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This picture is circulating the internet


This blog identifies the HMNH label as the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Did they in fact put this label on their display?

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I dunno', but I'd say that's a pangolin tail beside it. Could be an important clue. – Larry OBrien Jan 11 '13 at 0:17
it is from the Bizarre Animals exhibit at HMNH. Here is a link to an album containing a more full version of that image and a lot of the other signs from the exhibit. – Cruril Jan 11 '13 at 0:34
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Yes, but as a joke.

Christina Davis and Jen Bervin created a series of them, in conjuction with poets.

Davis's Flickr page explains:

In conjunction with "Bizarre Animals" at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Jen Bervin and I (with the instrumental and ingenious assistance of poets from Harvard and the community at large) created "This Object...." which opened on April 8, 2011. Graphic design by me.

Jo Corbett quotes a personal communication from Blue Magruder, Director of Communications at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH):

Nothing was moved…there was space next to the Pangolin in the Asia gallery. That sign was written by a poet as part of an innovative art event at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
More on the event here:
All best, Blue"

Corbett goes on to give more context:

Other signs in the art event included "This object was voted off the island" and "This object has been temporarily consumed", the latter placed in the open mouth of a hippopotamus. There were souvenirs to be had too ...eggs with endangered bird species written on them.

I acknowledge Corbett's blog isn't a terribly definitive source. I couldn't find direct confirmation on the HMNH site except that there was a Bizarre Animals event and that Blue Magruder is the Director of Communications and Marketing in their phone book.

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