Category Archives: Museum Lust

Primitive scientific ephemera, analytical analog baubles, and old dead things.

The evolutionary history of feathers

If you haven’t already read Brian Switek’s My Beloved Brontosaurus (the New York Times called it “a delight,” and said “[t]his may be the one book for catching up on what has become of the dinosaurs you thought you knew … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Books, Education, Museum Lust, Science, Science Journalism | Comments Off

Jewelled skeletons: how Damien Hirst was scooped 500 years ago

Remember when bad-boy artist Damien Hirst got all that press for covering a human skull in diamonds? According to a new book by Paul Koudounaris, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, he was about 500 years … Continue reading

Posted in Artists & Art, Books, Medical Illustration and History, Museum Lust | Comments Off


“People are practically printing books with their smartphones,” Mr. Fletcher said, in a tone suggesting that he did not think this was such a good idea. Delightful. From the New York Times review of the Grolier Club exhibition “Printing for … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Ephemera, Littademia, Museum Lust, Retrotechnology | Comments Off

Victorian worm syrup!

“Celebrated?” You don’t say. . . at Daily Memorandum’s etsy shop

Posted in Conspicuous consumption, Ephemera, Frivolity, Medical Illustration and History, Museum Lust | Comments Off

God is more than a flying brain

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam From Paluzzi et al., Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2007 For a few years, Nature Reviews Neuroscience stuck to a humorous theme in its cover art: everyday objects that mimic brains. A dandelion, spilled … Continue reading

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The Bowes Silver Swan

The Bowes Swan; silver fish detail from There is something primally captivating about the successful reproduction of life in art or technology. The Bowes Silver Swan is a wonderful example, dating back to the 18th century. To the accompaniment … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Museum Lust, Retrotechnology, Wonder Cabinets | 6 Comments

London: the Icky Tour

Greenhouse, Chelsea Physic Garden As I file away the debris of the last year, I realize that I never finished posting about my week in London this summer. It was exhausting, but by no means exhaustive. I feel foolish that … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Destinations, Museum Lust, Science, Wonder Cabinets | 5 Comments

Heart on your sleeve; address on your hand

Glove map of London, 1851, by George Shove. Printed map on leather. Long before Googlemaps on an iPhone or handheld GPS devices, there was the very analog Victorian Glove Map. How cool is this? via Mapping the Marvellous

Posted in Ephemera, Museum Lust | 2 Comments

Invading Hands & Sleeping Beauties

Wounds (2007) Nicole Natri I ran across this collage by the talented Nicole Natri shortly after attending an interesting lecture, “When Sleeping Beauty Walked Out of the Anatomy Museum,” by Kathryn Hoffmann, who is a professor of French at the … Continue reading

Posted in Artists & Art, Museum Lust, Science | 7 Comments

Sometimes a teapot is just a teapot

Designed by Kathleen Walsh, from Walteria Living: a Rorschach blot teapot! Actually, it’s not a Rorschach. According to the website, the teapot (and matching plates) are based on a much earlier pastime: a Victorian parlor game called Blotto, in which … Continue reading

Posted in Frivolity, Museum Lust | 3 Comments