Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums

Stories and Memorable Moments from People Who Love Museums

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Pub Date May 21 2024 | Archive Date May 21 2024
Chronicle Books | Princeton Architectural Press

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Description

A beautiful, smart, entertaining new art book from New Yorker cartoonist and author Bob Eckstein that is a love letter to museums and museum-goers, filled with lush and whimsical illustrations paired with stories and anecdotes from curators, museum workers, museum visitors, and more.

Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums is a collection of the greatest and most beloved museums of North America, illustrated and explored through fun and fascinating anecdotes. Curated by Bob Eckstein, author of the New York Times bestseller Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores, this delightful twist on an art history book shows these institutes in a way not seen before, illustrated in a lush and idealized style.

The 75+ museums featured include the biggest and boldest names (MoMA, the Whitney) and the more offbeat (Museum of Bad Art, the Museum of Jurassic Technology). They span the US, Canada, and Mexico and include those specializing in art, natural history, academia and science, and more. The 155 original pieces of artwork illustrate a story about the museum or showcase a particular work of art in its collection.

Featured museums include:

  • The Field Museum, Chicago
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
  • The National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
  • La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada 
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • Museum of Motherhood, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City, Mexico 
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York
  • And many more

A perfect gift for artists, art lovers, students, travelers, and adventurers of all ages, this collection of funny, heartfelt, and quirky profiles is a thought-provoking, inspiring celebration of museums, why we go to them, and why we love them so much.

A beautiful, smart, entertaining new art book from New Yorker cartoonist and author Bob Eckstein that is a love letter to museums and museum-goers, filled with lush and whimsical illustrations paired...


Advance Praise

“A joyous book featuring the greatest museums in the world.” 

—Steve Martin, actor, comedian, and author 

 

“A beautifully written and painted love letter to the museums of North America.”

—Max Hollein, director and CEO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

“Bob knows how to make a book come alive. And the range of his artistic taste is very impressive. Where else would you find the Museum of Fine Arts Boston alongside the Spam Museum?” 

—Sir Michael Palin, actor, comedian, author, and former member of Monty Python

 

“Bob Eckstein is a national treasure.” 

—David Plotz, CEO of City Cast, former CEO of Atlas Obscura

“A joyous book featuring the greatest museums in the world.” 

—Steve Martin, actor, comedian, and author 

 

“A beautifully written and painted love letter to the museums of North America.”

—Max Hollein...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781797224398
PRICE $27.50 (USD)
PAGES 176

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Average rating from 27 members


Featured Reviews

Such a fun and visually compelling account of museums that are not just fascinating or enjoyable for adults but for anyone who has any interest in learning anything. A fun and enjoyable read that had me wishing I was spending my days just touring museums instead of in school.

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What a fun book! I love a good museum and like in the opening, I love reading all the plaques and soaking in all the information. A few of the museums featured in this book are definitely on my to do list and I wouldn't have minded this book being even bigger to include more! It was fun to read that the United States has all sorts of museums and it would take a lifetime to visit the majority of them!

While I enjoyed reading an early ecopy, I think this could be one that I would want to purchase for my collection and maybe even put out as a display item for guests to flip through in my house.

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Gorgeous illustrations and fascinating text. This is a must read for museum lovers. Thank you for the arc. Although, I will never get to all the museums featured in this book, I loved having the insight into the wide variety of museums.

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Thank you for the EArc NetGalley and Chronicle Books. I loved this book about various museums throughout the country but it was much much too short. Here’s to hoping for a sequel because I loved the layout, illustrations and stories for each museum, just hoped for more.

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Lovely book about museums. I’ve added a few more museums on my bucket list because of this book.

I received an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher.

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Footnotes from the Most Fascinating Museums was right up my alley. I love museums, the more unique, the better! The art in this book was stunning and the blurbs about each museum were interesting and pinpointed what was unique about each location. I did remove one star because this ARC was not indicated to be a sample, but seemed to only provide a sampling of the museums that would be covered in the final edition. I already have that flagged in my Libby account to borrow when it is published since I did enjoy this sample so much!

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I am a huge museum goer visiting museums featuring Art, Natural History, Architecture, Science, Industry, Transportation etc. in many countries. This book includes over 70 museums and I was happy to see I have visited almost half of the ones listed. Most museums get two pages of space. They include illustrations of the museums, information on the background or focus of the museums and some other notes. This is focused on museums in North America. I counted three from Mexico and one from Canada and the rest from the United States. I have added several museums to my list for visiting in the future. I originally gave a lower rating because my digital ARC copy only gave me a portion of the book. I appreciate the publisher reaching out and correcting the issues and I am updating my review. This book is set for release in May 2024. Thank you to Chronicle Books, and Princeton Architectural Press for the corrected ARC and I am leaving an honest review.

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This is a beautiful book with a wide variety of museums. I loved the illustrations and the integrated quotes.

The museums are all located in North and Central America, but I was happy to see more than the typical big museums (the Met, the Guggenheim, MOMA, The Field Museum, Smithsonian, etc) within the pages. My favorites I felt were well treated and there were many of the 70 museums that I was happy to learn about and add to my bucket list.

Personally I felt like Noah's Ark Encounter should have been left out - it isn't a museum, its more of a theme park. A better choice would have been the National Zoo if they wanted something with animals (fun tidbit - zoos are classified as museums by the AAM and ICM).

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I love the idea of this book, but it is one of the books that would clearly benefit from being a real, print coffee table book. Also, I wish it had been organized better so I didn't feel like it was caroming around.
That said, it is a really fun book about a really fun topic. There are so many different kinds of museums, and I was shocked at how big the collections were. My favorite was the museum where you could look at architecture examples. There were also art, car, and other kinds of cool museums.
Anyone who reads this will probably feel the need to travel.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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If you adore museums, intriguing stories about them, and gorgeous illustrations that capture their essence, you will be captivated by the 75+ North American museums featured in this delightful book! It's made me think about how I can plan trips to the museums that most fascinated me--and help prepare for my visits to them. Or just armchair travel through them on a rainy day. Great fun!

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I absolutely love museums and have spent enough time in them that my family has inside jokes about experience had in museums. This book was meant for me. Each page highlights a different museum in the United States, Canada, or Mexico (the majority in the U.S.) providing its location and a small summary of what can be found there. Along side that there is an illustration and a quote from someone about an experience they had at the museum. These quotes come from everyone from museum workers to patrons and they are absolutely delightful. I have been lucky enough to have been to about a third of the museums in the book and this made me add a few more to my list. The book includes traditional art museums, science museums, and some smaller kitschier museums and is organized by museum type. The stories are fun and this book would make a great gift for the museum lover in your life.

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This book is a good introduction to different museums. Grouped into different categories it serves as a good reference based on the type of institution your child might be interested in.

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I was actually pleasantly surprised by the content in this book. There were so many museums that I had not visited or even heard of, and I consider myself to be inquisitive and well-traveled. The book has inspired me to add some of these places to my roster. The diversity of the places and peoples covered was great; something that many coffee-table style books fail to do.

The briefs on each museum are short, just like a footnote would be. The watercolor artwork detailing each of the museums was an excellent style choice instead of a photograph. It makes me wonder (and want) to see these places in real life. Overlaid on the art are quotes of memories, just the right kind of touch.

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I love museums. And I love bookstores.

I was first captivated by this author when he published Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores....In true form, this book is very similar, complete with hand drawn art and personal anecdotes.

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Love this for our store shelves and in our clients homes on their coffee tables. This is perfect for my customer base & I am ready to order and have the physical books as soon as they are released!

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a wonderful book. I enjoyed it a lot!

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This is such a fun and curiosity-piquing book about the sources of so many adolescent field trips—museums. After finishing it, I found myself with a short list of new places I’d like to visit (and a list of ones I’d like to revisit). The illustrations are fabulous and luckily aren’t overwhelmed by the quotes.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

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I don't live near a lot of museums. Our biggest one is the D-Day Museum, which sounds fascinating but also kind of depressing, and not something I can see my little dude going to and being fascinated.

I enjoy reading about museums, which we can blame on From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I dream of taking the kid to a museum like that, one that inspires a young mind to want to run away and live in a museum.

It still inspires a 40-year old mind, to be fair.

I was worried when I first started this book, because the first few museums seemed...kind of enh. I mean, there's a Tennis Museum? Which does not feel fascinating at all?

But eventually the book got a rhythm going, and I found myself thinking about the locations of these museums, and wondering about my friends who live near them, and whether they would put up with me schlepping to their state, dropping my bags, and then abandoning them to go wander a museum from opening to closing.

Assuming I don't hide in a bathroom and sleep there.

BTW, this book makes absolutely no mention of Mrs Frankweiler, which is such a disappointing missed opportunity.

Definitely inspirational. Possibly even for a tennis lover.

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This book is interesting, fun and possibly a bit irreverent!
From the first museum Aftel Archive of Curious Scents and the information on breathing through a piece of wool to clear your olfactory palette I was hooked! And the last -The Spam museum and its 2nd page pun - this book is a true delight! The second + page(s) on each museum with a tidbit from visitors or employees ranges from hilarious to heartwarming! There are now quite a few new additions to my “must visit” list! By the same token there are a few that are definitely out of my comfort zone. I would be remiss in not addressing the amazing illustrations.
If you like museums, normal or avant-garde, you really should pick up this book! It would also be a great gift or just a conversation starter!

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People who love museums? That’s me! I have lost count of how many museums my child and I have gone to, big ones in Austin and DFW and small ones in between. I was so excited to see this book, and surprisingly, I had only been to a few. However, this book does include my childhood favorite, the La Brea Tar Pits. Of course, now my list of places I want to go has grown.
The small fun facts and quotes about the museums made it an informative but quick read. The star of the show is the stunning illustrations. They are fun and beautiful. It makes you want to draw all the places you go.

Thank you, NetGalley and Chronicle Books, Princeton Architectural Press, for a copy to read.

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This is a great collection to use if you are starting your museum bucket list. There were a few I had never heard of and are now on my wishlist of places to visit. If you're wanting to visit museums but don't know where to start, this is a great resource.

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Have you ever wanted to be in a police line-up? Well, without being arrested? There's a museum for that. Or, maybe you'd like to get in some serious exercise while entering a museum? There's a museum that will definitely offer you that challenge. Feeling a bit ghoulish? Like you'd like to check out Lincoln's death chair from Ford's Theater or maybe JFK's limo? Yep, you guessed it. There's one for that, too There are even even ones for bananas and broken relationships.

This virtual tour of some of North America's 38,000 museums, give or take, big and small, known and unknown,was a delight. There really does seem to be a museum for everyone, no matter what your tastes. Most likely even bored children will find something to intrigue them, too. I mean, one even features whale poop, er, excuse me. Whale ambergris. Having been on several whale tour boats here in Alaska, gotta admit, this one intrigued me, too.

The illustrations, watercolor, I believe, are beautifully done with the added benefit of featuring related quotes or input on them. Most added a personal touch to this virtual tour. Quite frankly, by the time I'd casually flipped through than gone back to read it through, I was ready to pack a bag and go museum hopping. Thanks #NetGalley and #ChronicleBooks - #PrincetonArchitectualPress for giving me this intriguing early peek/introduction to some of the most diverse, interesting museums around. This arm chair traveler adored it.

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Whenever I travel somewhere new, my favorite thing to do is visit the local museums. I could spend hours wandering the halls, taking in all of the extraordinary exhibits. This book and its illustrations were a charming ode to the magic of museums. I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane reminiscing about the featured museums that I had visited, as well as adding several new ones to my bucket list. I would have loved it if this book included museums beyond North America, but my fingers are crossed for a sequel!

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This would be an amazing gift for any artist. It briefly tells you about each museum, then there is my favorite part, the quotes and personal anecdotes from others about each place. The illustrations are beautiful. I actually prefer them over photographs. This is a wonderful collection. I would love it on my coffee table.

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