Quote of the Month

We Wear the Mask BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? …

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Things in Jars

In China Mieville's Kraken, a Giant Squid has been stolen by unimaginable means from the Natural History Museum’s collection of pickled, jarred, and gross things (aka the Spirit Collection). The search for the disappeared cephalopod leads an unprepared museum curator, Billy Harrow, into the demimonde of demigods, cults, magic and spirits. It’s an entertaining jaunt, …

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The Magic of London

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch, the newest novel in the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series, called to mind displays in the Museum of London. I've been to this museum so many times, but I was inspired to explore how the Rivers of London series would influence my experience of re-visiting the museum. The magical version of London captured in …

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Making LGBTQA+ Histories Visible

Many UK museums and galleries are marking the 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality with exhibitions, events, and projects, the British Museum’s Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories created a model that could (and hopefully will) be used in the future to incorporate LGBTQA+ and other marginalized and repressed group histories into the permanent …

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Snow White, Revolutionary Red

Marking the centenary of 1917, the British Library’s Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths traces the revolution through the paper ephemera left behind. With its almost textbook layout, the exhibition untangles the revolution from its earliest roots in 1896 to the aftermath and final victory of the Red Army in 1924 and lays it out in …

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20 objects for 20 years of Harry Potter

In honor of 20 years of Harry Potter, arguably my favorite books since I could read chapter books, I have scrolled through the British Museum’s extensive collections database to find magical gems. Ancient Magic What better object to begin with than a magic wand! This is an amuletic wand from the Middle Kingdom, Egypt, 2050 …

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