It's "Ask a Museum Curator" Day on Twitter


It's Ask a Museum Curator Day, and museums all over the world are answering your questions on Twitter. Here in the United States, you can query curators of everything from various Smithsonian museums of science, history and culture in D.C., to the Art Institute of Chicago. It's a great way to learn about museum collections from the people who know them best, as well as ask a few burning questions you've just been waiting for an expert to answer.

Sadly, the #askacurator hashtag is full of spammy things that are making it mostly useless, so I'd recommend picking a specific institution and checking out it's Twitter feed. Some of the fun things I've learned today:

Renaissance Italy was the birthplace of the mazzocchio, a torus-shaped hat which is one of the Museum of Math's favorite bits of math-based fashion.

Stamps are occasionally issued jointly by two different countries—usually to commemorate some historical event or achievement that suits political purposes. The Smithsonian Postal Museum has, as an example, a stamp issued by the U.S. and Canada to mark the anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

According to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Hadrosaurus Foulkii were the common dinosaur species of New Jersey. Today, they're famous for being the first dinosaur to have its skeleton mounted for display.

Meanwhile, Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art correctly calls out the statue of Guanyin of the Southern Sea as a high point in their collection—but sadly fails to mention that the statue is part of an entire temple, taken apart piece by piece and reconstructed at the Nelson. They've got several rooms like that, all of which I loved as a kid.