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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Posts tagged "museum"

Because I’m a huge dork, I’m currently reading (for fun) King, Kaiser, Tsar so let’s just say I’ve got Russia on my mind. And what a surprise it was for me to learn that a museum dedicated to the religious artworks of the Eastern Orthodox Church exists in the United States. Located about an hour from Boston in the town of Clinton, the Museum of Russian Icons was founded in 2006 to house the personal collection of Gordon B. Lankton, a business executive who bought his first icon at a flea market in the Izmaylovo District of Moscow while on a business trip. This was at the end of the Cold War, but for decades Lankton had always wanted to travel to Russia. In his memoir The Long Way Home, he took a motorcycle trip around the world in the mid-1950s, visiting 24 countries along the way, unfortunately, Russia wasn’t one of them. Even though that’s all quite interesting, it’s his acquirement of Russian icon images, symbols, and forms that created his  legacy (not that motorcycle journey). Spanning over six centuries, the 500 icons and artifacts of the collection are displayed in a 150-year-old renovated carpet factory. There is even a honor system cafe (in that visitors pay at the gift shop upstairs) with imported Russian treats, a hot beverage machine and antique tea kettles. I think the saying goes “Make tea, not war”…or maybe not

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Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Even though he was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, Illinois is known as the “Land of Lincoln” because the President lived in the state for over thirty years. Visiting the Lincoln sites in the capital city of Springfield and nearby village of Salem is almost a requirement for any Illinoisan, especially the people who grew up in the state. Yep, that’s little ol’ me standing like a Japanese tourist in front of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in the summer of 1990. Did you know Lincoln’s eldest son Robert donated the family home in Springfield to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would always be open free to the public? So there’s no excuse not to visit if you haven’t already. It’s FREE, people! Anyway, I haven’t been back to visit since that trip almost twenty-five years ago. I don’t really remember anything about it, except the Maid’s Room for whatever reason. It’s weird not to have any real memories considering I liked history, even at that relatively young age (Yes, I was the dork who was excited to see the film Gettysburg on a class field trip). Although I’m not a Abraham Lincoln fan (but I’m a Michael Bolton fan) I have nearly visited all the Lincoln-related sites, including the ones in Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, so I guess all I have left to do is go to the Kentucky birthplace so I can *finally* win the “Sarah Vowell-Approved Medal of Being An Official Lincoln Tourist”. 

In honour of the late Shirley Temple, not only should you pour yourself a Shirley Temple cocktail but you should also pay a visit to your local doll museum. There are many doll collections around the United States, including the Hobby City Doll Museum, which has a huge Shirley Temple doll collection. Another doll-related attraction is the Doll Room in Bridgewater, Connecticut. Open for the last thirty-seven years, the house is a combination doll repair shop, store and museum. Owners Dee and Wally Domroe (seen above with a Shirley Temple doll), both in their eighties, have collected thousands of dolls from all over the world, some dating back to the 1800s. They turned their obsessive hobby into, I guess you could say, a real profession. Wally is in charge of the repairs, while his wife handles the museum/store, outfitting dolls with vintage clothes and organizing the drawers full of miniature dolls. And yes, that looks like a Justin Bieber doll on the table next to them.

I bet you had no idea it’s been 50 years since the Beatles traveled to America for their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Well, let me be the first to tell ya, ladies and gents. For a firsthand account on a Beatles-related attraction I could tell you about that time I worked (okay, more like volunteered…but whatever) in Liverpool and was forced to act like a tourist not once, but twice by going on the Magical Mystery Bus Tour, but don’t worry I won’t. I’m too lazy to find the photographs and also don’t particularly want to relive the experience. Instead I will tell you about the largest collection of Beatles memorabilia that went on display in a museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina about three years ago. Rodolfo Vazquez, a 53-year-old accountant, turned his mammoth Beatles collection into a museum, called the Museo Beatle, with more than 8,500 objects - setting the new world record for the largest collection of Beatles memorabilia. Congratulations! The museum is part of a collection of buildings, including a replica of Liverpool’s famed Cavern Club and a nearby theatre named after John Lennon. Some of the items on display at the museum include a box of condoms bearing the names of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, a brick from the Cavern Club, an original tile from Strawberry Fields, a chunk of the stage from the Star Club in Hamburg, checks signed by George and Ringo, a letter from Aunt Mimi talking to a friend about John, certified copies of the band members’ birth certificates, and of course the entire American discography. Among his favorite items are 64 boxes of chewing gum in the form of Beatles records. Now that’s something you can really chew on!

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Buchstaben Museum in Berlin is perfect for people, like me, who love typography and old street signs. With globalization and corporate-whoredom ruining everything, many traditional family-run businesses and mom-and-pop stores are disappearing from the landscape, replaced with mediocrity and blandness. Where once a street was covered with eyecatching signs, usually neon, now such sights are a rare occurrence. Founded in 2005, the Museum of Letters rescued these threatened signs from public spaces around the world, with the intention to restore and exhibit them. I think I already wrote about this place, but I’ve been running this blog for a long time now and I’m too lazy to search the archive so it is what it is. If anything, it proves I really am repeating myself as I have come to suspect. Well, here’s to cool, old signs!

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(via artfashiondesignandstyle)