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Urban Outfitters

14 Weird And Wonderful Snow Globes

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Urban Outfitters

Just about everyone has owned a snow globe at some point. But chances are you’ve never seen globes like these.

1. They’re Creepy & They’re Kooky

Easily the most famous creators of strange snow globes are Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz. The couple’s art generally features grisly and melancholy miniature scenes that are photographed close up for drastic effect. This image is from their long-running Travelers series, all of which specifically take place inside of snow globes.

2. Keeping Up With the Nisse

Following in the style of Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz’s realistic and detailed snow globe creations, the Danish architectural firm Ja-Ja made a special series of snow globes to celebrate Christmas. These creations show what the “Nisse” (a small Scandinavian mythological creature that helps around the house) are up to in modern times. This particular globe shows a Nisse working away on a rooftop garden just out of sight of us silly humans.

3. Beauty and the Gore

Etsy seller TheTwistedTiara managed to combine the classic beauty and grace you find in ordinary snow globes with a ghost story to create a ballerina dancing near a grave while holding her own bloody head in her hand. 

4. A Bloody Good Time

By far the most delightfully gory snow globe in existence is this wonderful Halloween promotional product that shows Michael Myers attacking a teenage girl in a swirl of floating blood-colored sprinkles. If you really want a snow globe that will get people talking, this is it.

5. All Work and No Play

Snow globes are supposed to remind you of the swirling flurries of a gentle winter storm, and while most snow-based experiences are positive, too much cold can be deadly—as Etsy seller BubbleRoll’s snow globe featuring a frozen Jack Torrance from the end of The Shining reminds us.

6. Cthulhu Rises

The Great Elder One will be pleased with you if you leave this tribute to him resting on your mantel. Along the base of this snow globe from Fear Werx is the ominous Necronomicon quote: "That is not dead which can eternal lie and with strange aeons even death may die." 

7. We Wish You An Undead Christmas

It’s going to be a very scary Christmas this year thanks to this delightful snow globe from Things From Another World Comics filled with zombie carolers.

8. Fight For Your Life

If you just can’t get enough zombie snow globes, be sure to head over to Etsy shop goodsbygoose and grab this decidedly more morbid take on the concept featuring a survivor in a life or death battle with an undead creature. Did I mention this one glows in the dark? As if you needed more of a reason to snag this great gift.

9. Mad About Snow Globes

This mad scientist snow globe is the perfect gift for anyone you know who spends his or her life down in the basement tinkering on something and laughing maniacally—or someone who happens to be a regular scientist with aspirations for more.

10. Lord of the Snow Globes

Admit it, this is definitely the most “precious” snow globe you’ve seen in a while. (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.) 

11. Dunkin' Memories

Most people get location-based snow globes as souvenirs to remember particularly eventful vacations, but apparently some people want mementos of the donut chains they visited. Or at least, that’s the only logic I could come up with for this Dunkin’ Donuts snow globe.

12. It Was Awful

The Grumpy Cat snow globe is perfect for anyone who loves memes, anyone that adores Tardar Sauce or anyone who simply hates snow globes. Best of all, it’s not even officially for sale right now, so if you pre-order it, you can claim that you ordered the Grumpy Cat snow globe before it was cool … but it was still awful.

13. Seriously, Who Was It?

It’s something we’ve all asked at one time or another, just never in snow globe form. I’m not sure if this is meant as a gift or as bathroom décor, but either way, it’s sure to be a conversation starter.

14. Screw Your Snow Globes

Tired of all the happy ballerinas and princesses in snow globes? Then give them the finger with this terrible, but hilariously wrong, prank snow globe.

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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
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‘American Gothic’ Became Famous Because Many People Saw It as a Joke
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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1930, Iowan artist Grant Wood painted a simple portrait of a farmer and his wife (really his dentist and sister) standing solemnly in front of an all-American farmhouse. American Gothic has since inspired endless parodies and is regarded as one of the country’s most iconic works of art. But when it first came out, few people would have guessed it would become the classic it is today. Vox explains the painting’s unexpected path to fame in the latest installment of the new video series Overrated.

According to host Phil Edwards, American Gothic made a muted splash when it first hit the art scene. The work was awarded a third-place bronze medal in a contest at the Chicago Art Institute. When Wood sold the painting to the museum later on, he received just $300 for it. But the piece’s momentum didn’t stop there. It turned out that American Gothic’s debut at a time when urban and rural ideals were clashing helped it become the defining image of the era. The painting had something for everyone: Metropolitans like Gertrude Stein saw it as a satire of simple farm life in Middle America. Actual farmers and their families, on the other hand, welcomed it as celebration of their lifestyle and work ethic at a time when the Great Depression made it hard to take pride in anything.

Wood didn’t do much to clear up the work’s true meaning. He stated, "There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement. These are types of people I have known all my life. I tried to characterize them truthfully—to make them more like themselves than they were in actual life."

Rather than suffering from its ambiguity, American Gothic has been immortalized by it. The country has changed a lot in the past century, but the painting’s dual roles as a straight masterpiece and a format for skewering American culture still endure today.

Get the full story from Vox below.

[h/t Vox]

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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0
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Get Your GIFs Ready for This International Public Domain GIF-Making Competition
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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0

Excellent GIF-making skills can serve you beyond material for your clever tweets. Each year, a group of four digital libraries from across the world hosts GIF IT UP, a competition to find the best animated image sourced from public domain images from their archives.

The competition is sponsored by Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), New Zealand’s DigitalNZ, and the National Library of Australia’s Trove, all of which host millions of public domain works. The requirements are that the source material must be in the public domain, have a 'no known copyright restrictions' statement, or have a Creative Commons license that allows its reuse. The material must also come from one of the sponsored sources. Oh, and judging by the past winners, it helps if it’s a little whimsical.

The image above won the grand prize in 2015. And this was a runner-up in 2016:

via GIPHY

This year’s prizes haven’t been announced yet (although Europeana says there will be a new one for first-time GIF makers), but last year’s grand prize winner got their own Giphoscope, and runners-up got $20 gift cards. (Turns out, there’s not a lot of money in public domain art.)

Not an expert GIFer yet? You can always revisit the audio version of DPLA’s advanced GIF-making tutorial from last year.

The fourth-annual GIF IT UP contest opens to submissions October 1.

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