Bizarre Twin Cities

Andrew Zimmern and friends present 72 weird and wonderful foods, finds, and fun.

Bizarre Twin Cities
Steve Henke

Museum Madness

To see something really strange, head to a local museum.

Mummified Body at the Science Museum of Miinnesotacoffee serviceInspiration Coffee Service
Photo courtesy of 2007 Minneapolis Institute of ArtsThe Wunderkammer RoomThe Wunderkammer Room
Photo courtesy of Walker Art CenterCivil War–Era hardtackCivil War–Era hardtack
© 2011 Minnesota Historical Society

mummified body

“[The mummy is] one of the museum’s most controversial figures. Many people are fascinated by literally coming face to face with a person from the ancient past; others have been dismayed that we would place a mummified body on display. We are sensitive to both viewpoints and try to address both concerns.”
—Ed Fleming, curator of archaeology, Science Museum of Minnesota

Inspiration Coffee Service

Clarice Cliff was an English ceramic artist who created a line of designs that she literally called her “Bizarre” line. This Inspiration Coffee Service, made in 1930, is part of the MIA’s Bizarre-ware collection. “Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist,” Cliff famously said, “and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery.”
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The Wunderkammer Room

“Part of our Midnight Party exhibit is the Wunderkammer room, which features hanging fish bones, a toothbrush with teeth for bristles, animal skulls cast in pewter, a blanket of human hair and sheep's wool, a meat dress, a turkey egg filled with paint, and other bizarre works from the depths of our collection.”
—Eric Crosby, assistant curator of visual arts, Walker Art Center


Civil War–Era hardtack

“This is a piece of Civil War–Era hardtack, a large, thick cracker that served as the primary foodstuff for both Union and Confederate soldiers. Made from flour, salt, and water, it was reasonably nutritious and it lasted forever—this piece looks just as good as it did the day it was made 150 years ago.”
—Adam Scher, senior curator, Minnesota History Center

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