Tag: Museum

A New York Public Library Card

I Lost My Library Card Just in Time for Culture Pass

Several weeks ago I lost my library card. At one point it was in my wallet and then it was gone. I have no leads on its whereabouts. Presumably, it could be anywhere along the east coast, following I-95 from D.C. to New York City. Blown away on an illiterate wind. Realistically, it’s probably stuck in some sidewalk crack or floating in a puddle under the subway tracks. 

 

I know that if somebody has found it, they haven’t used it. Online, I see that I have no new checkouts aside from the two books I took off the shelves almost sixteen weeks ago and keep renewing with the hope that I will find the time to sit down and read them. What kind of monster would checkout books on somebody else’s library card?

 

The reason I haven’t gotten a replacement library card is twofold. First, I think I owe the library a fifty cent late fee, which I am loathe to pay. And second, I don’t want to wither under the scorn of the librarian who has to jump through the bureaucratic hoops to get me my (hopefully complimentary) replacement card. Which is a shame because you can now use a New York Public Library card to get into museums and other cultural destinations for free!

 

The Met

 

As a transplant from Washington, D.C. to New York City, I have been spoiled by the Smithsonian Institute and its dedication to intellectually enriching Washingtonians for free with tax dollars from the rest of the country. It was minor culture shock to see admission prices at the doors to many New York based museums, which is why I am glad I can visit some of these places without spending any money. My inner cheapskate penny pinches for joy.

 

The list of included institutions is pretty expansive, including the likes of the Whitney, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), and the Museum of Modern Art (Moma) to lesser known spots like the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island. Time for a Himalayan exhibition!

 

 

Feature Image Via The New York Public Library

HST

Hunter S. Thompson’s Widow Turning Private Residence into Museum

Over a decade after his death, only a handful of people have been allowed inside Owl Farm’s War Room, the basement where Hunter S. Thompson would spend up to sixteen hours a day writing. Anita Thompson, Thompson’s widow, plans to turn the couple’s Colorado home into a museum and artist’s retreat within the next two years.

 

Even after Johnny Depp, a close friend of the family, bought 800 boxes of archives, the War Room is a crowded shrine to Thompson’s creative process. Manuscripts, letters, photos, gum wrappers, and beer cans have all stood the test of time. Twelve years later, Anita is still discovering new artifacts.  In an interview with NPR’s Claire Woodcock, Thompson said, “It’s been a pleasure to unearth some things, you know, in the files and learn more about the love of my life through his history.”

 

“This room is full of history. And it’s not something I take lightly,” said Thompson. “I wouldn’t let anybody dust. I just felt like maybe if I left everything as it is somehow he would come back. Even if I knew that wasn’t true, it did bring me comfort.”

 

Hunter S. Thompson in his War Room

Image Via Gonzo Today

 

Thompson plans for one side of the house to become a museum, the other a haven for writers and musicians to stay and work on long-term projects. “I hope those who visit Owl Farm, it helps them find their own voice,” Thompson said.

 

The museum will be part of the Gonzo Foundation, a non-profit organization created to promote literature, journalism, and political activism through the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. Those interested in updates about both the Gonzo Foundation and the upcoming museum should visit the foundation’s site here. The museum’s two year deadline is up in the air, as Anita Thompson wants it “done right.”

 

Featured image courtesy of Esquire.

A Christmas Carol

Spend Your Holidays With Charles Dickens!

Do you keep telling your friends and family that you want to do something fun this holiday season? Good news…The Ghost of Christmas Plans Past has gone, but the Ghost of Christmas Plans Yet-to-Come has arrived!

 

The Morgan Library

Image Via Morgan Library

 

From November 3rd through January 14th you can visit New York’s breathtaking and historical Morgan Library & Museum for an exhibit on Charles Dickens. ‘Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas’ will be displaying all five of his Christmas book manuscripts together. For the first time EVER. How’s that for a merry Christmas?

 

 

Charles Dickens

Image Via the Telegraph

 

 

You will be able to see A Christmas Carol (1843), The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848) in one show. Visitors will get a firsthand look at the inspiration, composition, reception, and publication of A Christmas Carol. They’ll also discover what made it stand the test of time for over 100 years. It’s arguably the most classic Christmas tale that has been told over and over again through various film adaptations. It not only impacted Dickens’s life, but society at the time as well, as he drew inspiration from the socioeconomic issues of that time period. 

 

The exhibit even discusses Dickens’s reading tour for A Christmas Carol, a ritual that was uncommon then. In it, though, he gave his heart and soul to his readers.

 

The Morgan Library itself will totally fit your holiday mood. With soaring ceilings, intricate frescos, dark wood accents, and an array of books and programs, this is a library that will surely lift the spirit of anyone who enters it.

 

Break out your calendars because this year you will definitely have holiday plans!

 

Image Via Giphy

 

Feature Image Via Historic Newspapers

Close up on oracle bone, highlighting the mysterious script.

Chinese Museum Needs Your Help Decoding Ancient Script

The National Museum of Chinese Writing has embarked on a journey to decipher 3,000-year-old writing. Of the roughly 5,000 distinct characters, Chinese researchers have been able to decode the meanings of about 2,000 of them. But they’ve hit a roadblock, and are seeking the public’s help. Oh, and they’re paying $15,000 for each decoded character, or $7,500 for an explanation for a disputed character.

 

Oracle bone which is a really old tortoiseshell

via www.sacu.org

 

The script is written on oracle bones, which are (often) turtle shells or ox bones with ancient writing engraved on it. About 200,000 oracle bones have been found, and 50,000 of those have the ancient script inscribed on them. They date back to the Shang dynasty, which means they represent some of “the earliest written records of Chinese civlization,” according to South China Morning Post.

 

National Museum of Chinese Writing

The National Museum of Chinese Writing / via Chinamaximus’s blog

 

Don’t bother just sending them your best guess, though, because proposed meanings must be verified by at least two language experts. But if you have any propensity for this sort of thing, the National Museum of Chinese Writing is encouraging any potential decoders to utilize cutting edge technology like cloud computing to expedite the process.

 

Featured image courtesy of the South China Morning Post