This Belongs in a Museum

Once called the "Stephen Fry of Museum Blogging," this tumblog, written by a frustrated museologist, is dedicated to the small, random museums and weird attractions of the world. Always informative, usually funny, sometimes offensive.

Bringing you museum-approved grammatical errors and typos since 2010.

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October has finally arrived, which means I can officially begin my annual tradition of telling you about creepy museums and attractions. I made a miserable attempt last year, but I am determined to post more than a few things, like, I might blog every single day. Shocking, I know! I even got an early start with my recent posts on the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Chicago and Jame Dean’s grave. Expect more cemetery-related posts because I have a backlog when it comes to that topic. Anyway, here’s an old post from the blog’s early days, which you may or may not find disturbing:

Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly known as the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) is a must-see for science nerds. There are over a thousand objects, including globes, barometers and microscopes, from the last five centuries. But that’s not the eerie part of the museum; it’s Galileo himself. Although he died in 1642, he was reburied in 1737 after a monument had been erected in his honour. During the exhumation, three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains and believed to have been lost to history. But in 2009, the body parts ended up for sale in an auction. Now Galileo’s mummified middle finger from his right hand is now on display in a gold and glass reliquary at the museum for all eyes to see.
In case you didn’t know, Galileo is most famous for saying Earth revolved the sun, which was condemned by the Vatican. Church teaching at the time held Earth as the center of the universe. He had been condemned for “vehement suspicion of heresy”. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the church recognized its mistake over the Galileo incident. In my opinion, Galileo has the final say by raising his middle finger to the whole freakin’ thing. 
(Image Source)

October has finally arrived, which means I can officially begin my annual tradition of telling you about creepy museums and attractions. I made a miserable attempt last year, but I am determined to post more than a few things, like, I might blog every single day. Shocking, I know! I even got an early start with my recent posts on the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Chicago and Jame Dean’s grave. Expect more cemetery-related posts because I have a backlog when it comes to that topic. Anyway, here’s an old post from the blog’s early days, which you may or may not find disturbing:

Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly known as the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) is a must-see for science nerds. There are over a thousand objects, including globes, barometers and microscopes, from the last five centuries. But that’s not the eerie part of the museum; it’s Galileo himself. Although he died in 1642, he was reburied in 1737 after a monument had been erected in his honour. During the exhumation, three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains and believed to have been lost to history. But in 2009, the body parts ended up for sale in an auction. Now Galileo’s mummified middle finger from his right hand is now on display in a gold and glass reliquary at the museum for all eyes to see.

In case you didn’t know, Galileo is most famous for saying Earth revolved the sun, which was condemned by the Vatican. Church teaching at the time held Earth as the center of the universe. He had been condemned for “vehement suspicion of heresy”. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the church recognized its mistake over the Galileo incident. In my opinion, Galileo has the final say by raising his middle finger to the whole freakin’ thing. 

(Image Source)

Today is the anniversary of the death of cultural icon James Dean. In 2015 it will be exactly sixty years. I once told you about the time I took a road trip through Indiana and paid a visit to his hometown, specifically the Fairmount Historical Museum, which not only has exhibits on Dean, but also Garfield the Cat. Why? Because the creator also grew up on a small farm in Fairmount, just like Dean. Anyway, Dean died in a car crash out in California. His funeral was held a week after his death at the Fairmount Friends Church with an estimated 600 mourners in attendance, and another 2400 fans outside the building. He’s buried in Park Cemetery, literally down the road from the family farm, next to his parents and grandparents. I am a connoisseur of cemeteries, and I’ve never seen a grave, even lipstick-covered, that is so easy to find…I mean there are signs that literally the lead the way. If only all “famous” graves were like that. So here’s to Jimmy Dean…rock on!

Happy (Inter?) National Coffee Day! Today you’re supposed to celebrate everybody’s favourite “wake me the hell up!” beverage with visits to coffee shops and posts on social media. But what about a coffee-related museum object? Well, thankfully the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has Abraham Lincoln’s coffee cup. Here’s the story:

"Richmond had fallen. Lee had surrendered. The war was finally coming to an end. It was time to celebrate the victory, unify the American people and rebuild the nation.
On the evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln decided to spend a relaxing evening at Ford’s Theatre. He would never return to the White House.
Years later, in 1887, Capt. D.W. Taylor presented this cup to Robert Todd Lincoln, the oldest of Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s four sons. He explained that a White House servant had seen the President leave the cup behind on a windowsill just before departing for the theater and had preserved it as a relic of that tragic night.”

Happy (Inter?) National Coffee Day! Today you’re supposed to celebrate everybody’s favourite “wake me the hell up!” beverage with visits to coffee shops and posts on social media. But what about a coffee-related museum object? Well, thankfully the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has Abraham Lincoln’s coffee cup. Here’s the story:

"Richmond had fallen. Lee had surrendered. The war was finally coming to an end. It was time to celebrate the victory, unify the American people and rebuild the nation.

On the evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln decided to spend a relaxing evening at Ford’s Theatre. He would never return to the White House.

Years later, in 1887, Capt. D.W. Taylor presented this cup to Robert Todd Lincoln, the oldest of Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s four sons. He explained that a White House servant had seen the President leave the cup behind on a windowsill just before departing for the theater and had preserved it as a relic of that tragic night.”