Welcome to The Curiosities!

It is my hope that people will visit these images and perhaps be inspired to write. Over the years I have amassed a collection images like these for use in the classroom. In most cases I have been unable to seek permission for their use as I have no idea where to begin. Should anyone have a stake in the material displayed, please contact me regarding credit or removal, and I will happily oblige.

Musculorum Tabula III, 1747

Musculorum Tabula III, 1747 – This image by Jan Wandelaar (1690-1759)has always amazed me, particularly for his choice of background. This engraving was rendered for an anatomical syllabus by Bernard Siegfried Albinus, Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani. Why would Wandelaar choose a rhino for scale? Answer: Why not?

Musculorum Tabula VI, 1747

Musculorum Tabula VI, 1747 – Perhaps as intriguing as the previous image is this alternate angle. Judging from the pose and setting, was this meant to be the Rhino’s-eye-view?

Coe College Glee Glub, 1920

Coe College Glee Glub, 1920 – It makes me happy to be able to shed some light on this one. I found this picture in a thrift shop in Idyllwild California a few years back. I could tell there was some sort of penciled inscription on the back but couldn’t make it out. Only recently did I have a chance to examine it under lab conditions and decipher the words “Coe College Glee Club, 1920.” I have since written to the school in Cedar Rapids to ask if they would like it back. Still waiting to hear! Meanwhile, have a look at these young men. Imagine their voices. What might they have been preparing to sing when this picture was taken? Or had they just performed? See anyone you know?

Music By Steam, 1855

Music By Steam, 1855 – This one has taken some searching. I have managed to match up some details from an archived edition of the New York Times. Does this sound like the right man? “A Yankee genius has succeeded in harnessing steam to a musical instrument in such a way as to secure perfect execution. The name of the inventor is JOSHUA C. STODDARD, of Worcester, Mass.” You can read the complete article at the New York Times on line. It’s lovely. Look for the August 10th edition from 1855.

Mardi Gras 1912

Mardi Gras, 1912 – This image originally appeared in the Times Picayunne. Little is known about the conditions under which photographer John Hypolite Coquille captured these two children in costume. Indeed, historians cannot even agree of the two were sisters or even girls. Look carefully, does the one on our right have a mustache painted just below his/her mask?

Monkey apparently doing the Charleston

Monkey apparently doing The Charleston. I would love any information on this one. My original obviously came from a photocopier. I’d love to know the year, the photographer and if this show is still going on somewhere. For you poets out there, doesn’t the gentleman look awfully like Paul Celan? Let’s hope!