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On the Road Again, Artifcting Across the USA 

May 25, 2022

Last year we said that you’ve likely heard of the Smithsonian, The Met, and The Getty, and asked if you also knew The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, The Mum of Mustard, and The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History. An eclectic mix aimed to get the most museum skeptical folks out there to explore! 

We couldn’t wait to return with a second installment of Artifcting Across the USA  and a new lineup of museums to add to your stops list this summer. We even went out on a limb and created a fun little map to help you out. Click the map to download your copy! 

Map of small museums across the United States


Introducing Five New Museums  

Just take me to the Artifcts of #ArtifctingAcrossTheUSA!


Yes, a museum just for bobbleheads in the vibrant Third Ward in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. And if you are surprised, just think about all the major athletes, hot button political figures, and even custom bobbleheads you’ve surely seen in person or swirling around in social media memes. Vintage, well, antique really, bobbleheads (aka “nodding heads”) date back to the 1760s. It’s hard to imagine these playful modern pieces in seemingly more stoic times, but history is history. Enjoy a bobble or two > 


Did you know the United Nations declared 2022 the International Year of Glass? Respecting its history and future, spanning the arts to life sciences, glass is taking its turn on the stage for the power it holds for good. Imagine our delight to share with you a few of the glassworks on display with the Bergstrom-Mahler Glass Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin, during this, the year of glass! There’s glass, and then there’s glass! Take a look – have glass art of your own to Artifct? 

Among The Museum's exhibits are a few pieces by the esteemed artist Johne Parsley (1916-2009), one of the great fine glass paperweight artists of his generation. His daughter, an artist in her own right, has kindly contributed additional pieces to this Artifcting Across the USA series and will Artifct more paperweights for your viewing pleasure throughout 2022 as part of the International Year of Glass. View @Joan-of-Art on Artifcts > 


It’s the history of the making of a nation. It’s a history reconstructed with the perseverance and contributions of those who know the value of history to the future. It's the history of Black people in the United States. You need not even step into the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center in Austin, Texas, to begin the journey through history. A pathway behind the Museum is your guide, with engraved signage and messages. A statue garden commemorates Juneteenth and leaves a pedestal for you to "step into history ... take your place."

Of course, so much more awaits inside this modern museum to tell you more about Black history. You can also stroll through exhibits transporting you through modern Black art, representation in pop culture, inventors, and landmark institutions of the Austin area, including historically black schools and the Texas State Capital building, constructed by black hands. Step into Black art and history > 


Museum exhibits take months if not years to curate and then assemble. The constant flow keeps museums alive and responsive to the times and adaptable to include modern history. But some museums, like the City Museum in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, take living museums to a whole new level. Imagine being a curator and showing up to work one day to discover a bus installation … on the roof. Surprise! This is not a museum for the timid or for the more conventional museum diehards.  

But don’t dismiss the genuine artistic and historical merits of the unconventional approach. You will find works from internationally renowned contemporary artists, an enthralling selection from among 60,000 glass lantern slides of the former Image Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and physical artifacts from the local community and beyond, including historic components of St. Louis architecture and a vintage 1940 ‘Big Eli’ Ferris Wheel on the rooftop. Go on, be curious, and check out a few playful pieces on Artifcts > 


Texas style. Well, at least with a Texas twist, because this is actually a teaser for a coming collection to Artifcts with the Texas Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame.  

Nestled in the halls of the The Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas at Austin is a remarkable collection that is a treat for athletes who visit from around the country. The display was made possible because of the contributions of a former swim director who loves all things swim history and vintage gear and memorabilia. Some of his collection he’s kept for personal enjoyment—look at this signed postcard discovery—but much of it is now on display to remind us all how much a single sport has grown, changed, and shaped history through the decades. Here’s your sneak peek > 

We'd love to hear from you! Artifct your moments and discoveries at these and other museums across the USA and beyond as you travel this summer. Our histories shared are so much more powerful than any single object.


We extend our enthusiastic thanks to the participating museums for their contributions. All rights reserved. If your museum is interested in contributing to a future piece in this series, contact

© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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What's New at Artifcts
Using the Artifcts App to Create Artifcts

“ANY of my photos I took on my phone?”
“Can you help with all these voice messages? Are they ‘stuff?’”   
“Oh, I can do that walking around my house! My son thinks it’s all junk.”  
“I have a three-hour layover in Denver. I’ll start Artifcting then!”  
{What will you say?} 


We took notes as our newest Artifcts Community members tried out our app last week at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. We must have chatted with more than 500 people who stopped by our booth. Some were conference attendees. Others are themselves respected builders of the premiere brands in genealogy services today. The awe factor of our modest app centered around how much you could do with a single, easy to use application. We’re declaring that a win! 
On Monday we offered a free webinar to walk through some of the ins and outs of creating an Artifct from the Artifcts app.  You can watch the recording, blooper moments and all, on our YouTube channel ->  


Your Turn! Try a Few of the Artifcts App Features

The more feedback from all of you, the better and better the app will be. Download the app to your iOS or Android device, give it a try, and write to us at We review every message! 
Use what you’ve got!  

On your phone, that is. Go for it, scroll 1000s of photos back in your gallery to that ONE photo you’re thinking of. Or pop into your voicemail and rescue that message you’ve saved for months or even years.  

      1. Open the voice message. 
      2. Click the share icon 
      3. Choose the Artifcts app! 


Select a voice message on your mobile phone        Click to share the voice message       Choose to add the voice message to a new or existing Artifct

Images are from an iOS phone. Android will have slight differences. 

Start fresh. Work with the latest. 
From the Artifcts app, click '+ Artifct.'  

How to create a new Artifct on the app 

Now choose to take a new photo, use an existing photo, video, or audio file, and off you go! Remember, you can choose up to five media files per Artifct and rearrange them to flow with your story. 
Mobile Style

You can always share an Artifct with someone based on their Artifcts screen name or email address. You can even post public Artifcts to social media. But did you know that the Artifcts app offers a special sharing option? 

      1. Click the share icon on your Artifct.
      2. Choose ‘Share link’ to send the Artifct via text message. You don’t even have to enter the email, phone number, or know if they are already an Artifcts member. Simply type to find the contact on your phone and send the Artifct in a text. 
      3. If the Artifct is private, and you haven’t already given the person permission, they will be able to “request access” when they click to view the Artifct link you sent them. Don’t' worry, they will be encouraged to sign in (or create a free Artifcts account) first to see if they already have access.

Bonus! If you have notifications for the Artifcts app enabled on your mobile device, you’ll learn instantly when they request access. 

When you supect real market value or historical relevance

You can find out if your treasures are authentic and potentially valuable!

      1. Click to view one of your Artifcts
      2. Scroll to the end of the Artifct and click "What's it worth?" to ask Heritage Auctions.
      3. After expert review, Heritage Auctions will attach directly to your Artifct a free valuation within two to three weeks. Be sure to provide helpful details. We offer tips in our FAQs for valuations.  

Happy Artifcting!


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Artifcts Bookshelf: Books About or Related to 'Stuff'

Here you'll find a simple listing of a wide-ranging and growing collection of books, with 'stuff' as the unify theme. Now and then we may post a link to an online article, podcast, or similar, but given how impermanent those links can be and the frustration paywalls can present, we'll mostly stick to books.

We use tags to organize them for your quick scanning. Click any image below to review the book over on the author’s site, Amazon, or elsewhere.

What are you reading? Share with and we'll check it out.

(Please note: These books are literally on our nightstands, coffee tables, and bookshelves. We are not paid to list publications here.)


The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

By Edmund de Waal, Jan. 2010


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

By V. E. Schwab, Oct. 2021


Uncommon Type

By Tom Hanks, Sep. 2018


What to Do with Everything You Own to Leave the Legacy You Want

By Marni Jameson, Jun. 2021


108 Beloved Objects: Letting Go of Stuff, Keeping Our Stories

By Jeff Greenwald, Aug. 2021


The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

By Margareta Magnusson, Jan. 2018


The Dig

By John Preston, Apr. 2016


goodbye, things: The New Japanese Minimalism

By Fumio Sasaki, Apr. 2017


Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness

By Ingrid Fetell Lee, Sep. 2018


Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life

By Matt Paxton, Feb. 2022


Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

By Gail Steketee, Jan. 2011


Book Cover of The Book of Form and Emptiness

The Book of Form and Emptiness

By Ruth Ozeki, Jun. 2022


Book Cover of What We Keep

What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning

By Bill Shapiro & Naomi Wax, Sept. 2018


Book Cover of Taste

Taste: My Life Through Food

By Stanley Tucci, Oct. 2021


Read more
Muriel the Welder: A Woman Who Inspires Us

We're unequivocally in awe of the women we've been surrounded by as we've struck out to build a private and secure place to bring the stories and memories behind the objects of our lives. Friends from kindergarten and new business associates alike have stepped up to offer feedback, cheers, introductions, and inspiration.

Today we share a bit about Muriel, who at age 97 continues to live with vigor and purpose and has oh so many stories to share and inspire those of us who are living in very different times than she did at our age. You might notice, it has strong echoes of Rosie the Riveter. Perhaps she inspired Muriel, all the way down to the bandana, or maybe that was standard issue?


At the age of 20, Muriel set down her apron at her parents’ shop and began attending school with “the boys” who would stop into the shop on their way to class. What were they studying? Welding.  

From here it was a small matter of an acute attention to detail and the joy of being underestimated that drove Muriel to receive an Excellence in War Production Army-Navy Production Award from Lyon Metal Products, Inc., for her welding. Her specialization welding tail surfaces of small planes required a delicacy that was unfamiliar to many more experienced male welders at her school.   

“We were putting ribs on tubing that was much heavier than the rib. So, if you didn’t apply the heat from the torch onto the heavier metal then the thin rib was, poof, gone, melted away.” 

We’ve heard the stories before, women stepping in across a broad span of professions and industries to ensure life went on at home while primarily men were off fighting. Advertisements abounded, opening the labor market to women. 

single sheet of paper with details of welding jobs at Lyon Metal

Lyon Metal Products job brochure than Muriel kept all these years! Why do you think the age ranges differ for men and women?

Yet, to hear the story firsthand, a story that was otherwise only a photo with a note “Lyon Metal, 1943, Montgomery, Illinois” on the back, brushing off this woman’s place in history, was awe inspiring.  

Black and white photo of woman with bandana holding back her hair while welding

These photos and brochures are among the last physical reminders of her contributions to WWII. Click the image to view the Artifct and hear Muriel's story in her own words.

What if no one had asked Muriel the question, “What were you welding?” “Or, why do you have a pair of old goggles?” Would this history have been lost forever? What histories lie hidden in your own family tree? What storied objects lie lurking in closets, bins, and drawers?  

We encourage you on this day, International Women’s Day 2023, to reach out to a woman in your family and ask to hear more about their life. You never know how many, “I never knew that about you!” moments await. 


You can read more about Muriel the Welder in our story on ARTIcles by Artifcts, "She's the Last of Her Generation."


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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