Save the Ruby Slippers!

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The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History launched a Kickstarter project to save Dorothy's Ruby Slippers in their collection from further deterioration. The museum is seeking $500,000 for "immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case, in order to slow their deterioration and protect them from environmental harm." Federal funds support the Smithsonian's operating budget but don't cover these kinds of efforts. From Smithsonian magazine:

Today, we know that the Smithsonian’s Ruby Slippers (from the 1939 film) are a mismatched pair, with a half-size difference. To the critical eye, they’re almost underwhelming. Under low lights and displayed on a mock yellow-brick road carpet, the roughly 2,400 cellulose nitrate sequins sewn onto the heels are a duller shade of red than you might expect, and the bows are slightly different...

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The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor

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Paris's Musée national du Moyen Âge teamed up with The University of Geneva to make this video demonstrating the fighting techniques available to people in 15th century armor, which are much more fluid and athletic that I had presumed -- turns out you can really move in those tin cans. (via We Make Money Not Art) Read the rest

Burying the past in glass coffins: Victoria & Albert museum bans sketching in temporary exhibitions

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London's Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world's great museums devoted to material culture and design, has joined a long line of museums who've allowed the owners of loaned items for temporary exhibitions to require them to ban photography and sketching of these items. Read the rest

Watch museum visitor knock clock sculpture off wall

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As with most museums, Pennsylvania's National Watch & Clock Museum has a "no touching" policy. But one couple wanted so badly to see artist James Borden's wooden clock sculpture run that they couldn't help themselves...

Museum director Noel Poirier told NBC Philadelphia that the couple reported the mishap to museum staff. The clock is undergoing repairs and will be on display again in a few months.

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A 15-year-old's new Apple museum

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Alex Jason, 15, used his lawnmowing money to acquire what Cult of Mac says "is becoming one of the most significant private collections of Apple devices in the United States." Jason converted his family's basement into a museum, called the Apple Orchard, and in a couple years he plans to move it into a former library that he and his father plan to convert into the Maine Technology Museum. From Cult of Mac:

His collection includes every big Apple computer model except a rare Lisa 1. He has early portable computers, prototypes of Powerbooks, a green-plastic prototype of a Color Classic and Japanese models of early Macs. The orchard also includes Apple’s failures while Jobs was in exile as well as a computer from the company he started after, NeXT.

Alex showed off his Apple 1 (only around 170 sold and about 60 have surfaced), its keyboard adapted to a briefcase, which provided protection and may explain why all the original chips still work. The original owner, according to a story passed onto Alex, supposedly went to an IBM conference with his briefcase, opened it up and began typing. When curious conference-goers asked what he was doing, he said, “I’m typing on my personal computer.”

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Technoheritage has a property problem

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"Technoheritage" is the movement to preserve vulnerable history through digitization: making detailed scans of precious places, objects and works from which they can be recovered if they are destroyed by war, climate, or other disaster. Read the rest

A place for Peanuts fans to go wild

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Roppongi Hills is a very hoity-toity shopping area in Tokyo. You have to buy tickets to get into the mall! But a seven minute walk from the Roppongi subway station you will find the brand new Snoopy Museum. Now, it may be called the “Snoopy” Museum, and from the outside it looks like the Snoopy Museum …

… in fact it’s really a “Peanuts” Museum. If your response to that is “Good grief,” then please hit the back button and all of Boing Boing awaits you. But, if you’re like me and you’ve been reading “Peanuts” your whole life, this is a sublime pleasure and I look forward to visiting in October.

The museum has just opened on April 23, and its English language website says that tickets sell for a measly 1,800 yen ($16.50) if you buy them in advance, which I would since the Japanese are very well organized and obsessive about this kind of stuff:

Visitors will have the opportunity to view unique original cartoons from the collection of the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This will include large-scale works created by Mr. Schulz himself, featuring popular characters like Snoopy and Woodstock.

Every six months, the Snoopy Museum will introduce new exhibitions curated by the Charles M. Schulz Museum. These will include early comics that were drawn before Peanuts, such as his Li’l Folks cartoons, animation art, Vince Guaraldi’s jazz music from animated Peanuts cartoons, and rare vintage Peanuts memorabilia. In addition, unpublished sketches and artwork will be displayed in a section highlighting an unknown side of Schulz sure to surprise and delight even his most loyal of fans.

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Swapping faces with statues is rather disturbing

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JakeMarshall91 went to a museum and face-swapped with statues. The results are strangely horrifying and wonderful.

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Magnificent mountaineering museum embedded in a summit

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Above, a balcony jutting from the Messner Mountain Museum Corones that's carved out of the summit of Mount Kronplatz in Tyrol, Italy, 2,275 meters above sea level. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the mountaineering museum that is built entirely of concrete on steel scaffolding. More photos and construction time-lapse video below.

"The idea is that visitors can descend within the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos, before emerging through the mountain wall on theater side, out onto the terrace overhanging the valley far below with spectacular, panoramic views," Hadid says.

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Auschwitz installs mist showers that (duh) remind visitors of Holocaust gas chambers

Poland's Auschwitz Memorial installed mist showers to cool down visitors at the former site of the Nazi's largest concentration camp. Somehow, management was surprised that some people found this insensitive. Read the rest

Watch a boy trip and push his hand through a $1,500,000 painting

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A 12-year-old boy visiting a Taipei art exhibition tripped, pushing his fist through a 350-year-old painting by Paolo Porpora. The exhibition organizers say they won't charge the boy's family for the restoration and that the painting was insured. Read the rest

Antique toy museum, racist warts and all

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Frank Kidd, 83, is the proprietor of Kidd's Toy Museum, a private collection of 20,000 antique toys, from cars and trucks to figurines to, Kidd's favorite genre, mechanical banks like the one above. Some of the toys reveal a lot about the era they're from. Read the rest

How to ship a giant squid from New Zealand to New York City

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The American Museum of Natural History sorted it out. Read the rest

UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright

They want the term of copyright changed to life plus 70 years, instead of 2039 for unpublished works of uncertain date, a standard that makes it impossible to reproduce or display things like letters home from the front. Read the rest

Video: Dismantling a real dinosaur

The National Museum of Natural History is taking apart an Allosaurus, very very carefully, to prepare for its Dinosaur Hall renovation. (National Geographic) Read the rest

Maze exhibition in D.C.

Over at Smithsonian, a short piece about the National Building Museum's giant maze installation (construction video above) with a brief history of labyrinths.

The first recorded labyrinth comes from Egypt in the 5th century B.C.; the Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote that "all the works and buildings of the Greeks put together would certainly be inferior to this labyrinth as regards labor and expense." One of the most famous labyrinths of antiquity is the Cretan Labyrinth, which housed the terrifying Minotaur at its center. The Roman Empire often employed labyrinthine motifs on their streets or above their doors, almost always accompanied by images of a Minotaur at the center—the labyrinths were thought to represent the protection of fortification.
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Museum of patent models

The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum in Cazenovia, New York is the world's largest publicly-viewable private collection of models made as part of patent applications. The museum's new book, Inventing a Better Mousetrap, is due out later this year. Read the rest

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