With most art establishments around the world shut down due to the coronavirus crisis, house-bound museums are coming up with all kinds of ways to share art.
For instance, the Yorkshire Museum in the UK recently made an open call on Twitter asking for art enthusiasts to share pictures of the most disturbing items in their collections using the hashtag #CreepiestObjects.
The Yorkshire Museum got it all started by sharing a picture of a hair bun that belonged to a Roman woman in the third or fourth century. The bun has a couple of pins sticking out of it. Museum experts soon started posting their own materials including a blood-soaked doll without an eye, a burned leg that transformed into a weird creature, a 16th-century plague mask, and much more.
Brace yourself for the most unsettling Tweets:
— Natural Sciences NMS (@NatSciNMS) April 17, 2020
— Jenna Locke (@JennaLocke) April 20, 2020
— Punk Science (@Punk_Science) April 17, 2020
Many museums have one but they usually look more like our other ‘mermaid’…
We have a little more information about this one: The posterior half was formed from a Pacific wrasse, & the head/thorax were sculpted, with fish jaw inserted in the mouth. #CreepiestObject pic.twitter.com/7MrPcaZqdh
— Natural Sciences NMS (@NatSciNMS) April 18, 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
Hold up! We’d be totally remiss if we didn’t jump on this #CreepiestObject train. We’re way a-head of you with the severed noggin of Peter Kurten, real-life #Vampire of Dusseldorf! 🧛🏽♂️ You can fang us later for the #nightmares. #CuratorBattle pic.twitter.com/7uritZMmIc
— Believe It or Not! (@Ripleys) April 20, 2020
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
— Kirsty Parsons (@museum_owl) April 17, 2020
Can I offer up the 18th century diving suit from Raahe museum in Finland? pic.twitter.com/mP9FqB9uly
— Chris Beresford (@OuluRover) April 17, 2020
Our museum joined twitter solely to participate! This contribution is an early 19 c. wax child mannequin from Germany. It was stored face-down in a heated attic for many years, flattening its features into a snout. Please enjoy. #CreepiestObject #CURATORBATTLE pic.twitter.com/W3kitF7Utt
— Museum of Fear and Wonder (@MuseumFear) April 21, 2020
Side note – he was tortured before he died & among other things had his nipples cut off 😱 pic.twitter.com/RINuzsR7Qj
— Catherine McGuinness (@CatsInTheMuseum) April 18, 2020
— York Art Gallery (@YorkArtGallery) April 17, 2020
STEP ASIDE ALL.
These are hand-made models of figures playing cards and of gold miners hauling gold nuggets to the surface. BUT the figures are made from crab’s legs and claws… Typical Victorians, they loved weird/creepy stuff. #CreepiestObject pic.twitter.com/A5NHiPGnVh
— York Castle Museum (@YorkCastle) April 17, 2020
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, we present ….
— Egham Museum (@EghamMuseum) April 17, 2020
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
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
— Curunir89 (@grichards89) April 17, 2020
We are not a museum, but we have so many creepy things in SOCH (a database for Swedish digital cultural heritage). One of my favourites: This cute little kitty cat (Speldosa, katt med harpa, 1906. Kulturen, CC BY-NC-ND). https://t.co/bSdazHIVX2 pic.twitter.com/ZDb2j9ug4v
— Larissa Borck (@Larissa_Borck) April 17, 2020
Can I offer 'Tirpitz' here? Saved from drowning after her German ship sunk the South Pacific, served as a mascot on HMS Glasgow for the rest of the FWW, eventually auctioned off for pork (raising £1,785 for charity) in retirement. No wonder she looks like she's seen things. pic.twitter.com/gYdkvK60Yb
— Imperial War Museums (@I_W_M) April 17, 2020
Can we play!?
We don't have a collection but our Digital Manager spotted this in the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum in Innsbruck.
— MuseumsGalleriesScot (@MuseumsGalScot) April 17, 2020
@RedHeadedAli how can we ignore such a call to arms?
This particular item has caused a few nightmares for our followers this week.
— Norwich Castle (@NorwichCastle) April 17, 2020
How could we have missed this??? We are properly ashamed of us! Here is one of the #CreepiestObject in our collection: a physicians stick used for a patient to bite on for the pain during a pre-anaesthesia & pre-antiseptic surgical procedure.Check those bite marks🤔#histmed #ouch pic.twitter.com/GitIlRxWOK
— The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret (@OldOpTheatre) April 18, 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
— Maddie (@maddiecsf) April 17, 2020
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
— Jim P. (@SeptimusKeen) April 17, 2020
— Clara Molina Sanchez (@CMolinaSanchez) April 17, 2020
— SMT Collections Team (@SMT_Collections) April 17, 2020
— Thackray Museum (@thackraymuseum) April 17, 2020
Turn the creep up to 💯 and check out this iron mask that was exhibited in the @TowerOfLondon as an Executioner's Mask. However, due to its grotesque appearance, we think it's more likely part of an elaborate scold’s bridle – an iron muzzle designed for public humiliation 😱 pic.twitter.com/1nG4mMZRex
— Royal Armouries (@Royal_Armouries) April 17, 2020
What are your thoughts on these creepy items? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve enjoyed it.