1963: In response to polls indicating that a majority of the public disliked billboards along highways and were in favor of banning them, the O'Mealia Outdoor Advertising Corp. began displaying fine art masterpieces on a handful of its billboards throughout New Jersey. The idea was to show that billboards could be educational and instructive, and that they should be thought of as "the public's art gallery." Among the masterpieces displayed were Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Gainsborough's Blue Boy.
Cute idea, but it must have been difficult for motorists to fully appreciate a masterpiece as they sped by it at 60 mph. Perhaps those stuck in traffic jams could admire the art.
The giant man of nerves was part of the "Conquest of Pain" exhibit held at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry in 1955. If I had seen this thing as a kid, it definitely would have given me nightmares.
This fascinating book by Harriet Baskas is a perfect gift for the WU-vie in your life. Full of rare info about the bizarre objects--such as the Soap Man Mummy pictured here--which are stashed in museum back rooms, it offers hours of fun and amazement.
After recovering from her illness, she took a sudden and passionate interest in drawing, creating thousands of mediumistic works over the following 40 years, most done with ink in black and white. The works came in all sizes, from postcard-sized to huge sheets of fabric, some over 30 feet (9.1 m) long. She claimed to be guided by a spirit she called "Myrninerest" (my inner rest) and often signed her works in this name.