Tag Archives: history

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Los Angeles, California is home of today’s “Museum of the Day,” the quirky and wonderful Museum of Jurassic Technology.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a museum located at 9341 Venice Boulevard in the Palms district of Los Angeles, California (although it has a postal address of Culver City because it is served by that city’s post office). It was founded by David Hildebrand Wilson and Diana Drake Wilson (husband and wife) in 1988.

The museum calls itself “an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic”; the relevance of the term “Lower Jurassic” to the museum’s collections is left uncertain and unexplained. The museum’s collection includes a mixture of artistic, scientific, ethnographic, and historic, as well as some unclassifiable exhibits, and the diversity of its offerings evokes the cabinets of curiosities that were the 16th-century predecessors of modern natural history museums. The factual claims of many of the museum’s exhibits strain credibility, provoking an array of interpretations from commentators. The museum was the subject of a 1995 book by Lawrence Weschler entitled Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, And Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology, which describes in detail many of its exhibits. David Hildebrand Wilson received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2001. The museum is also mentioned in the novel The Museum of Innocence, by Nobel-laureate Orhan Pamuk.

Sounds interesting, no? I look forward to a trip to California soon!

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National September 11 Memorial Museum

Museum Pavillion NightNew York City, New York, home of some of the best museums in the world, recently opened the National September 11 Memorial Museum, today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Highly criticized for its alleged insensitivity in treating the space as “sacred” because the designers added retail spaces above ashes of the victims of 9/11, this museum deserves our attention today for many reasons.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring 9/11’s continuing significance.

I look forward to my visit later this month!

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NB: After a 3 month hiatus, Museum of the Day returns to help advance the dissemination of knowledge about the plethora of great institutions that collect, keep, and interpret the world around us. Thank you all for your continued support!

Maryland Historical Society

mining-1Baltimore, Maryland is home to one of the many state historical societies in the U.S., the Maryland Historical Society, today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) features Maryland’s largest and most comprehensive Civil War exhibit. The impact of the war on the people of Maryland is told on personal terms in “Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War.” The largest Civil War exhibit in the museum’s 167-year history occupies over 5,000 square feet and tells the story of a tragedy in three acts: the romantic war, the real war and the long reunion.

Founded in 1844, the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) is the state’s oldest continuously operating cultural institution. In keeping with the founders’ commitment to preserve the remnants of Maryland’s past, MdHS remains the premier institution for state history. With over 350,000 objects and seven million books and documents, this institution now serves upward of 100,000 people through its through museum, library, press, and educational programs.

MdHS is located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1992, artist Fred Wilson created “Mining the Museum”, a historical exhibition for MdHS , which was quite provocative. Museum exhibit designers and educators still reference his ability to reinterpret history with simple changes to labeling and presentation.

I will visit this museum very soon!

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Related article: https://collectingseminar.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/fred-wilson-re-presents-history-and-objects-by-maria-gaspar/

Mütter Museum

mutter-museum-philadelphia-587Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to today’s “Museum of the Day” – the Mütter Museum, one of the most unusual and surprising museums that is part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th century “cabinet museum” setting. The goal of the Museum is to help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body while appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The Collection began as a donation from Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter, who was determined to improve and reform medical education. The donation stipulated that the College had to hire a Curator, maintain and expand the collection, fund annual lectures and erect a brick building to house the collection. Since 1858, the College has held true to its promise to Dr. Mütter. Today the museum enjoys steadily rising international popularity, including a recent documentary on the Discovery Channel and two best-selling books.

I love the museum and will definitely make a trip to Philadelphia to see this one again, and to take in all the cultural organizations in one of my favorite cities in the United States.

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Museum of Bad Art

lBoston, Massachusetts is home to the Museum of Bad Art, today’s “Museum of the Day”.

From the Guggenheim to the Museum of Bad Art, I am taking a strong turn from great to quirky museum to help diversify my blog’s focus!

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory.

MOBA was founded in the fall of 1993 and presented its first show in March 1994. The response was overwhelming. Since then, MOBA’s collection and ambitions have grown exponentially.

Initially, MOBA was housed in the basement of a private home in Boston. This meager exhibition space limited the museum to being a regional cultural resource for the New England area.

As the only museum dedicated to bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences we felt morally compelled to explore new, more creative ways of bringing this priceless collection of quality bad art to a global audience. Another Boston-area cultural institution, Dedham Community Theatre, generously allowed MOBA the use of their basement. Our first permanent gallery is now conveniently located just outside the men’s room in a 1927 movie theatre. The ambience created such a convivial atmosphere, that when we went looking for a second location, the only place that was up to our quality standards was another theatre basement. The Somerville Theater in Davis Square, Somerville MA is now our second gallery.

Never think that I only like the “best” museums – my passion for the interpretive space goes out to all museums and I make no judgement about the quality of the collections that are presented. I am, however, a strong advocate for great interpretation and accessibility! I look forward to visiting this museum on my next trip to Boston.

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Peoria Riverfront Museum

museum_close-b8b890bdd65842ec512aaf73e08634bdPeoria, Illinois, my hometown, is where you will find today’s “Museum of the Day”.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a one-of-a-kind collaboration where visitors can explore and learn about the world—from our own backyards to far-off galaxies. We focus on interdisciplinary learning—a fusion of art, history, science, and achievement designed to develop knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a lifelong passion for learning.

We’re the only museum in downstate Illinois to be affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. We also strive to bring to the region exciting national and international exhibitions. Our goal is to offer exhibits that visitors might normally have to travel great distances to experience.

Our programs are an extension of the classroom—engaging the community, empowering teachers, and exciting and educating students.

The Museum is a collaborative effort of eight organizations with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining and supporting culture in the Peoria area. For more than 10 years, these entities worked tirelessly to bring to life a one-of-a-kind experience for the people of central Illinois and beyond.

Our collective objective is to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities for people of all ages, create a diverse and cultural campus in the heartland, and positively impact our region’s economy.

A far cry from the Lakeview Museum & Planetarium that I grew up with, I am looking forward to a trip to see my family and explore the great new building that is now on the riverfront of the Illinois River.

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Moundville Archaeological Park & Museum

moundmuseumTuscaloosa, Alabama is home to the Moundville Archaeological Park and is today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Opened and dedicated on May 16, 1939 at what was then known as “Mound State Monument,” built with labor from the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1999, The University of Alabama Museums began a comprehensive effort to rebuild and redefine the museum, resulting in a $5 million renovation completed in 2010. Today, the museum combines the latest technology with more than 200 stunning artifacts to describe one of the most significant Native American archaeological sites in the United States.

Outside, visitors are greeted by symbols of the Native American culture mounted on enormous wooden heraldic poles. Inside, visitors will find life-size figures displaying the clothing and jewelry of Mississippian cultures, ceremonial feather decorations hand-sewn by Native-American artists, stunning pottery and other artworks placed in display cases that light up when recorded narratives talk about them and three-dimensional, moving depiction of a Native American maker of medicine who appears in a reconstructed earthlodge, taking them on a journey into the afterlife.

Archaeological sites have always fascinated me, and I hope to visit this one sometime in the coming year!

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Airborne & Special Operations Museum

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Fayetteville, North Caroline is home to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum which is today’s “Museum of the Day”.

For more than eighty years Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, Cumberland County and North Carolina have lived and worked in cooperation with one another. The Airborne & Special Operations Museum now stands as a symbol for many years of teamwork, sacrifice, and victory.

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation provides marketing and advertising efforts to the non-military community in support of the ongoing mission of the United States Army’s Airborne & Special Operations Museum (ASOM). The ASOM serves as an adjunct to the local academic and cultural community and provides military history of the airborne and special operations soldiers, from 1940 to the present, to active duty soldiers, veterans, their families and the public at large. The Foundation conducts private and public fundraising efforts in support of this mission, ongoing ASOM programs, and future exhibit support.

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum is part of the U.S. Army Museum System and functions in partnership with a non-profit foundation. The Foundation Board of Directors is composed of retired military, veteran military and civilian members from both the public and private sectors.

Both public and private funding has been vital to the opening of the $22.5 million museum. Fundraising by the Foundation began in 1992 with a generous grant awarded from Congress. In addition to the federal grant, the State of North Carolina, Cumberland County, and the City of Fayetteville have provided grants to the museum.

I hope to visit the museum on my travels around the country. It looks like a great experience!

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Old Cowtown Museum

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Wichita, Kansas is home to the Old Cowtown Museum, today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Cowtown is a living history museum where visitors experience life in the 1870s. Immersed in a sampling of the sights, sounds and activities common to a Midwestern cattle town, visitors will experience the dramatic clash of Victorian ideals and economic realities as these competing forces strove to create an economically viable cattle town and a Victorian metropolis.

A visit can include a wagon ride, the ring of the blacksmith anvil, and a visit to the humble home of the town’s founder, Darius Munger.
The experience here is all “living” history, so visitors walk away with a full-on sense of life in the 1870s.

I always enjoy interacting with live actors and will visit this museum when I travel to Kansas!

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Basque Museum and Cultural Center

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Boise, Idaho is home to the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Boise, Idaho has long been a central location where Basque immigrants first congregated after coming to the United States from the Spanish Basque Region. As immigrants established their lives here, Basques became well-known for their hard work and perseverance. The Mission of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center is to preserve, promote, and perpetuate Basque history and culture.

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center provides a look into the Basque heritage through exhibits, collections, and tours. As a cultural center, it’s a gathering place for events and educational opportunities – in which people of all backgrounds can take part in Basque activities.

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center was established in 1985 as a small museum in the historic Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga House at 607 Grove Street. Located in scenic Boise, Idaho, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center provides a look into the heritage of the Basque communities of Idaho and surrounding areas. Through hard work and the support of many people, businesses, foundations, and Basque communities, the Museum began to interpret the rich and colorful history of the Basques, their origins, and their new life in America.

The 611 Grove Street property became the primary facility for the Museum’s operations in 1993. As artifact donations and exhibition development increased, so did the need for more space. Displays, classrooms, a library, a kitchen and a Museum Store became part of the renewed space. Over the years, thanks to many dedicated people, the Museum has grown tremendously in facilities and services and has become an Idaho cultural institution.

The mission of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. The only Basque language preschool outside of the Basque Country, has been established as part of this mission.

Museum collections include oral history archives, a library, a collection of records & tapes, manuscript materials, and many artifacts and photographs. It is the home of significant resources for anyone interested in Basque history and culture.

As support and participation increase, the Museum will be able to offer more educational programs, develop and enhance permanent exhibits, implement technological improvements, manage collections, and promote Basque social activities.

I’ve always been fascinated by the culture of the Basque region in Spain, this is a great way to see how their culture developed in the United States. I look forward to a visit when I finally get to Utah!

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