Allison Meier

Post image for Designing Less Dangerous Architecture for New York’s Birds

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan was once among New York City’s top three bird-killing buildings.

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Post image for Leonardo da Vinci’s Earliest Notes on Friction Found in Previously Overlooked Marginalia

Some scribbles dismissed in the 1920s by the then-director of the Victoria & Albert Museum as “irrelevant notes and diagrams in red chalk” were recently revealed to represent Leonardo da Vinci’s first record of the laws of friction.

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Post image for Using a Retro View-Master to See Modernist Architecture in 3D

Since 1997, the Knoxville, Tennessee–based View Productions has created a series of reels highlighting 20th-century design and architecture, particularly forms that are difficult to capture in two dimensions.

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Post image for The Nostalgic Glow of New York City’s Remaining Historic Neon Signs

Neon and New York City had their ups and downs over the 20th century, from the glowing signage being an innovative advertisement in the 1920s and ’30s to already telegraphing seediness with its flickering in the 1940s and ’50s.

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Post image for A Corpse Flower Is About to Bloom in the Bronx, Unleashing Its Sensational Stench

Something rotten is preparing to bloom in the Bronx: one of the world’s largest flowers that smells like death.

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Post image for From a Pineapple to a Six-Pack, 23 Buildings that Resemble the Things They Sell

A combination of roadside attraction novelty and greater architectural freedom resulted in some very strange 20th-century buildings.

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Post image for An Artist and Amateur Scientist Who Painted Animal Camouflage and Angels

Before coming across an unusually calligraphic painting of a mountain, Williams College Museum of Art Curator Kevin Murphy considered the turn-of-the-century artist Abbott Handerson Thayer “a one slide guy,” a man known for portraits of placid angels, who in an art history class might get one mention and then be forgotten.

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Post image for From Warhol’s Grave to Elvis’s Front Door, 10 Museum Webcams to Watch

From the world’s oldest ham to corvettes crushed in a sinkhole, some of the greatest wonders of our museums are available 24/7 through online webcams.

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Post image for Creating a Skeletal Symmetry from a 19th-Century Collection of Imperfect Skulls

Robbers, prostitutes, and fallen tightrope walkers: the craniums in the Hyrtl Skull Collection in the Mütter Museum at College of Physicians of Philadelphia are fractured remains of imperfect lives.

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Post image for How Chagall, Sendak, Hockney, and Other Artists Staged the Fantasies of ‘The Magic Flute’

As an opera where a colossal snake and enchanted instrument play a pivotal role, perhaps it’s no surprise Mozart’s The Magic Flute inspired some fantastic set and costume designs since its debut in 1791.

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