I was reading about the barbed wire museums in Kansas and McLean Texas and got to thinking.
If you could open a museum about an “offbeat” or “unique” thing that you like what would it be?
It can’t be anything like “I’d open a museum of art” or a “museum of paintings” cause those are normal things.
I mean things like musuem devoted to collections of old TV guides. Or museums devoted to the collection of empty spool threads. Or museum of quilts I started but never finished but I still intend to finish one day.
The only thing is it has to be something YOU would like and it can’t be too normal
I’d actually like to open a museum of old TV Guides
I’d like to open a museum about a random person selected out of a phone book. The museum would treat him/her as if s/he was a historic figure with artifacts from his/her life, viewing of films, etc. Every year we would select a new person from the phone book of a different city.
A Museum of Compulsive Hoarding, to include:
-simulated (and safe) recreations of packrat, clutterer, trash, and pet hoarding environments
-profiles of famous hoarders
-interactive exhibits to help people answer the question, “Are You a Hoarder?”
A museum of programming languages, implemented by running various development environments on banks of (securely locked-down) computer systems.* I’d focus on historically important languages and languages that are being ignored in modern companies, which implies a fairly large amount of emulation: You can’t get Lisp Machine Lisp on modern hardware, for example, so emulating a Lisp Machine is required. Obviously, emulation would also be required to showcase most assembly languages of the past and present.
*(I’m aware of how difficult this is, but I think virtualization is up to the task of locking down the machines running native environments.)
What would a Museum of the 20th Century look like from the 23rd Century? What sort of accurate and inaccurate inferences would they make about our times. What would they choose to focus on? It would be a flight of fancy but it would give us much more insight on the “objectivity” of modern museums.
Museum of the Internet
There are some serious questions about how one would preserve online content in a way that could convey that experience to future generations. Archive.org does a passable job on simple content buy chokes on even the most rudimentary complexity. How would we preserve a social network for example for future generations?
Internal combustion engines from US auto makers, both the common ones and the weird ones. Mostly production engines, the ones that made it into the wild, but there’d also be some of my favorite prototypes and aftermarket conversions as well.
For example, IIRC Chrysler’s Trenton I-4 engines were built with three different blocks: low deck, raised deck and common block. In their evolution, they went from carbureted to throttle body injection to multi-point injection; there were normally aspirated versions, something like four turbocharged versions, and a supercharger kit from Mopar Performance. Just the heads on the turbo versions make for an interesting display: the standard 8-valve heads, the Maserati heads, the cross-flow 16-valve Lotus heads (I have one of these engines), and the legendary HH heads (they were all supposed to be destroyed, but rumor has it that anywhere from two to six of these were grabbed before getting scrapped). I’d include whatever information we can dig up and verify about the designers, too. I’ve heard that the famed Tom Hoover had a role in the design of the Trenton fours (of course, he’s well known for his place in designing the RB hemis of the 60’s), and anything we could get on how these engines came to be would be fun.
And think of the wild times you’d have with Ford V8’s. Face it, those guys are nuts - so many different engine families. Flatheads, Y-blocks, FE’s, Windsors, Clevelands, Modifieds, modulars…that’s just off the top of my head and I’m not even a Ford guy. And a flathead display’s gonna have to have an Ardun conversion, along with a bunch of the lesser-known ones; Y-blocks have to include a late 50’s centrifugal supercharger setup; we need a Boss, a Cleve-or, a side-oiler…oh, baby!!
I’ve got a Buick straight-8 and a Plymouth flathead-6 already, just to get things started. They’re not in cars; I just had a chance and grabbed the engines when they were available because they’re cool.
I would open the museum of chocolate. We would have displays about the history of chocolate, innovations in chocolate, famous chocolateers (Milton Hershey, etc.) and the best gift shop any museum in this world has ever known.
Beware of Doug, I love your idea. Let me know if you go through with it, and I’ll will my bedroom to you when I die.
Personally, I’d open the Museum of Destruction. Having watched too much of the Revelations Channel (okay, they call it the History Channel) and all of the end of the world specials on Discovery Channel, I’m completely intruiged by any destructive force of nature - hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, asteroids, floods, atomic bombs, etc. My museum would have artifacts of past disasters, 3D simulations of new ways you could die, and maybe even a hurricane room (a wind tunnel with lots of water). Admission would be free, but I’d peddle Bibles and Survival Guides at the exit door :-).
If I still had them (I sold the entire 5,000+ collection in '04 ), I wanted to make a clown museum. Yes, I know lots of people find them scary, but I adored them all, in every incarnation and when I still kinda sorta had plans to do so, I wanted to have the proceeds that weren’t necessary for upkeep go to charity.
I miss them still. And madmonk’s idea is fabulous!
History of the toy, history of the Lego company, design changes by the makers, the influence of the design of Lego instructions, competitors to the Lego company, the suit that allowed Lego-compatible building-blocks to be sold, famous creations, contests, the Lego Club, packaging, electrical and electronic additions, pneumatics, the Lego community, the LegoLand parks, design tools, hacks, use in education, use by adults (in architecture and engineering, for example), books, influences on Lego, influence by Lego on other things, etc, etc. Much more than the official company information might have.
A museum celebrating the necktie.
My theory is that a museum is tax free. I could probably write off my phone, electricity, gas, water especially if I wash me a tie per load of laundry, at least one meal a day for the curator, and some of the up keep. Yep, sounds like a pretty good idea.
Found objects - I’d actually collect the lost gloves, instead of merely photographing them - that would be the key exhibit, but the museum would encompass all kinds of found objects - a bit like Emily’s shop (Bagpuss), but on a larger scale.
I think there probably is at least one already, but I’d like to open a museum featuring Human Reproduction throughout history. I’m not very interested in the sexy things, but in what we’ve known (or think we know) about where babies come from, what menstruation means, establishment of paternity, etc. as human knowledge has evolved. I’d have an exhibit dedicated to contraceptives over the centuries including pessiaries, herbs, and methods and relative acceptance (or not) of abortion and infanticide. Another exhibit of menstrual products from different times and places, from shredded leaves to menstrual cups. Another of fetal development. You get the idea.
Obviously, we need to open a ENTIRELY NEW museum. It could be a vast building with high-ceilinged, echo-y halls. It would have numerous, warren-like wings, each curated by a Doper and displaying their assorted interests. It will rival the grand old natural history museums like London’s or Harvard’s. Think of it!!!
I’d like to have a installation filled with travel ephemera from "The Great American Road Trip".