Museum curators around the world have been busy sharing educational, interesting and fun content during the coronavirus pandemic, through the #MuseumAtHome hashtag on Twitter. But this weekend, several museums took to social media to share the creepiest items in their collections – #CreepiestObject.
The #CreepiestObject battle was started on Friday 17 April by Yorkshire Museum. This popular museum in York, UK, has Roman, Viking and medieval collections reflecting the history of the city, as well as a Jurrasic exhibition.
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 Yorkshire Museum began the challenge with a Roman-era hair bun dating from the 3rd or 4th century, which was found in a burial site, complete with jet hairpins.
The museum community was quick to pick up the challenge, with a wide range of weird, wonderful and downright scary objects appearing on the timeline.
Live from the Toy Museum of Penshurst Place, we present the Drinking Bear. Feed it a 2 pence piece and it’ll pretend to drink from its cup as it stares into your soul. #CuratorBattle #CreepiestObject pic.twitter.com/ohNl2974UJ
— Penshurst Place (@PenshurstPlace) April 17, 2020
Some of the nightmarish contributions included a pea pod shaped pincushion complete with children’s heads, a red-eyed coin-operated drinking bear and a mummified cat.
Ok so our entry for #creepiestobject is, of course, our mummified cat. It was found concealed in the floorboards above our State Room surrounded by a ring of hazelnut shells. The X-ray below was taken at a local vets (no one else had a machine big enough!) #CuratorBattle pic.twitter.com/O9nUoBp6gC
— York Mansion House (@YorkMansionHse) April 17, 2020
Not to mention a worrying amount of taxidermy.
— Natural Sciences NMS (@NatSciNMS) April 17, 2020
Social media skills
Many museums have been turning to social media in order to connect with visitors while they are closed to the public.
The Getty Museum challenged people to recreate artworks with household items and the National Cowboy Museum went viral when it put its security guard in charge of tweeting its collection.