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The Annals of Exhibitionism, Vol. 12: Specialization…

Museums preserve and celebrate the extraordinary scope of human experience and accomplishment; they educate and entertain; they are, at once, a culture’s treasure chests and its hope chests.

And thus, museums come in an equally-extraordinary ranges of sizes, shapes, and foci.  While the best-known tend to be either broad in the purview (e.g., The Museum of Natural History) or focused on something central to the zeitgeist (The Air and Space Museum), there are thousands of others, devoted to more…  well, more particular corners of the human experience.

Consider for example, The Vent Haven Museum of Ventriloquism

So, what do you get when you combine the loneliness of a pet cemetery with the creepy flair of vaudeville? The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, of course—where dummies go to die. The Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, museum was the brainchild of the late William Shakespeare Berger, who founded the site as a home for retired wooden puppets. In fact, he collected figures from some of the country’s most famous ventriloquist acts. And with more than 700 dummies stacked from floor to ceiling, you’re bound to feel like you’re stuck inside a 1970s horror flick—albeit a really good one. But sadly, when Berger gave the tour, you could totally tell his mouth was moving. [Image courtesy of Vic.]

Or The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia

…did you know that PEZ was originally marketed as an adult mint for people trying to quit smoking?

Or The Museum of Bad Art

Founded in 1993, The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) in Boston is “a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory.” The art featured on the site is not of the middle-school drivel variety; rather, the pieces seem to be the product of people who think that if they light candles and play Mozart loudly, the talent will come. It doesn’t, but the results are fun.

Thanks to the good folks at Mental Floss, readers can discover nine other rare gems at “12 Oddly Specific Museums Preserving Our History.”

As we celebrate enthusiasms for their own sakes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, at 11:00 pm, that Dale Cummings did the first sit-up in the set that would, almost exactly twelve hours later, result in his having set a new world record– 14,118 sit-ups.

click here to see enlargement at source


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