We wandered in late on a drizzly day. No one else was there. A bearded attendant finally appeared from nowhere. He apologized for the smell of a dog-doo and incense (a dog had just had an accident). He directed us to watch an introductory slide show in a shrine-like alcove.
A voice began in sonorous tones describing how the word “museum” should be a place dedicated to the muses. We explored the dark, narrow rooms and hallways, passing through doorways framed with heavy Victorian curtains. The displays included.
- Micromosaics made from the scales of butterly wings.
- Stereo floral radiographs of Albert Richard.
- Vectography (an obscure 1940s technique for overlapping 3-D images)
- Microminiature figures carved by Hagop Sandaldjian, figures so small they easily fit inside the eye of a needle.
- A bell wheel, known as an arca musarithmica,
- And displays of forgotten folk cures, like two dead mice on a piece of toast given to a child to cure stuttering.
“Teaching,” quoting 18th Century museum pioneer Charles Willson Peale, “is a sublime ministry inseparable from human happiness. The learner must be led always from familiar objects toward the unfamiliar - guided along, as it were, a chain of flowers into the mysteries of life.”
Fodor's Review of the Museum