Sunday, August 7, 2011

Return to Ripley's

A short while after my first trip to Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum I found myself back again. Curtis's father Edward is the Vice President of the museum and he was meeting up with Harrod Blank, a man known for his art cars. This venture to Ripley's also produced another fascinating trip to the warehouse. I was lucky enough to tag along.

A model head depicting the pseudo science of Phrenology, the belief that mental capacity and character traits can be deduced by the shape and configuration of the skull. 

A small statue protecting his isolated shelf.

A row of skulls; only the the second one remains decorated.

Two life size African statues covered in enormous nails. I sat on the floor when I took this shot to emphasis their larger that life presence. 

A beautifully adorned tribal skull. 

This adorable dog stands over five feet tall and is made entirely out of clothes pins. Even the collar is made from the hinges! I love the scruffy cheeks and the gentle curving pattern on the neck. 

Harrod explaining Edward how to operate his Music Car while Curtis and his friend Shane look on. The Music Car is a drivable Volkswagen Beetle completely covered in a variety playable musical instruments. There is even a small stage and microphone attached to the roof of the car! 

A wax statue of Phineas Gage. Gage was a railroad construction foreman who in 1848 famously had the misfortune of having a tamping iron driven completely through his skull. Miraculously, he survived the incident and went on to live actively for another twelve years. As a result of his injury and behavior change scientist began to have clues as to how the brain functioned. 

This is a wax statue of shark attack survivor Rodney Fox. Fox was bitten and suffered extreme injuries 1963. His is often regarded as weathering one of the world's worst non-fatal shark attacks and received an astonishing 462 stitches. Remarkably Fox recovered and was the creator of the first underwater observation cage used regularly by shark researchers. Today Rodney Fox is one of the world's leading experts on sharks. 

Wax replicas of Arnold and Angelina.

A multicolored prop set up on a gray wall.

Edward and Harrod sitting in the enormous chair in the museum.

And of course, one more shot of Curtis in the Throne of Passion. 

To learn more about Harrod Blank's Art Cars please visit

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