Friday, August 16, 2013
Unknown Museums of Upstate New York
Unknown Museums of Upstate New York:
A Guide to 50 Treasures
By Chuck D'Imperio
Published by Syracuse University Press, 15th August 2013
I always enjoy visiting museums when I am travelling, and reading about them is almost as much fun, so I was certainly looking forward to reading and reviewing this book.
What on earth do Jell-O, model (and real) steam trains, cutlery, gibbets, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, the slave Underground, cobblestones, salt and Kazoos have in common? They all either have museums devoted to them or are exhibits in little-known museums - and they are just a very few featured in this absolute treasure of a book which I simply did not want to put down. From clocks to drain tiles by way of a magnificent Tiffany chandelier, coverlets, the Civil War, race cars, boats, Jewish refugees and so much more, people have been busy creating museums about them.
This is definitely not your common-or-garden guide; Chuck D'Imperio writes with knowledge, passion and a real desire to make these unusual, often almost unknown yet truly remarkable museums better known to the wider public so that they will be visited, supported and survive to pass on their knowledge and artifacts to yet another generation.
There are maps, full location, opening hours and contact details for each museum, but what sets this book apart ? Things which the author - or one of the museum curators - describes as "The Wow Factor" of each museum and what the author feels would be "TheTake Away" memory for each, giving a very individual "take" for each place.
Any criticisms? Only that I am sad I live several thousand miles too far away to visit any of these museums in the near future.....