Laughing Kookaburras and Preserved Fetuses

Thank god the Museum of Animal Perspectives exists to post videos of what it looks like to walk through the woods from the top of a wolf’s head. But actually, this one is pretty good: Laughing Kookaburras

Kookaburras on YouTubeIt was left out of the weirdest museums of the world, but I guess they did alright with the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum of Florida: “The Museum: You may know him only as the star of Smokey and the Bandit, but residents of Jupiter, Florida, also know him as a generous contributor, establishing a number of theater-centric programs since purchasing a ranch here some 30 years ago. Volunteers run this not-for-profit museum, dedicated to preserving the legacy of “the Bandit.”
The Exhibits: Sure, there are keys to the 10 plus cities he’s received, notes from A-listers like Jack Lemmon and Elizabeth Taylor, and an impressive collection of sports memorabilia, but the pièce de résistance is the sleek black Firebird Trans Am the beer-smuggling Reynolds, a.k.a. Bo “Bandit” Darville, drove in the classic 1977 film, Smokey and the Bandit.”

Fetus models at Palazzo PoggiThe Poggi Palace in Bologna, Italy, stands out to me as one of the weirdest museum experiences in my life. I tragically lost my own photos of the place in a hard drive crash, but the memory of a recreated 18th century gynecologist office, with all of its tools, surrounded by models of the fetus through development, is vivid enough to sustain that loss.

The Palazzo Poggi was given to the Universita di Bologna in 1805 and became a sort of experimental laboratory of human development.  Research and experiments using technology reinvented the organization of the University’s curriculum.  These activities have been absorbed into the palace’s 15th century architecture, and as their website says, not just metaphorically, the building’s cultural activities in the 19th and 20th centuries created an irreversible ambiance.  It’s true, the eerie quality of the building contributes to the absurdity of its collection.

dancing skeletonsUnfortunately, I missed this exhibit of dancing fetuses, perhaps it is a new addition since Spring 2007.

ART edited by Julia Turshen

Julia TurshenFound this little gem photocopied and folded while moving things around to fit a gem of a dumpster dive.  Wish I could remember where it came from…  This is some pre-Batali and Gweneth go to Spain Julia Turshen humor.  Seems like food has dominated her subject matter since this scribbled piece.  See her July ’09 Interview Magazine article here.


American Society of Hot Air: An exhibition of of of popcorn poppers, dry steamers, and blow-dryers.  A show that burns with nothingness.

Beagle Society: Featuring the brown-and-black spotted, howling, and mischievous “Lucy” along with her paler and chubbier collaborator “Scout.”

Cash-Only Museum of Art Decay: “Permanent Collection,” featuring the leftover scraps from many of today’s favorite artists: Richard Tuttle’s snapped wire, Donald Judd’s broken wood, and Tony Oursler’s leftover stuffing (fabric that is not cornbread).

Drool Museum: Remember that you have golashes.

Eyebrow Hall-of-Fame: *Vintage tweezers currently on display. Must not miss the retrospective of eyebrow hall-of-fame’s new favorite trick:  threading. A shoelace donation is requested.

Gourmand Institute: *Don’t miss the exhibition of burned pots, tentatively titled, “The Rice that Wouldn’t Let Go.”

Insomniacs-R-Us: Only open from 12 AM unitl 5 AM. A “hands-on” exhibition currently on display. Participate in “The Next Great American Novel.”

about these listings: written with ‘Le Pen’ –wonderful and overpriced.  Morningside Heights/ October minus a few days, 2006.

BOMB the Borough

bombJust discovered B.O.M.B. — Brooklyn’s Other Museum of Brooklyn. This glorious fake Museums seems to have a real location on Wallabout street, and a bunch of “artifacts” promoting good local causes, along with other articles of vague historical import or curiosity.

We’re especially curious about the physical space itself, anyone been?

We also learned about the long-gone Wallabout Market, formerly the largest produce market on the East Coast from 1801 to 1939, before it was destroyed and swallowed up by the Navy Yards, never to return.

brush yer teef

ouchContinuing our micro theme from last week, another entry in the medical/anatomy/freakshow/creep museum column, this time via an Israeli flash site Antique Dental Instruments. Complete with gothic german font, embedded classical music, and animated fireplace in the footer, this rather extensive collection of photographs of antique dental instruments still manages to be impressive, if not comprehensive.

May you have dreams of antique dentists prying out your molars with 100-year old antiseptic and anaesthetic technologies!

kiosk kiosk

bullseyeWe turn now to Kiosk Kiosk, another vintage/antique shop which also dips its toes into the “exhibition” vernacular. And lo, they have an actual brick and mortar storefront on Spring St. in the City. We came across Kiosk Kiosk through the wonderful Reference Library blog, which specializes mostly in ebay finds (and losses, the best category is “Items I didn’t win“). Kiosk Kiosk boasts “mini exhibitions” which seem to be curated objects by friends or associates, for sale, from what we can tell.

They also have a very weird/cool/bewildering interface for their online catalogue. It’s not perfect but we like the effort.

junk culture

dollNext up, Junk Culture, who we discovered via twitter. Seems they’ve just started a simple tumblr image blog, which links mostly to Etsy postings (all their stuff on Etsy). This is an out and out shop, with no claim at museumdome, but we like their taste in vintage objects and somehow view them through a collector’s lens.

Recent stuff we like: A Pyrex Casserolle Dish, A Lamp made of Galvanized Iron, and a teal dinnerware set.

plan 59 from cyberspace

oj boyPlan 59, THE MUSEUM (AND GIFT SHOP) OF MID-CENTURY ILLUSTRATION. Really it’s just a shop, but again, a wonderful collection of images. Our favorites are the scary kids, demonic little angels, aren’t they?

Like project b, they sell to advertisers, libraries, and individuals alike. They also sell prints of Shorpy’s photo finds. We love these high-res images that he(she?) digs up from (mostly) public archives, but do remain dubious at his(her?) monetization of the project.

retail me not

dexterity gameWe’re going to look at a bunch of museum-cum-retail outlets today, as the G20 assembles and capitalism faces the inevitability of a reality which does not align with models of constant expansion. We’ve touched on this a bit in the past, with “projects” (stores) such as the Etsy revolving paperback book “museum.” And to be fair, we kind of like these projects. They involve curation, they are genuinely filled with interesting items. We guess everything is for sale, in the end.

Read more about our first entry, Barbara Levine’s Project B

First up, Project B, by Barbara Levine, an online museum-shop featuring vintage photos, curiosities, dexterity games, and the like. Ms. Levine is a museum professional, and objects are catalogued with subject tags and condition reports. The dexterity games, our favorites, were exhibited in the San Francisco library in a show curated by Levine.

Project B, we like thee, we just hope you collections don’t get scattered and disassembled too badly as you sell them off.

The Art Museum Toilet Museum of Art Museum Toilets

risdSome days are just fit for the crapper, like when it’s 44 and raining and you’ve got a meeting looming and all you really want to do is listen to music and wrap ourselves in a blanket. Instead, we’ll write out our monthly invoices and wrap up some projects, fix some bugs, and blog a little–and take a visit to the wonderful Art Museum Toilet Museum, our favorite kind of meta museum. Pictured at left, the RISD crapper, I took an amazingly well designed dump there once. (No I didn’t.) For the record, the Rubin has a really nice bathroom.

We look forward to contributing to their collection in the coming weeks! What are you most or least favorite Museum or LIbrary bathrooms? Do you keep a list like George Castanza of the best public places in which to relieve oneself?

fill my room full

verdadWe may never be able to afford a condo, but we sure can look at some kooky ones on the internet. The barftastic trendhunter webzine’s Eccentric Condo Exhibits include wacky wall framing, the burnt food museum, and the toaster museum. May we point your attention to the photo attached to this post, the most awesome Chorizo de la Verdad. That’s what she said?

I think I have hunted down a trend–fake museums as web galleries that you’ll smile at for a few minutes and then go on your merry way.

museum as retail

zorbaHere’s a new one: a revolving online collection and gallery of old paperback books, hosted via Etsy. They are for sale, of course, and as one leaves, a new book replenishes the gallery. A neat idea, by a seller named Librarycopy.

The Repetitive Pattern Paperback Book Cover pool on Flickr
So Much Pileup: Graphic Design Artifacts from the 1960s-1980s.