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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Thank you, stshank for taking this photo of a 19th century Nigerian headdress made of antelope skin. It is on display at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Not only is it terrifying, but it looks like something a member of the band Slipknot would wear.

Earlier this year the Getty Museum acquired 66 gelatin silver prints taken by the photographer Arthur Tress from his photo series “The Dream Collector” and “Theater of the Mind”. Beginning his career in the 1960s, Tress originally took ‘straight’ photographs, mostly street scenes, before moving in the direction of surreal, eerie images inspired by the dreams (or should I say nightmares?) of children. A random child was approached and they told the artist about their dreams, which he then artistically re-created in staged scenarios featuring the actual child as the main subject. The photographs, which were all shot in black and white, display the darker side of a child’s subconsciousness; sinister nightmares that usually take over a person for the rest of their lives. The artist, who turned an abandoned hospital into his artist studio in the 1980s, wanted to “explicitly visualize the terror, excitement, and confusion of childhood by placing children in the center of compositions and surrounding them with a destabilized world.” Some of the photos include Boy with Root Hands (1971), Girl in Mask (1975), Boy in Goldfish Bowl (1970), Child Buried in Sand, Coney Island (1968), Boy in Burnt Out Furniture Store, Newark (1969) and Hockey Player (1972).

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of creepy museums and attractions in the month of October to bring you a museum dedicated to a film star, who was born on this day in 1895:

In the small town of Piqua (pronounced Pick-way), Kansas is a small one-room museum dedicated to American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, writer, and silent film star Buster Keaton. There are movie posters, photographs and copies of his movies, which visitors can play. And if you’re into face casts, they have one. But there is no sign for the museum as it is located inside the town’s water district office. But there is a plaque located nearby where his birthplace once stood. It says:

"In October of 1895, Myra and Joseph Keaton were touring with Harry Houdini in a traveling vaudeville show. The troupe stopped in Piqua [Kansas] for a performance. While in Piqua, Mrs. Keaton gave birth to a son, Frank Joseph Keaton. The troupe eventually moved on, and the Keatons’ son became a famous comedy actor and silent screen star, known as Buster Keaton. Mr. Keaton returned to Piqua only once in his lifetime. Even though he was never a resident of Piqua, we are very proud to claim a small part in this great actor’s life!"

Well, they certainly are, especially when you consider the fact he didn’t even grow up or live here. But his wife and some relatives have visited the place. Back in 1992, the nearby community of Iola started an annual event devoted to Keaton, and people started to donate memorabilia. The collection eventually ended up in the Piqua water department because the residents could not justify supporting a separate museum. In fact, hardly anyone visits the Buster Keaton Museum, (even their annual celebration was cancelled last month) so if you have plans to visit the place, or are just driving nearby, remember…it’s appointment only.

(Image Source)