Fun in Baltimore, MD - 10 OCT 2010

I found this really fun museum in Baltimore: The American Visionary Art Museum. Just looking at the outside, you knew there would be delightful things on the inside.

AVAM was named “Best Museum” in Baltimore magazine’s Readers’ Poll and I have to agree…it’s now on my top ten list of “Must See” museums. Their concept of “visionary art” is “art which has the power to inspire human beings in highly personal acts of creation…it is spontaneous & individualized.” Just fun stuff that delights the eyes as well as the funny bone…such as this current exhibit:
…which included a homage to MAD Magazine:
The Alfred E. Newman bed with a 'Spy vs. Spy' lamp has a bedspread made out of stuff animals:People checking out a tree filled with shinny glass items:
I need to look like I’m having fun when posing in a fun house mirror:

Is this canned ham?
Large glass egg next to...
...really, big, bird:

This was part of the welcome mat (spelling out AVAM), made out of toothbrushes it looked like it belonged to the next museum I went to...…The National Museum of Dentistry, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and designated by Congress as the nation’s official museum of the dental profession.
“Since prehistoric times, some Japanese have dyed their teeth black, using tannin powder and a ferrous acetate solution. This fashion, considered a sign of nobility, continued into the early 20th century. The custom of married women dying their teeth, known as Ohaguro, began early in the 17th century. Coincidentally, and unbeknownst to its practitioners, it also helped protect the teeth against bacteria.”“Bantu tribespeople along the Congo River in Central Africa, like other peoples around the world, file their front teeth into sharp points. This custom originally may have been an attempt to intimidate enemies by creating a ferocious appearance.”
“Knocking out teeth –or nontherapeutic removal– is usually thought of as accidental or the results of torture. It is also practiced in some parts of the world as a deliberate act, part of a rite of passage or a sign of mourning. Some Australian tribes once followed this custom, and one, the Macquarie, knocked out only the upper right central incisor.”
“The placement of gold crowns over teeth and open-faced gold crowns with cutout designs that expose the enamel have been popular, especially in America. Like tattoos, gold crowns offer their owners a vehicle for self-expression. There are even temporary types that simply clamp over the tooth.” It's a little hard to see, but he has a gild front tooth:
This is the actual 15th-century stain glass panel, depicting Saint Apollonia (patron saint of dentistry), from the Priory Church of St. Mary, Abergavenny, Wales, England:
One of Andy Warhol’s silk-screen versions of St. Apollonia:
Besides all things historical (Antique dental equipment, George Washington’s ivory lower denture, every make, model and type of toothbrush, dental advertising poster art, Queen Victoria’s dental instruments) they had lots of interactive displays for children such as this “sing-a-long” with iconic television toothpaste commercials, which Tinky Winky is enjoying:

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA - 09 OCT 2010

In 1836 John Jay Smith, a Quaker, designed Laurel Hill as a picturesque cemetery to be a permanent, non-sectarian burial space which would also accommodate the needs of the living. Consisting of 78 acres on a hill, running along the Schuylkill River it is a testament to Victorian times, when people strolled, took carriage rides and held picnics in the cemetery as if it were Central Park (which was built 20 years later). The first sight to greet visitors, up a short flight of stairs is a small three wall structure with these unusually sculptures.
They depict Sir Walter Scott's novel Old Mortality. Scott, the one with the cane leaning against a headstone, is conversing with Old Man Mortality perched on top of a stone coffin. Why a pony and a bust of James Thom are listening in, is a mystery to me.
The above angel is one of the few who still has all her digits; unfortunately most of them show signs of vandalism, like the angel below.
Then there were many statues with severe erosion.

I was amazed at the number of obelisks in this cemetery.

Memorial to General Hugh Mercer, a Scotsman who served as a surgeon in the Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden and later as brigadier general in the Continental Army.
This must have been a specular image when she was whole.
From the right angle, she still is.
Don't see many hats on cemetery statues.

Whoever this is... ...he's got a great view:

I saw this angel and thought what beautiful hair she has...
...then I walked around to the front, oops, he has beautiful hair.
To view more of my cemetery images: Merrilee Adler on Flickr