Everyone is talking about toilet paper these days.
We’re counting our rolls. And coming up with strategies to find more.
No wonder. Toilet paper is an essential part of daily lives.
So we were delighted to be back in touch with Bobj Berger. The model train enthusiast, train manager and seasonal Santa Claus lives in Washington state and is the curator of a Toilet Paper Museum that has more than 200 rolls of historic, odd and unusual toilet paper rolls.
We’ve written a story about him and his collection for Fodors, which we’ll link to here as soon as it’s published. But we wanted to share some fun pics from Berger’s Toilet Paper Museum with you here. Because even though it’s not Museum Monday, right now we could all use something light.
Berger has been collecting toilet paper rolls, toilet paper dispensers and toilet paper memorabilia since the late 1960s and the collection is filled with some treasures.
There’s glow-in-the-dark Y2K toilet paper, celebrity-themed toilet paper and, of course, toilet paper that lets users wipe up with the faces of past and present presidents.
(All photos from the Toilet Paper Museum courtesy Bobj Berger.)
Planning your 2020 travel? Some museum-centric ideas
If history, art
and eclectic adventures are what you seek out when you travel, you’ll have plenty
of excuses to pull off the road in 2020.
For CNBC we put together a list of great options, from a retrospective celebrating 25 years of outsider art to fresh shrines and exhibitions devoted to everything from eyesight, motion pictures, shoes, music and rodeo culture.
Celebrate Southern Rock in Georgia
December, Macon, GA celebrated the reopening of the Capricorn Sound Studios, which
captured the music of the Allman Brothers and other emerging bands playing a
new musical genre dubbed ‘Southern rock’ during the 1970s.
The new Mercer Music at Capricorn now operates as a music incubator, with
at Capricorn opening
on January 2 to tell the history of the iconic studio with artifacts, photos,
recordings, album art and music-filled interactive digital kiosks. (Museum
admission: $7; Studio tour: $5)
The museum will display artist Red Grooms’ rollicking Ruckus Rodeo installation, a giant walk-through work that celebrates the Fort Worth rodeo with 3-D caricatures of rodeo regulars ranging from the rodeo clowns and cowboys to broncos to and bulls. (January 17-March 29, 2020; Admission: $16; half-price Sundays; free admission Fridays.)
In the Bronx, NY, the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will present KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature, by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama from May 9 through November 1, 2020. The garden-wide exhibit will include the artist’s signature mirrored environments, paintings, giant polka-dotted sculptures flowers and pumpkins, site-specific sculpture and a new greenhouse installation. Tickets go on sale on sale on January 20.
When women got the right to vote
Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative has an extensive list of museum exhibits around the country
marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th
amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote.
Wyoming, which gave women the right to vote 50 years before the rest of the
nation, kicked off its suffrage celebrations in 2019 and continues with many
special exhibits statewide in 2020.
D.C. the National Museum of American History will present “Creating Icons: How We
Remember Women’s Suffrage,” with artifacts from 1919 and 1920 donated by the
National American Women Suffrage Association, the precursor to the League of
Women Voters (Opens March 6; free).
A visionary retrospective
Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) collects curates and celebrates
self-taught artists and “outsider” art and presents workshops, parades and
themed exhibitions filled with odd and exquisite creations. In November 2020,
AVAM will mark its 25th anniversary with a retrospective show featuring
work from its past 40 exhibitions, bring back some work which has been in
storage for years. (Admission: $15.95)
In Spring 2020, keep an eye out
for the opening of the Truhlsen-Marmor
Museum of the Eye at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The free museum at
the headquarters of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will feature a
collection of more than
38,000 artifacts, books, and instruments and virtual reality activities.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, featuring a collection of photographs, films, videos, costumes, props and more, is scheduled to open in Los Angeles, CA (of course) in Spring 2020.
And in late 2020, the Museum of Science, Boston
will open “Arctic Adventure,” a major permanent exhibition that will immerse
visitors in a polar environment using state-of-the-art light projections and a real
ice wall. (Admission included with Exhibit Halls
ticket: $29 for adults, $24 for kids.)
Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day is coming up on September 21 and we’re celebrating because on that day 1500 museums will be joining in to offer free admission to anyone who downloads a ticket.
Many science centers, aquariums, zoos and gardens will be offering free admission on Museum Day as well.
The free nationwide event presents a great opportunity to stop in and revisit a favorite exhibit at a local cultural institution or visit a museum in a town you’re visiting without worrying about all the admission fees.
Where can you go?
This year, Museum Day is celebrating the Smithsonian Year of Music, with many participating museums offering special music-themed programming.
The Lightner Museum in Saint Augustine, FL, will host a museum-themed scavenger hunt in its galleries. The music will also demonstrate the electric self-playing violin, the Gem Roller Organ and many other early mechanical musical instruments in its collection;
Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, MA will have live Armenian music in
Missoula, the Montana Natural History City will offer demonstrations and
experiments to show and explain how different animals hear;
North Carolina, a high school
Rock Orchestra will play a selection of train related songs at the Wilmington
And in Mumford, NY, the Genesee Country Village and Museum, the state’s largest living history museum will be celebrating early shape-note music with a shape-note sing open to all.
Many all-music-all-the-time museums are participating as well.
Museum Day visitors to MoPOP in Seattle, WA will have full access to galleries and to exhibits dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and more.
Music-fans will also get full access to the music history offered at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles; to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA; and in Memphis, TN, to the Blues Hall of Fame, the Memphis Rock ‘N Soul Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
And in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum
will host a jazz storytelling session that explores the sounds and styles of
jazz and present a screening of “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane
TThe full list of museums participating in Museum Day, September 21, can be found here. And Museum Day tickets can be downloaded here.
Only one ticket will be issued per email address, but each ticket is good for admission for two people.
(A slightly differen version of my story about Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day first appeared on CNBC)
Have you had enough barbecue, fireworks and parades yet on this holiday weekend? If you need more things to do, consider going to a museum – for free.
Free Museum Admissions
As part of the Museums on Us program, more then 225 museums, science centers, gardens and other attractions around the country are offering free admission this weekend (July 6 and 7) to Bank of America debit or credit card holders. Many other attractions around the country are hosting special events as well.
Participating museums in the Museums of Us program range from the Seattle Museum of Art to Chicago’s Alder Planetarium and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.
You can also take advantage of this offer at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan; at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and the World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Find more details here.
But don’t worry. The bugs are all under glass and are part of a new exhibit hosted by the SFO Museum.
The exhibit, titled The Intriguing World of Insects includes more than 1000 specimens, fine art photography and rare books. There’s also an atomical model of Musca domestica, the inscect we know better as the house fly.
Why an exhibit of insects?
Besides that fact that they look really pretty and non-threatening inside the cases, insects, the exhibit notes tell us, are the most diverse macroscopic organisms on the planet.
Researchers have identified over one million species of insects – so far – and estimate that five to thirty million more insects are waiting to be discovered.
In fact, there are more species of ants than species of birds, and more species of beetles than all species of plants combined.
Here’s a quick insect class, to get you ready for the exhibit:
*Insects, spiders, lobsters, and their cousins are arthropods. That means they have jointed legs and an external skeleton.
*The first insects appeared around 400 million years ago and evolved wings over 300 million years ago.
*Fossils of dragonfly ancestors, called griffinflies, had wingspans of over sixty centimeters. In contrast, the tiniest insects today have wingspans of less than one millimeter.
*But not all insects have wings. Some species, like silverfish, never evolved wings, while others, like camel crickets, lost them millions of years ago.
*Insects play integral roles in ecosystems. They pollinate the flowers of many fruits and vegetables, produce wax and honey and keep pest plants and insects at bay. Insects also recycle nutrients through decomposition, and are important food sources for other species.
Class over, for now.
The SFO Museum’s exhibition, The Intriguing World of Insects, comes to San Fransicsco International Airport from the Essig Museum of Entomology which is has a collection of more then 5 million arthropods stored at the University of California, Berkeley.
Look for the exhibit pre-security in SFO’s International Terminal, on the Depatures Level through August 18, 2019.