The difference between how we see things when we're home and when we're away: an aloof problem of knowledge (Days at the Museum #4)

If you know where the Spy Museum is, I encourage you to read "Days at the Museum #4: International Week" over at McSweeney's. If you don't know where the Spy Museum is, well, help me help you find out.


Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada, California,1868 (from the Smithsonian website)

Some other things you may find in this column: Italian food in Chinatown; Japanese tourists; Albert Bierstadt in Rome and California; a French fellow; green denim on Germans; the serenity of a virtuous public space; and Obama's "Hope" poster.

It's part four of Days at the Museum. Part I was noted here; it was about macaroni, and France, and tourists. Part 2 was noted here; it was about elevators, more or less. Have a time with them. Part 3 was noted here; let's say it was about the affront of askew art and outdated introductory videos.

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On we go, with the third entry in "Days at the Museum" over at McSweeney's, titled "Mind the Gap." It ran yesterday. It's theme? Beyond relating to a subway conversation, I'd summarize it as being about the gap between what I expected here and what I'm finding. This is part three of "Days at…
I haven't been here much, but I did begin a new series over at McSweeney's called "Days at the Museum." It's a limited-run set of dispatches (summer-length, let's say) about research at the Smithsonian and related miscellany. Tuesday was the first one, called "Ronzoni All the Way Down." This is…
Headlines in the last day: South Korea records seventh outbreak; Bird Flu Strikes Hanoi, Over 1,000 Chickens Culled; Bird flu erupts in Vietnam south; total 5 provinces infected; Bird flu found in 6 more areas of Afghanistan; Laos teenager dies from bird flu; Indonesian Villagers Hide Birds And…
As I’ve mentioned before, I spent a good part of my graduate years working on specimens in the collections of the Natural History Museum in Dublin. Some readers may have read of the museum through the essay “Cabinet Museums: Alive, Alive O!” in Stephen Jay Gould’s Dinosaur in a Haystack. Gould…

That's my favorite painting at the National Portrait Gallery.

We have a large Bierstadt here in Seattle Art Museum ("Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast"). Very impressive. But don't make the mistake of thinking his photo-realism portrays reality. He has a wonderful imagination to go with his skill, is what. Yes, he later did visit these places, but at least these two were painted from imagination for commission. Close up examination of ours revealed that he had our NW native Americans wearing coolie hats, for example.

It still captivated my attention for some time.

By Gray Gaffer (not verified) on 01 Oct 2009 #permalink