The Marvels is inspired by a wonderful museum called The Dennis Severs House. My previous book, Wonderstruck, took place partly in two museums. On my website for The Invention of Hugo Cabret I posted a big collection of my favorite websites and I realize now it's like I've curated an exhibition at an online museum. Below are the links.
Let's start with a website called The Museum of Online Museums, which curates all the museums on the internet into one big... museum!
Click here for The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society. This site is the source of most of my favorite weird stuff. You can see everything from animals in the womb to a robot chair that can fall apart and put itself back together (that's in the archive for November 2006).
Click here to take a virtual tour of another weird house, this one in Seattle.
Click here to see an artist who does amazing things with cut paper.
Click here to see the work of Alexa Meade, who paints people. I mean she really paints people. Remember when you look at the photos of her work that what you are looking at is actually...living people who have been, well, painted!
If you like miniatures, and if you like impending disasters, then this artist is for you!
Here are three artists who specialize in making amazing machines that function in surprising and wonderful ways. The first one has a great sense of humor, the second one has lots of strange ideas that will keep you on edge, and the third one will charm you completely.
Click here to learn about a man named Harry Partch who made his own musical instruments. You can even "play" them on this website.
Click here to see some amazing optical illusions made by a man named Shigeo Fukuda.
Click here to visit a site devoted to miniature books.
Trompe l'oeil means "trick the eye." Click here to go to the website of an artist who does chalk drawings on the street that REALLY trick the eye!
Click here to see some optical illusions that will blow your mind. Really.
Click here if you are an older kid or a grown up and want to visit the website of a very cool magazine that is devoted to smart, strange, artistic stuff.
Click here to see what may be the most complicated clock in the world.
Click here if you want to see what happens when graffiti comes to life. Caution: what you are about to see is very very strange!
Click here to see 90 images of the moon, some real, some not real.
Click here to find out about the phases of the moon, including what the moon looks like tonight.
Click here to see an artist who carves crayons the way other people carve wood.
Click here to see an artist who does something even more amazing with carved pencils.
Click here to watch the most unbelievable ping pong game ever played in the history of the world.
Click here to see a dance so incredible you won't know what to say or how to describe it, but you will never forget it. And remember, the dancers are all deaf.
Click here to listen to a story about the end of a very strange little museum in Baltimore.
If you are an older kid or grown up, click here to see an excerpt from a really interesting film about the mysteries of time, cinema and automata.
Click here to look at what one artist does with old books and an exacto knife, and you'll see how he transforms the books into something new and amazing. I don't usually advocate the destruction of books, but I think you'll agree this is pretty incredible work!
If you've ever wondered what computers would have looked like if they were invented by Jules Verne and in use in the nineteenth century, click here.
A giant girl and a giant elephant invaded London and put on one of the most fantastic, humongous puppet shows ever mounted. Click here to see the girl and click here to see the elephant. For more information about this event, which was called The Sultan's Elephant, click here.
Click here to see a friend of mine, Sxip Shirey, who makes music out of the most unusual instruments, including ones he's created out of toys, glass bowls, broken flutes and apple peelers. He's written scores for some films by Georges Melies and played live during a screening of these movies when I talked about Hugo at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
Click here to see mind boggling sculptures made from colored paper. And be sure not to miss the cut paper animation!