Collected in the late 1800s, the recently rediscovered platypus and echidna specimens were key to demonstrating that mammals could lay eggs.
A sewing sampler can be the only trace of a 17th- to 19th-century woman’s existence, and the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge is recovering this lost history through over 100 examples.
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.
On this week’s art crime blotter: a UFO museum’s flying saucer sculpture was stolen and smashed, a Japanese dealer was arrested trying to unload a $1.1 million antiquity, and Cambridge University tried to cover up the theft of a model skull.
Gustave Courbet claimed to paint only “real and existing things,” yet an 1864 photograph of his studio suggests otherwise.