Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

These museum collections have truly odd pieces on view, including Anthony Weiner’s sexts and pronghorn poop.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

    Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

    C-3PO tape dispenser at the Museum of the Moving Image

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

    Wooden brick from The City Reliquary

  • Photograph: AMNH/Denis Finnin

    Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

    Elkhorn Ranch diorama at the American Museum of Natural History

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Radar.com

    Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

    Anthony Weiner's sext transcripts

  • Photograph: Courtesy Rubin Museum of Art

    Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

    Prayer beads made from snake spine at the Rubin Museum of Art

Photograph: Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Museum collections with weird art and artifacts that will shock you

C-3PO tape dispenser at the Museum of the Moving Image


Museum collections aren’t just full of old paintings and historic artifacts—you’ll also often find bizarre items that you won’t see anywhere else. Check out six of the weirdest artifacts found in New York museum collections, including one of Anthony Weiner’s sexting transcripts at the Museum of Sex. (You’ll never look at the mayoral hopeful the same way again.)

RECOMMENDED: Museums in New York

Adrian Piper, What Will Become of Me at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Here’s a fun hobby: Since 1985, Conceptual artist Adrian Piper has been collecting her hair and toenails in empty honey jars. Whenever she fills one, she adds it to a shelf on display at MoMA. Eventually, Piper hopes to have her cremated remains added to the installation. Contemporary Galleries, second floor.

  1. 11 W 53rd St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves), 10019
More info

C-3PO tape dispenser at Museum of the Moving Image

Hey, C-3PO, is that a roll of tape in your, ummm…or are you just happy to, uhhh.… This misguided piece of movie merchandising was produced in 1980 to promote The Empire Strikes Back; the company responsible also made mugs featuring the heads of other Star Wars characters. “Behind the Screen” exhibit, second floor.

  1. 36-01 35th Ave, (at 37th St), Astoria, Queens, 11106
More info

Wooden brick at City Reliquary Museum

This tiny Williamsburg collection devoted to NYC ephemera probably has more bizarre items than any other institution in the city. But we’re drawn to this artifact from a long-forgotten Gotham: a weather-beaten block from the last-known wooden sidewalk in Brooklyn, which ran along Greenpoint’s West Street in the 19th century.

  1. 370 Metropolitan Ave (at Havemeyer St) Williamsburg, Brooklyn
More info

Pronghorn droppings in the Roosevelt Elkhorn Ranch diorama at American Museum of Natural History

You can’t accuse the AMNH of skimping on the details. Last year, in order to lend realism to this diorama in the Hall of North American Mammals, curators added a little something extra: actual pronghorn doo-doo, collected by park rangers at the real-life Elkhorn Ranch in Montana. The poo was freeze-dried, then placed with a coffee scoop.

  1. Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, Central Park West (at 79th St), 10024
More info

Anthony Weiner’s sexting transcript at Museum of Sex (MoSex)

“i hear liberal girls are very, uh, accommodating of others.” Thus begins the creepy foreplay section of then-Representative—and, improbably, current mayoral hopeful—Anthony Weiner and blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss’s series of 2010–11 Facebook messages. The full three-page transcript is on display in MoSex’s “Universe of Desire” exhibition.

  1. 233 Fifth Ave (at 27th St)
More info

Snake-spine and human-cranium prayer beads at Rubin Museum of Art

Prayer beads come in a wide variety of sizes and materials, but these two particular strands, both Tibetan, are some of the strangest. One set, made from the vertebrae of a snake, was likely used in Himalayan shamanic rituals. Another set is made from a human skull and was probably used for wrathful tantric practice. “Count Your Blessings” exhibit (opens Aug 2).

  1. 150 W 17th St (at Seventh Ave), 10011
More info


Users say

0 comments

Events calendar for New York City

  1. Socrates Sculpture...

    It’s harder to justify indoor art-peeping once the...

  2. Gazillion Bubble...

    Self-described “bubble scientist” Fan Yang's bliss...

  3. Space Shuttle...

    In 1977, NASA conducted a series of tests on a new...

19 more events »

Time Out videos



Tweets by Time Out NY

Subscribe to Time Out New York on Spotify for playlists and recommendations from our Music team.

Check out New York's best restaurants, hottest street style, cool apartments and more.