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: