The Secret Museum (Hardback)
  • The Secret Museum (Hardback)

The Secret Museum (Hardback)

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Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 28/02/2013
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The Secret Museum is a unique treasure trove of the most intriguing artifacts hidden away in museum archives from all over the world - curated, brought to light, and brought to life by Molly Oldfield in a beautifully illustrated collection.

Who knows what's hidden from view? Locked away in cabinets, secure storage and aircraft hangars.

Most of a museum's collection never gets seen. It sits in the quiet dark of an archive waiting for a treasure hunter or obsessive researcher to root out its very existence. Under the streets of Manhattan priceless books are shelved; brick outbuildings in London's East End house drawers of Victorian embroidery remembering foundlings long ago dead; body bags in Washington clothe space suits covered in real moon dust and in an unvisited aircraft hangar sits Auguste Piccard's extraordinary invention, the balloon gondola...

This and many other extraordinary inventions, legacies, discoveries and artefacts have been visited and curated by Molly Oldfield into a Secret Museum. Rich in atmosphere and anecdote, suffused with the surprising emotion of a personal discovery, but grounded in fascinating factual detail, this is a unique and beautifully illustrated book.

The Secret Museum reveals sixty unknown artefacts and stories from all five continents, from Rome to Rio and Boston to Berlin. And like the very best mornings spent at a museum it promises to be idiosyncratic, surprising and enormously good fun.

The Artefacts in the book include: An original Gutenberg Bible printed on vellum, Harrison Schmitt's Space Suit, A piece of Newton's Apple Tree, Van Gogh's Sketchbooks, The original drawings of Wimbledon's Centre Court, Dickens' letter opener,Three pieces of Mars, and much more...

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007455287
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 1240 g
Dimensions: 252 x 195 x 31 mm


'A unique tome... beautifully researched.' The Sun

'Startlingly brilliant ... I've rarely read a book so fuelled by sheer enthusiasm. It's all quite delightful, a brilliant idea executed with great charm and unceasing joie de vivre' Daily Mail

'Oldfield's genius is to see that museums have more stuff than they can display, and to persuade curators to show her their buried treasures ... her cabinet of curiosities reveals very engaging personality' Times

'[Molly Oldfield] selects 60 of the most interesting and iconic artefacts from museum archives ... and tells their stories in fact, fiction, history and enthusiastic, interesting anecdote' Saga Magazine

'This gorgeous golden-jacketed book is totally brilliant ... It's one of those rare solution presents too, great for anyone of any age' A Little Bird

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“The Secret Museum”

While I absolutely loved this book, my only criticism is that the introduction page for each item is a bit of a waste and could have been replaced by a nice full page picture of the object, rather than the thumbnail... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 31

“A Magnificent Discovery”

When I was a child my nan had a cabinet in the front room, that if we were good we could go into and got out some of the objects it held within. There wasn’t anything of great monetary value but each item was precious... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 27

“More 'general reference' that 'art'”

When I first heard of Molly Oldfield's journey into the hidden vaults of the world's greatest collections, I was incredibly excited. It's a wonderful prospect that every museum/gallery visitor - and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 20

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