Most museums around the world are closed to visitors, but curators are finding creative ways to engage and educate the masses.
The Yorkshire Museum in York, England, started a Twitter battle over which museum has the creepiest object and called on curators from around the world to post their photos for everyone to see.
It kicked off the competition by posting a photo of a hair bun from a Roman woman’s burial in the third or fourth century, with hair clips still in place.
MUSEUMS ASSEMBLE! It's time for #CURATORBATTLE! 💥
Today's theme, chosen by you, is #CreepiestObject!
We're kicking things off with this 3rd/4th century hair bun from the burial of a #Roman lady, still with the jet pins in place…
CAN YOU BEAT IT? 💥 pic.twitter.com/ntPiXDuM6v
— Yorkshire Museum (@YorkshireMuseum) April 17, 2020
The National Museum of Scotland took the contest to another level with a pink “mermaid” with rotting teeth and the creepiest eyes you’ve ever seen.
— Natural Sciences NMS (@NatSciNMS) April 17, 2020
On Prince Edward Island, Canada, the PEI Museum joined the fray by submitting a cursed children’s toy found inside the walls of a 155-year-old mansion, and in Germany, the German History Museum posted a beaked plague mask from the 17th-18th century.
Bringin’ our A-game for this #CURATORBATTLE! What is it? Just a CURSED CHILDREN’S TOY that we found inside the walls of a 155-year-old mansion. We call it “Wheelie” – and it MOVES ON ITS OWN: Staff put it in one place and find it in another spot later on…. #Creepiestobject pic.twitter.com/FQzMzacr8a
— PEI Museum (@PEIMuseum) April 17, 2020
Thanks for thinking of us @HottyCouture and wow, will we be having nightmares tonight with all these #CreepiestObject|s ! Here is the one we just can't hide from you, one of our many creepy gems – our Plague Mask (1650/1750)! #curatorbattle pic.twitter.com/JrMjqAJSIM
— Deutsches Historisches Museum (@DHMBerlin) April 17, 2020
Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum raised the stakes with a pendant in the shape of a decaying skull beset by worms, and the Pitt Rivers Museum, another Oxford institution, offered a sheep’s heart stuck with pins and nails, made in 1911 for “breaking evil spirits.”
In a lot of ways, we wish we could un-see this entire thread. And we most definitely cannot beat the hair bun. But we'll just leave this here… pic.twitter.com/rVSPVETSSP
— Ashmolean Museum (@AshmoleanMuseum) April 17, 2020
Sheep's heart stuck with pins and nails and strung on a loop of cord. Made in South Devon, circa 1911, "for breaking evil spells", @Pitt_Rivers collections #CreepiestObject #CuratorBattle pic.twitter.com/z5vdCFCU4S
— Dan Hicks (@profdanhicks) April 17, 2020
Historic Environment Scotland made its presence known with a man’s distorted face painted on a whale’s eardrum.
— Clara Molina Sanchez (@CMolinaSanchez) April 17, 2020
No matter how you personally feel about the items chosen for this museum battle, I think we can all agree — they’re all as creepy as can be.