Posts Tagged ‘museums’

Even the Sackler Name Is Poison

December 16, 2021

Even the Sackler Name Is Poison

The Sackler family’s billions were accumuated over the dead bodies of 841,000 Americans who overdosed on the Oxycontin opioids pushed by their pharmaceutical company. The Sacklers shared some of their loot – and their name – with cultural institutions, hospitals, and universities, which are now beginning to wake up and smell the Narcan. The Sackler name and blood money have been recognized as poison.

Following the lead of the Louvre, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts has removed the Sackler name from its buildings. Other museums scrubbing the Sacklers include: the National Portrait Gallery, the Serpentine Gallery, the South London Gallery, and the Tate Modern in London; and the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Medical institutions are understandably sensitive to the drug-taint issue. Tufts University School of Medicine and NYU Langone Graduate Biomedical Institute successfully excised the Sackler name from their buildings, and other health nonprofits are exploring such surgery.

The Smithsonian Institution won’t rename the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, since Arthur was the Sackler brother who died a decade before before OxyContin was developed. Harvard isn’t renaming its Arthur M. Sackler Museum, either. The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art seems to be fairly immune from the name controversy.

More: 

“The Met removes Sackler name from its galleries,” Peggy McGlone, Washington Post

“After Years of Activism, Sackler Name Will Be Removed From Met Museum,” Jasmine Liu, Hyperallergic

“Don’t strip the Sackler name from museums. It’s a visceral reminder of human greed,” Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

Related:

“Stop blaming my late husband, Arthur Sackler, for the opioid crisis,” Jillian Sackler, Washington Post

Update:

“Judge rejects opioid settlement over legal protections for Sackler family,” The Guardian

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The Peacock Clock

March 31, 2021

Prince Grigory Potemkin commissioned the workshop of London goldsmith and craftsman James Cox to produce a timekeeping automaton as a gift for Catherine the Great in 1777. Today the device is in The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

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The Vibrator Museum

June 9, 2020

“Shaking Things Up at the Antique Vibrator Museum,” an Atlas Obscura video featuring Dr. Carol Queen, curator of the Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum in San Francisco.

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Comedy Museum Opens

August 21, 2018
Comedy Museum Opens

National Comedy Museum — Artist’s Concept.

The nonprofit National Comedy Center has opened in Jamestown, NYAppalachian Jamestown is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, who left when she was 3 years old. Her family later moved to nearby Celoron, a lakeside village with a great amusement park, and young Lucy understandably preferred living there. Soon after her family went broke and moved back to Jamestown, 14-year-old Lucy left for New York City. Somehow Jamestown got the Comedy Center and Celoron got a really ugly statue of Lucy (later replaced).

More:

“The Serious Mission Behind a $50 Million Comedy Museum,” Michael Stahl, CityLab

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Top image (“National Comedy Center — artist’s conception”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Corporate Person Opens Bible Museum In DC

November 17, 2017

Corporate Person Opens Bible Museum In DC
Today a well-known corporate personHobby Lobby, opened the Museum of the Bible in a former warehouse near the railroad tracks in Southwest Washington DC. Once the Washington Design Center, the original building was built as the Terminal Refrigeration and Warehouse Company in 1923.

The new tourist attraction features a ballroom modeled after Versailles (mentioned in la Nouveau Testament, maybe?), replicas of the village of Nazareth and the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey, holograms, the Drive Thru History of the Bible Theater, and a restaurant serving biblically themed meals. Oh, and some historic books and 40,000 artifacts from the Green Family collection (sorry, the artifacts the family smuggled from Iraq were confiscated and won’t be on view). To ensure historical accuracy, the museum has the same advisor as the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs romp with cavemen. In fact, while museum admission is free (a $15 donation is suggested), there’s an amusement park price structure, where you pay to see each special exhibit or attraction.

Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green and his family believe the government of the USA is based on Christian biblical principles, and the family has enough money to share that misconception with an unsuspecting public.

Unbelievers can beat the church-going crowds. Unlike Hobby Lobby stores, the Museum of the Bible is open on Sundays from 10 AM to 7 PM.

More:

“Just What Is the Museum of the Bible Trying to Do?” Candida Moss and Joel Baden, Politico

“Jefferson took a blade to his Bible: Presidents, faith and the new Bible museum,” Rachel Siegel, Washington Post

“We’re All Living in Hobby Lobby’s Bible Nation,” Sarah Jones, New Republic

“Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?” Noah Charney, Washington Post

“Mystery at the new Bible museum: Are its Dead Sea Scrolls fake?” Daniel Burke, CNN

“The Museum of the Bible reflects the discouraging state of Christianity,” Christine Emba, Washington Post

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Star Wars Toy Museum

October 11, 2017

The Star Toys Museum in Linthicum Heights, MD boasts a 13,000-plus collection of Star Wars memorabilia. Video by Anna Weaver, Capital News Service.

More:

“Linthicum man’s ‘Star Wars’ collection so large it has ‘gravitational pull,'” Ben Weathers, Capital Gazette

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Coal Mining Museum Goes Solar

April 7, 2017

Coal Mining Museum Goes Solar

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County is switching to solar power, reports the Washington Post:

“’We believe that this project will help save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs on this building alone, so it’s a very worthy effort and it’s going to save the college money in the long run,’ Brandon Robinson, communications director of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, which owns the museum, told WYMT.”

“’It is a little ironic,’ said Robinson, ‘But you know, coal and solar and all the different energy sources work hand-in-hand. And, of course, coal is still king around here.’”

— “Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to solar power,” Travis M. Andrew, Washington Post

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Slavery in America

February 19, 2016

The Whitney Plantation near Wallace, Louisiana, was founded by German émigré Ambroise Heidel and his family in 1722, and his son Jean Jacques Haydel Sr. converted it to sugar cultivation in the early 1800s. The property passed through several hands before it was purchased by New Orleans attorney John Cummings, who spent 16 years and $8 million of his own money transforming it into a museum dedicated to telling the story of slavery in America.

“The Whitney Plantation is not a place designed to make people feel guilt, or to make people feel shame. It is a site of memory, a place that exists to further the necessary dialogue about race in America.”

— “Telling the Story of Slavery,” Kalim Armstrong, The New Yorker

More:

“Harsh world of slavery focus of Louisiana plantation museum,” Jonathan Kaminsky, Reuters

Video produced by Kalim Armstrong

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Magna Carta In DC

November 9, 2014

Magna Carta In DC

This year Magna Carta turns 800 years old, and the birthday party has come to Washington DC. One of the four surviving copies of the original 1215 edition of the charter of liberties is visiting here in the Nation’s Capitol. Lincoln Cathedral has lent its copy to the Library of Congress. The “Mother of All Constitutions” will be exhibited through there through January 19th.

Of course, if old documents are not your thing, head to the National Archives. They have a copy of that newfangled Magna Carta, the one from 1297.

More: 

“Two Magna Cartas in DC,” Geoff Edgers, Washington Post

“Just how important is Magna Carta 800 years on?,” Nick Higham, BBC News

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Corporate Person Builds Bible Museum in Godless DC

September 18, 2014

Corporate Person Builds Bible Museum in Godless DC

A well-known Corporate Person, Hobby Lobby, is building a Museum of the Bible in a former warehouse near the railroad tracks in Southwest DC. Once the Washington Design Center, it was built as the Terminal Refrigeration and Warehouse Company in 1923.

Museum plans call for completion in 2017. Expect a ballroom modeled after Versailles (mentioned in the New Testament, maybe?), a theater, a replica of Westminster Abbey, holograms, and a restaurant serving biblically themed meals. Oh, and some historic books and 40,000 artifacts from the Green Family collection.  The museum has the same advisor as the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs romp with cavemen.

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