorable glimpse of the white shutters and stately columns of the property’s 220-year-old 'Big House' will come through the rusted bars of the squat, rectangular cell. A number of memorials also dot the grounds, including a series of angled granite walls engraved with the names of the 107,000 slaves who spent their lives in Louisiana before 1820. Inspired by Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the memorial lists the names nonalphabetically to mirror the confusion and chaos that defined a slave’s life."[more inside]
Do you like radios? And museums? Then you need the radiomuseum.org gazatteer of museums and historical places around the world where you can look at radios and associated technologies!
"I love you" – WHAT A LIE! LIES, DAMN LIES! Yes, it's like that when you are young, naïve and in love. And you don't realize your boyfriend started dating you just because he wanted to take you to bed! I got this teddy bear for Valentine's. He survived on top of my closet in a plastic bag, because it wasn’t him who hurt me, but the idiot who left him behind."I love you" Teddy bear is one of the exhibits at The Museum of Broken Relationships. [more inside]-- "I love you" Teddy bear
2002 Zagreb, Croatia
Since 1979 the main hall in London's Natural History Museum has been dominated by a plaster cast of a fossil of a Diplodocus (apparently called 'Dippy'). It has been announced that is to be replaced by the skeleton of a Blue Whale. There has been somewhat of a reaction.
Shelf Life is the first episode in a new video blog from the American Museum of Natural History, in which scientists, curators, and collection specialists take you behind-the-scenes at the Museum. Bonus interview: Atlas Obscura.
Robert Gober's 40-year survey "The Heart is Not a Metaphor" is now on view at the MoMA, and it's a fantastic freakin' spectacle to the eye.
Nothing to do tomorrow (Sept. 27th, 2014)? Well, it's Museum Day Live, and you can score free admission for two at over 1,500 museums in the United States by registering at Smithsonian.com. (Search here to determine if there are any participating museums in your area.)
Mark Landis is an art forger who seems to be driven not by money, but by the desire to be a philanthropist. [more inside]
Self-described collector of sounds and artist John Kannenberg records the sounds that echo through museums (usually thought of as spaces where silence is enforced) and creating works that "investigate the psychogeography of museums and archives, the processes of making and observing art, the psychology of collection, and the human experience of time." [more inside]
The DMMapp (Digitized Medieval Manuscripts App) is a website that links to more than 300 libraries in the world. Each one of these contains medieval manuscripts that can be browsed for free. The DMMapp is a product of Sexy Codicology, an independent project focused on medieval illuminated manuscripts and social media. It maintains a great blog about medieval manuscripts, especially those that are available online.