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They want the term of copyright changed to life plus 70 years, instead of 2039 for unpublished works of uncertain date, a standard that makes it impossible to reproduce or display things like letters home from the front.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

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.

Museum of patent models

Untitled

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

Museum of Mathematics

Img 3437 Scientific American visits the National Museum of Mathematics in NYC which apparently isn't "boring, useless, too hard, irrelevant, stifling" or any of the other unpleasant things that museum co-founder Glen Whitney says many people associate with math.

Chinese museum closed for displaying counterfeits

Chinese police closed down Liaoning's private Lucheng Museum after discovering that more than 2,000 of the historical artifacts on display, one-third of the collection, were fakes, reports The Guardian.

Support the Morbid Anatomy museum!

Morbid library

UntitledMy friend Joanna Ebenstein of Morbid Anatomy is raising funds to create a new public cabinet of curiosity within a 3-floor, 4,200 square foot building in Brooklyn, New York. (Video pitch below.) Collectors Weekly's Lisa Hix talked to Joanna about her myriad efforts to bring the weird, wonderful, dark, and beautiful into the public eye.

"Learning to Love Death: New Museum Takes a Walk on the Shadow Side"

Donate to the Morbid Anatomy Museum!

Read the rest

Documentary about the only penis musuem in the world

[Video Link] The Final Member "follows the aging curator of one of the world's only penis museum as he races against his own mortality to complete his comprehensive collection." He needs a human penis.

Museum conservation team polishes elk, vacuums ocelots


Photo by Gideon VanRiette

The Kansas University Natural History Museum's panorama exhibit is an epic example of 19th-century taxidermy, with flora and fauna from all the biomes of North America gathered together in one display. The Rocky Mountain habitat (pictured above) flows into temperate forests, which fade into tundra, and eventually become polar bear-filled Arctic landscapes. In the other direction, you can find the prairie and the desert and the Central American jungle. Originally built for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, it's one of my favorite museum exhibits.

It's also in need of some serious conservation work, which explains all the folks in hazmat suits, tromping around the biosphere like a cross between Merry Maids and Ancient Aliens.

Read the rest

John Gurche, the Smithsonian's "paleoartist"

John Gurche is a "paleoartist" who reveals the faces of our ancestors for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Hall of Human Origins. (National Geographic)

Anniversary of the Blue Whale at London's Natural History Museum

Whale5400 450x219

Like the T. rex skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History, the blue whale model at London's Natural History Museum is the institution's unofficial mascot. The life-sized model (28.3 meters long) is now 75 years old. New Scientist tells the story of its birth:

Read the rest

Adopt a skull to help the Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum — a freaky fantastic collection of medical curiosities — is trying to restore and preserve a collection of 139 skulls that were once used to debunk the pseudoscience of phrenology. You can help by adopting a skull for $200.

Visiting the Center for PostNatural History

Reveiews museum opener Back in 2011, I posted about the planned Center for PostNatural History, the Pittsburgh, PA wunderkammer of organisms altered by humans, from GloFish® to GMO corn to a genetically engineered goat. It's the brainchild of Carnegie Mellon University art professor Richard Pell. This week's Science News includes a feature about the museum, now open to the public.

Read the rest

Saturday is Museum Day!

This weekend you can get free admission to museums across North America, as part of Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day. Unfortunately, there are limitations and this isn't just a bunch of museums throwing open their doors, no holds barred. To participate, you have to go to the Museum Day website and get a free ticket (one per household). The ticket will get you and a friend into the participating museum of your choice.

The Black Museum of crime

Welles

The Black Museum of Scotland Yard is a cabinet of crime curiosities. Founded c.1874, it contains evidence, contraband, and artifacts ostensibly displayed to help educate new law enforcement officers. The collection includes the above letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper and sent "from hell", umbrellas outfitted with secret guns, and the pots (in a kitchen crime scene recreation) that serial killer Dennis Nilsen used to boil his victims. Unfortunately, the Black Museum is closed to the public but that may be changing. Meanwhile, please enjoy this 1952 radio series hosted by Orson Welles, featuring an item from the museum each episode and a dramatic retelling of the dark tale behind it. "The Black Museum" (Internet Archive)