Curator's corner

Curator's Corner, October 2020

Curator's corner logoI was hoping to do a history of Day of the Dead makeup in addition to Curator's Corner, but as usual I wanted to tackle a very in-depth topic that I lacked the time to cover, so here are some links instead.

- Just gonna toot my own horn, again - I was interviewed for not one but two publications, both of which happened to be in German. I hope nothing was lost in translation!  Here's a link to an article on medieval makeup in the Swiss edition of Fokus magazine, and photos are below for the October 2020 issue of Madame magazine.  The journalist never made good on her promise to send a copy (as a matter of fact, never followed up at all) and it's not available online, so I had to enlist the help of a very kind Instagram follower in Germany to send it to me.

Madame Magazine featuring the Makeup Museum, October 2020

Madame Magazine featuring the Makeup Museum, October 2020

I got a whole big quote!

Madame Magazine featuring the Makeup Museum, October 2020

- Bobbi Brown in 1993, two years after starting her original brand: "I don't like women to look like they're wearing makeup."  Bobbi Brown on her new line, Jones Road: "I honestly think people look better with less makeup...[Jones Road] is the ultimate no-makeup makeup."  I mean, it's great she's sticking to her minimal aesthetic, I just find it funny that she's essentially starting the same line she did the first time around, despite her claims that it's completely different. (Also, everyone needs to stop with the "clean" jargon already!)

- Having said that, sustainable ingredients and beauty waste are real issues, as proved by some disappointing news on ecoglitter and sheet masks.

- We're all in the throes of Election Day anxiety (I guess Election Week at this point), so here's a timely article on how beauty brands were pushing voting more than ever.  

- Beauty Matter had an interesting piece on the rise of the anti-haul.  Believe it or not, there are some things I actively choose not to buy...would you like to see a Museum anti-haul?

- Why aren't more retailers doing this??

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, here's a look back at 1994's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  Meanwhile, Oasis's What's the Story Morning Glory and Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness turned 25 on October 2 and October 23, respectively.

- Always hate to see a museum close, but I'm so curious to know how much a gun disguised as a lipstick would sell for.  Also, check out the world's most haunted museums.

- I need to watch the mermaid episode of Hulu's Monsterland ASAP.

Finally, here are some of the Museum's staff in their Halloween finery.  And candy, of course!

Halloween plushies

How are you?  Did you have a nice Halloween despite the pandemic?

Curator's Corner, September 2020

Curator's corner logoLinks for September. 

- Any makeup history fan must check out Lisa Eldridge's video showcasing highlights from her amazing collection.

- Estée Lauder will be the first company to send beauty products into space, to the tune of $128,000.  To what end I'm not sure.

- Byrdie had a good summary and history of Black-owned beauty brands, while Allure discusses the deathknell for skin whitening products and why getting rid of them is only the start of the conversation surrounding colorism.  Elle also featured several Black influencers who sounded off on the areas the industry still needs to improve in terms of inclusion and diversity.

- Like these makeup artists, I predict lipstick will make a huge comeback once masks are no longer part of our daily lives.

- I don't know what's more ridiculous - press-on nails to match your phone's pop socket or the fact that someone started a beauty line in Joe Biden's honor. I guess if the latter helps get people to the polls, who am I to complain?

- September 29 was National Coffee Day! Here's most of the Museum's coffee-themed collection. (I couldn't find my Hard Candy caffeine lipstick.) I'm really enjoying Beauty Bakerie, it would be perfect for a revisited Sweet Tooth exhibition.

Makeup Museum coffee collection

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air will have a 30-year reunion on HBO, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar turned 25. You can also enjoy this new column on PJ Harvey.

- This new museum in Amsterdam looks pretty interesting.

- It might be impossible to keep your cute aggression in check upon seeing these Japanese dwarf flying squirrels. Unbelievably adorable.

How did you fare in September? 

Curator's Corner, August 2020

CC logoLinks for August, plus another special milestone.

- I'm just gonna go ahead and toot my own horn - I was honored to be interviewed for an article on gender-inclusive beauty over at Mission Magazine. Not the most insightful quote but at least I got a mention!

- You could say I'm supremely excited for this new Pat McGrath lipstick, along with Byredo's new makeup line.

- Let's hear it for Juvia's Place, who is providing $300,000 worth of grants for black-owned businesses.

- Some new beauty shows to binge: Jackie Aina's Social Beauty, a documentary featuring Black women fostering social change through beauty and Rosie Huntington Whiteley's About Face, which will explore the stories behind major brands.

- AOC shares all the details of her beauty routine, including her favorite red lipstick.

- Allure consults its crystal ball for their latest issue, predicting the future of beauty products and evolving beauty standards.

- Move over, Cheeto nail polish. Everything Bagel is where it's at. (I will most likely end up buying this.)

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, Animaniacs is being re-booted and some enterprising person is marketing a Friends-themed advent calendar.  Also, in reunions no one asked for, Smash Mouth returned to further the spread of COVID with a concert in South Dakota.

- Loving this new museum of BLM protest art, plus it's proof that a museum does not need a physical space to be meaningful and educational.  Meanwhile, the International Mermaid Museum just opened.

Finally, in addition to the Museum's anniversary, August is the month for me and the husband's anniversary. Since we got hitched on our exact 10-year dating anniversary, we're celebrating a total of 20 years together this year. Woot! If you've been following the Museum since 2010 you know we had a lovely wedding day and a wonderful honeymoon. Here's some wedding miscellany to celebrate, including our stationery that the husband designed, my shoes, jewelry, and of course makeup. I know I need to get rid of the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation and probably the Bobbi Brown lipstick I wore, but I can't part with them. (Hey, at least I got rid of the mascara and the Stila Kitten eyeshadow pan is a replacement).  I also included a couple of Museum wedding-related pieces, like Stila's June Bride palettes and a cute little Elgin compact from the '40s, which unfortunately suffered some chipping.

Wedding anniversary makeup

How are you?  Are you looking forward to fall?

Curator's Corner, July 2020

Curator's cornerThe July rewind. 

- I think every single business should follow Target's lead and clearly indicate the black-owned brands they carry.  In other diversity news, indigenous-owned brands are finally getting some attention.

- "Creatives all over the world have been using lockdown as an opportunity to push their boundaries, psychologists say this could be a new form of self-care": How the pandemic is encouraging more experimentation with makeup than ever before.

- Trend news:  matching your eye makeup to your mask is the hot new thing, while the TikTok teens are bringing back tooth polish, which you might recall had a moment in fall 2018. Also, I have no idea how I missed the airbrushed butterfly makeup trend back in March when I was prepping for the Soaring Beauty exhibition! 

- R.I.P., Clarisonic.  I need to look for a replacement ASAP.

- How about some biscuits and gravy with your KFC lipstick?  It'll also go well with the nail polish they released a few years ago.  Unfortunately only 400 are being made and you have to sign up for their "Colonel Club" so I have no chance of procuring it for the Museum, but food-themed makeup is something I never tire of.

The random:

- In '90s nostalgia, Clueless celebrated its 25th anniversary, which for some reason I thought was much earlier in the spring, while the A.V. Club pines for Crystal Pepsi - don't we all?  Jim Carrey, insufferable though he is (with the exception of Dumb and Dumber), shared the unsettling origin story behind Fire Marshall Bill, one of the characters he created for In Living Color.  Side note: in the name of "background research" for my '90s makeup book that I will never actually get around to writing, I'm rewatching this show along with Kids in the Hall and The State.  Comedy in the '90s was...something else. 

- Artsy had a good article on how graffiti artists are at the forefront of raising awareness for the BLM movement.

- You know I've long-considered what I'd do if a huge beauty brand offered to sponsor the Museum or an exhibition, so this was an interesting case study to see the results of one such partnership between a business giant (Ikea) and a tiny, nonprofit museum founded by private collectors (the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines.)  However, one of my pet peeves was confirmed in that Ikea insisted on putting their name in the exhibition title.  Blech.  I understand companies need to advertise their sponsorship but to put it in the title just seems so crass and distracting from the museum's mission.

- Kudos to Ryan Reynolds for helping return a very special plushie to their human. #imnotcryingyourecrying

How are you doing?  I'm struggling a bit...between Museum woes and going the longest time in my life without seeing my parents, it's been tough.  But I'm still employed and the husband and plushies still support me so those are two good things.

Curator's Corner, May/June 2020

Curator's cornerI skipped the May roundup for obvious reasons, so I'm doing a mega roundup now.  While things are slowly starting to look "normal" at the Museum, rest assured I'm diligently working on diversifying, well, everything - from the topics I write about and object acquisition to the artists/brands I use for Color Connections.  I always wanted to present a different perspective on makeup and its history, so one phrase that really resonated with me recently is "change the narrative".  I hope to unveil some kind of plan or at least the Museum's current stance in September so I'll be working away on that behind the scenes.

- Some progress on the BLM front:  the Black in Fashion council was formed, both businesses and nonprofit organizations in the industry are participating in Pull Up for Change and the 15% pledge, while also making funding opportunities available for BIPOC entrepreneurs, and Walmart, CVS and Walgreen's will finally stop locking up Black beauty products (although they shouldn't have been doing that in the first place.)  This is all a great start, but only time will tell whether companies will change at the institutional level.  This is definitely something that I was blind to. I always included links about the general lack of representation in the beauty industry, but it never occurred to me to explore WHY this was happening.  After reading and reflecting, it dawned on me that the lack of makeup suitable for the skin tones of BIPOC is just a symptom of a much larger problem. For a company to offer shades to accommodate everyone, there needs to be diversity at the executive level - who do you think is making the decisions about what products to offer and the models that appear in their advertising?  Even if a company has a diversity strategy in place, if it doesn't include hiring BIPOC and other marginalized people for leadership positions, nothing will change.  Anyway, I've made a tiny bit of progress in understanding the big picture...for a while I couldn't the see the forest for the trees, so to speak.  And I'm not giving myself a pat on the back for coming to that realization, I just wanted to point it out because it will be affecting how I run the Museum. 

- Speaking of inclusiveness, new brand 19/99 seeks to "narrow the generational beauty gap" by providing products that work for any age.  I haven't purchased anything yet but I do like seeing the over-40 crowd being well-represented at their website.

 - Let's not forget about Pride!  While I dislike the rainbow-washing some companies participate in, a new study shows that the majority (64%) actually donate the proceeds from their Pride-themed products to LGTBQIA+ charities.  You can also check out some great Pride looks here, and below I have MAC Loves Pride lipsticks illustrated by Justin Teodoro - you might remember him from his collab with Barney's on a Kevyn Aucoin set.

MAC Loves Pride 2020 lipsticks

- So happy for Christine of the legendary blog Temptalia, who landed an interview with Allure magazine.  Congrats!

- The men's cosmetics industry is picking up speed with a new line at CVS and a skincare brand specifically formulated for Black and brown guys, while new (presumably women's) lines are being launched by Kanye West and Idris Elba.

- Vogue, like many of us, is questioning whether the pandemic's effects on our beauty routines will be permanent.

- I guess quarantine is making us all hungry, judging by E.L.F.'s collab with Chipotle and Sinful Colors' Sweet and Salty scented nail polish collection.

- A moment of levity.

The random:

- Some significant personal anniversaries:  twenty years ago this May I graduated from college (summa cum laude, thank you very much) and the husband and I went on our first date.  Also, my favorite band released what would become my all-time favorite album.  I will never forget hearing it for the first time as long as I live - it was like being hit by a bolt of lightning.

- In '90s music nostalgia, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill turned 25 and shoegaze legends Hum released their first album in 22 years (and it's good.)  Meanwhile, Kurt Cobain's guitar - the one he played on the famous 1993 MTV Unplugged performance - sold for $6 million at auction.

- I can't take care of plants, even those that require a minimum of care, but these mermaid-tail succulents are singing their siren song to me.

- Plushies continue to help out during the pandemic.

So...times are still challenging.  How are you holding up? 

Curator's Corner, April 2020

CC logo
Late as usual but here's the April rewind.

- I was so very honored to be interviewed by a makeup artist in Spain for her podcast!  I'm too lazy to post the original English version of the email interview, but she included it in Spanish at her website. (Side note: I'm ashamed that Spanish was my minor in college but now I don't remember anything except random words.)

- Cruelty-Free Kitty explains the difference between cruelty-free and vegan beauty, something I've been confused about for years. 

- The coronavirus round-up:  stories on our shifting relationships with makeup, skincare panic buying, and the imminent decline in the beauty market.  If you're still feeling bad and useless, know that you can still help beauty professionals and execs at Ulta and Estée Lauder took paycuts in an effort to keep as many employees as possible.

- Dazed discusses the latest steps towards inclusiveness in the beauty industry.

- Kevyn Aucoin's '90s bestseller is making quite the comeback...but really, '90s beauty never goes out of style.

- For some reason I'm just now discovering this 2002 journal article on the history of Cutex advertising.

- Happy (?) 420: despite my skepticism regarding CBD beauty products, it's interesting to see how this sector has exploded in the past couple of years along with weed-themed cosmetics.  Some of the latter don't even contain any cannabis and I find myself amused by the names and packaging. But the reason I don't buy them for the Museum is because so many of the companies selling them seem to be completely unaware of the marijuana industry's racism problem. If you're going to sell CBD products be socially aware about them, like Undefined Beauty Co.

- I'd like to hear more from Brad Pitt's makeup artist.

- Well of course people started doing Tiger King-inspired makeup.  You can also show your support for that train wreck with these nail decals.

The random:

- Admittedly I haven't listened to it yet, but Fiona Apple's latest album is getting rave reviews so I'm looking forward to it. I remember her very first album from my college days and I'm so glad she's still here and making great music. 

- "You ain't got no job, you ain't got shit to do!" In other '90s nostalgia, Friday turned 25.  DAAAAAMMMMNNN!

- Museums in Europe are expected to re-open next month! In the meantime, organizations are continuing to educate and entertain visitors online, from sharing their creepiest items to challenging visitors to recreate artworks at home.

- You know I love makeup and mermaids, but pineapples are another obsession of mine.  Therefore I need this plant ASAP even though I'm not capable of taking care of a cactus.

How are you?  Tell me how you're faring in these very strange times.  And if you need an escape, remember to check out the spring exhibition!

Curator's Corner, March 2020

CC logoNot sure why, but the month of March really knows how to serve up the misery.  Last year my father had a severe stroke from which he is not recovered and left him incredibly vulnerable to this year's global health crisis. Let's hope the coming months are better.

- Every industry is being impacted by the coronavirus, but the beauty sector is getting hit particularly hard.  If you're feeling useless like I am, here are some ways to help

- Maybe don't shop at Sephora until they rehire or at least apologize for laying off their employees after assuring them they would keep their jobs and benefits.  I always held out hope that Sephora would one day sponsor the Museum somehow, but if a company that recently had record-breaking profits fires employees who need income at an especially critical time, obviously they're not exactly charitable enough to support a museum. 

- It's not all bad behavior though: Ulta is still retaining all employees until at least mid-April (hopefully longer if needed), and a slew of beauty brands are giving back

- The biopic on Madam C.J. Walker is finally here!  I also need to check out Little Fires Everywhere, since it's set in the '90s and I want to see if the looks are accurate. 

The random:

- "We should fully prepare for the reality that digital experiences, content, and channels will become even more vital for museums":  Museums are another industry getting decimated by the virus's impact.  Nearly 1/3 will not re-open when the quarantine is over, thousands of people are losing jobs, and there is very little government aid available. While I feel awful about these losses, at the same time I must admit feeling a little annoyed and even a tiny bit of schauenfraude at the mad dash every museum is making for the internet. The Makeup Museum never had the privilege of a physical space, and the tools and skills needed for online exhibitions and digitizing collections are rather costly. I find it irritating that it took a pandemic for both museum professionals and visitors to really see the value in virtual museums and exhibitions. And admittedly I'm gloating a bit at the fact that museums are fully experiencing what I've been struggling with - putting collections and exhibitions online with very limited resources - for over a decade. But maybe now people will finally understand that online-only museums are just as valid and important as physical spaces, and maybe more free or low-cost tools will be available to help museums build their digital presence. 

- Have you baked any bread recently?  I'm sticking to desserts, but I find it interesting that bread is trending.

- How plushies are helping during the pandemic. 

- Here's some proof that memes help us cope.

How are you all holding up?  Are you wearing more or less makeup or the same?  I discovered that I hate working from home, but at least I still have a job...and I'm actually enjoying being bare-faced most of the time.

Curator's Corner, February 2020

CC logoLinks and other bits for the second month of 2020.

- The Fashion History Museum had a very helpful post that translated some new research on the history of beauty patches

I guess if the FDA won't thoroughly regulate beauty products, it's up to retailers.  Sephora announced new standards for CBD-infused products sold at their stores, which they hope will build customers' knowledge and trust in CBD products. I suppose it's a good thing but I still say most "clean beauty" stuff is a lie - I cannot roll my eyes any harder at Sephora's "Clean Beauty" section.

- '90s nostalgia continues full force in the beauty arena with Salt n Pepa's collection for Milani.

- I think black history should be incorporated year-round and so many magazines tend to highlight the same histories each February, but Allure went outside the box and brought the work of this beauty vlogger to my attention.  (Note to self: figure out what the hell TikTok is.)

- Makeup continues inching along towards accessibility for everyone thanks to Guide Beauty, founded by a makeup artist who was diagnosed with Parkinson's. 

- Jezebel highlights a trans beauty clinic in New York.  *insert applause here*  I am not, however, applauding the rise of beauty products intended for women's nether regions.  As if we haven't grown up with enough shame about our lady bits.

- Last month it was F-beauty, this time it's C-beauty.  Although unlike predictions for other countries, I can definitely see Chinese beauty brands taking off, or at least, they're on my radar to add to the Museum's collection - I know a handful are offering some truly amazing embossed products.

- Speaking of acquisitions, I'm really pleased with how the Museum's vintage Lancôme collection is coming along.  How perfect are these cheeky little cherubs for Valentine's Day?

Vintage Lancome makeup

The random:

- Two of the Curator's favorite TV shows returned in February, woohoo!

- An exhibition on Christian Louboutin sounds fantastic, and I must figure out how to incorporate a virtual tour for the Museum's exhibitions.

- In other museum news, I'm working on more MM Musings posts about diversity, inclusion and social change.  The amount of resources I've found so far is making my head spin, but I'm determined to give myself a crash course in these areas and figure out an action plan for the Makeup Museum.

- I managed to take a very quick trip to NYC to visit the Anna Sui show at the Museum of Art and Design, which was fabulous. My love for the '90s has never been stronger.

SBoB anna sui

How are you?  Did you do anything fun in February?

Curator's Corner, January 2020

CC logoLinks and news for the first month of 2020.

- Enjoy this roundup of the beauty looks from the 1995 Oscars.

- The beauty market is so saturated, but this new line created specifically for people with albinism helps fill one of the gaps.

- Could F-beauty be the new K-beauty?  I feel like every week a new country is chosen as the successor.

- The Guardian had an article on the rise of the "tweakment", which was quite timely for me as I've just had my first round of fillers and my second round of Botox.  Unlike the author, however, obviously I'm not ashamed to tell people about it.

- There is a sizable beauty gamer community on Instagram, so it was only a matter of time before a makeup company seized the opportunity to co-opt it.

- I found this activist group an interesting counterpoint to Pinterest's new try-on feature.  (Can you tell I'm not fond of any app or game that involves facial recognition?)

- You knew it was coming.


The random:

- I adore anything mini, so was very excited to discover this artist making tiny replicas of interiors from various eras.

- Great little post about street art in fashion.  One of the chapters in my Art x Beauty book would definitely be the influence of graffiti in makeup.

- I rarely say this, but well-played, Baltimore. (In case you're wondering, it's a reference to this abomination.)

- You might remember my love for Maria Bamford's short-lived Netflix series Lady Dynamite.  Fortunately her most recent special is just as funny.

How is 2020 treating you thus far?

Curator's Corner, December 2019 and yearly wrap-up

CC logoIt's nice to return to Curator's Corner, hopefully I can keep it up in 2020. 

- Why I'm just discovering this book on Maybelline's history is beyond me, but in any case I'd like to check it out.

- Ditto for this amazing blog. I have no idea how our paths didn't cross sooner, but the author recently reached out to me regarding the Sweet Tooth exhibition, and as it turns out we are nearly identical in how we perceive beauty trends and which ones stand out to us.  Saffron has written extensively on food and dessert-themed beauty, but also on cutesy makeup that seems to be intended more for children than adults (see my 2011 Child's Play post) and makeup marketed and packaged as art supplies (a topic I touched on briefly in 2016 and am hoping to unveil an exhibition of later this year).  She's also tackled topics I've had in my drafts folder for years, like apothecary-inspired beauty, CBD products, and zodiac-inspired beauty (you know I love vintage zodiac compacts and there are so many more zodiac-themed products nowadays so I've been wanting to do a full roundup!) Plus she's really into design/packaging and vintage makeup too.  Her "Highlights" feature is like Curator's Corner, and sometimes we even do the same color trends.  I found my beauty twin!  So yeah, go add her blog to your bookmarks and feed reader. 

- More good content comes from Dazed Beauty, including a piece on the weirdest beauty trends from 2019, a critique of Frida Kahlo-themed tweezers, an article on why we get attached to certain makeup items (or in my case, all makeup items) and a review of a new film called Toxic Beauty, which is just like it sounds - highlighting the harmful ingredients used in cosmetics and the industry's lack of regulation.

- I love yellow so naturally I was feeling this graffiti-inspired look at Dior.  I'm less excited about the commodification of mental health care in the name of "wellness" and "self-care" in the beauty industry.

- Sometimes I try to do a trend review at the end of the year, but that clearly wasn't happening in 2019.  Instead, please enjoy these links on the biggest trends of 2019 as well as the decade.  One "trend", if you can call it that, that I'd like to leave behind is influencer drama.  I'm not big on influencers anyway and frankly, I don't care what they're fighting about.  It's irritating that it gets press coverage when there are so many other topics that need attention.

- We can't have a trend roundup without looking ahead to the following year, so here are some forecasts.  I'll also throw in my prediction that merch will continue to be huge among beauty brands.  Along with color-changing cosmetics and the crystal-themed beauty trend, it's yet another topic I want to cover in 2020.

The random:

- The next installment of Makeup Museum Musings will be on either inclusivity or the definition of museums.  This piece at Jezebel came in handy for background research for both topics.

- As a Gen-X'er who started having problems sleeping a few years ago, I need to buy this book ASAP.  You might also remember the author as the woman behind the long-gone ', where I wrote a guest post on '90s beauty well before the resurgence we're experiencing now.

- Speaking of that magical decade, Alanis Morissette has announced she's touring with Liz Phair and Garbage in honor of Jagged Little Pill's 25th anniversary.  Plus, for those of us who still pine away for the days of VHS and Blockbuster, this guy opened a video store in his basement.

- One good thing from 2019 was the arrival of Baby Yoda.  Makeup Museum staff is worried that I think he's cuter than they are so I have to make them extra cookies as reassurance.

And here's a summary of the year on the personal front.  Usually I try to keep the personal stuff to a minimum, but since the Museum is a one-woman show, my personal life inevitably affects Museum business. In 2019 the following took place:

My father had a massive stroke in March and has not recovered the way we were hoping.  We had no illusions - we knew recovery would not be a straight line and that he wouldn't be the same - but nearly 10 months out he has shown little improvement from the initial episode and is still severely limited physically and cognitively.  It was a bad stroke to begin with, but my father had the added misfortune of developing every conceivable complication and setback.  He is currently getting a second chance in another acute rehab facility, but if he is not able to do basic movements by the end of his stay (such as transferring himself from bed to wheelchair, etc.) he will require full-time care. 

- Speaking of home, my parents no longer have one. My mother was not thinking clearly (obviously seeing your formerly healthy and totally independent partner of over 50 years go downhill so quickly and then not improve is beyond devastating) and over the summer sold the house she and my dad owned for 43 years.  This was my childhood home and where I spent every Christmas, even as an adult, so my eyes swelled shut from crying so much on Christmas Eve as we spent it in the hospital rather than the house. 

- As a result from a nasty fall and broken arm a week before Christmas of 2018, my mother required surgery in June to repair the damaged nerve as she had lost use of her left hand.  We are glad the surgery went well and she has regained full use of her hand, but that fall back in late 2018 was definitely an omen of worse things to come.  Plus, having surgery while also taking care of one's spouse who is recovering from a severe stroke is not exactly good timing.

- A few weeks after my mother's surgery my grandmother died.  My father did not attend the funeral and it's unclear if he fully understood that his mother passed away.

- This isn't a big deal, but it upset me nonetheless.  My favorite band put out a terrible album. Maybe if my dad hadn't had the stroke I wouldn't have taken it so hard, but there seemed to be a parallel between what happened to him and what happened to the band.  It's like they've been replaced by an imposter.  Sure, we get glimpses of how they used to be, there are some moments where they're recognizable, but for the most part they're shells of their former selves.  Every time I look at my dad I think, "That's not him, where is he?"  So the same with Sleater-Kinney - it didn't sound anything like the band I  knew  and loved for so many years.  I bought tickets for a DC show before I heard the album and ended up not going. The unique energy and pure magic they made was entirely absent.  And now that their drummer left they will never be the same...again, just like how my dad will never be the same. 

- Finally, as one last fuck-you from this miserable year, a group of rather unethical entrepreneurs decided it would be a hoot to steal the Museum's name and proclaim to be the "world's first" museum devoted to makeup.  And there are a slew of other copycats starting cosmetics museums but all claiming to be the first and only makeup museum, which is obviously ridiculous as even my museum isn't the first!  And it certainly isn't the only one either.  I found out about most of these entities back in March, literally the day before my father had the stroke - another premonition.  Given his health issues I was unable to deal with the situation swiftly which only made it worse. I may elaborate on the whole disaster at another time in a separate post but for now I'm waiting until I get more information from my attorneys.  I am also in the process of hiring a PR firm.  If anyone knows of a good social media strategist do let me know. 

TLDR; the Curator got her ass kicked repeatedly and thoroughly in 2019 and that's why things around the Museum were so quiet.  I don't know what's going to happen in 2020, but even though I feel like I've already lost, I know I'm not giving up on the Museum without a fight so I am going to try my best to explore the topics and exhibitions I’ve been wanting to cover. And by the way, if anyone tells me that it could be worse and that I should be grateful for the things I didn't lose in the shitshow that was 2019, they will be met with a forceful punch to the throat.  I am grateful and well aware of how much worse things could be - in fact, because I fully recognize this could very well be the year or decade that I lose another close family member, my home, my job, my collection, I'm terrified of what's to come on this dark timeline I can't seem to escape.  I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...and at the same time I’m throwing myself full force into Museum projects while I still have the opportunity. 

Please tell me you had a better 2019 than I did!  Despite my sad ramblings, I hope you stick around and continue to support the Museum in 2020 and beyond.