A New Book Chronicles the 125-Year History of the Button, Its Design, and Its Role in Cultural Change
September 10, 2020

If something is “fit for the back of a postage stamp,” it’s generally understood as lacking depth and nuance. A similarly sized object, however, has been upending that saying for 125 years. From political campaigns to punch lines to keepsakes, the button has packed bits of incredibly rich history into just a few inches. “It seems like a niche little object, but it really tells a very general American history,” collector and manufacturer Christen Carter tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Intrusive Clowns, Preserved Cats, and Centuries-Old Hair: Museums Are Sharing Their Creepiest Objects
April 23, 2020

If you’re not into clowns, taxidermied creatures, or centuries-old piles of hair, you probably should avoid the #CreepiestObject hashtag on Twitter. In recent days, museums worldwide have been digging into their nightmare-inducing archives to uncover the most disturbing pieces their collections have to offer. Findings include a preserved mermaid-like animal, a cross-section of a pregnant cat, and a children’s toy that’s rumored to move on its own.
Similar to the virtual bouquets and the challenge to recreate famous artworks, the movement is one of the ways shuttered museums are engaging with—and now terrifying—their quarantined audiences. More Continue reading

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Thao & the Get Down Stay Down Films a Synchronized Music Video on a Zoom Call
April 18, 2020

Zoom has been having its moment as many companies’ platform of choice for virtual meetings and conference calls, but Thao & the Get Down Stay Down recently found a more creative and amusing use for the digital communication tool. With its tour paused and everyone stuck at home, the Oakland-based band decided to shoot a music video for its new single, “Phenom,” that begins with Thao Nguyen, who leads the indie group, starting a Zoom call. More Continue reading

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Nearly 100,000 Images by Harlem Photographer Shawn Walker Acquired by Library of Congress
February 29, 2020

Working alongside the Photography Collections Preservation Project, the Library of Congress recently announced that it has acquired nearly 100,000 photographs, negatives, and transparencies by Harlem-based African American photographer Shawn Walker. Depicting the rich culture of the New York City neighborhood, the collection spans nearly six decades from the 1960s to the present and is the first comprehensive archive of an African American photographer to join the national library. More Continue reading

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