Monday, February 11, 2008

Places in Second Life: Crescent Museum, guest post by Jhai Thorne

There are many galleries and museums in SL, but none that boasts such a rich history as the Crescent Moon Museum in FairChang Village. Owned and run by Tayzia Abbatoir, this museum has some of the most unique examples of the kind of art that is NPIRL (not possible in real life) and in such a large collection that the displays are changed on a bi-weekly basis. The Crescent Moon is also the oldest museum in SL dating back to 2004, when Ms. Abbatoir began collecting the works of the infamous builder Starax Statosky. Since August of 2007 is has been housed on FairChang Island in a grand ballroom build by Random Calliope, the famous jewelry designer who has placed his well-known Mata Hari's Jewelry Quest there.

When I visited the museum recently I was delighted by the wit of some of the exhibits, such as the multi-figured "Primolution" showing the evolution from prim to avatar by Stella Costello, and the ever-changing metallic puzzle, "Tricky #1, by Yoa Ogee, or the amusingly morose figure of "Sad Bob" by Red Levitt. By far, however, my favorite pieces on display were the series of Top Hats by Spiral Walcher. Each of these delightful whimsies is a tiny world of its own complete with a miniscule three-dimensional dioramic scene built inside. You can find everything in these hats from a factory complete with steampipes to a dinner table set in a wheat field.

Of course anyone who has toured the museum could not resist taking the Mata Hari jewelry challenge, and I am no exception. The challenge begins with a box on the mantelpiece over the fireplace. In the memorabilia box the quester will find many interesting photos and unsent postcards, notes from Margarete to Random, and a seashell brooch. You must read all the notecards and discover the tragic tale of unfullfilled romance of Random and the entertainer known as Mata Hari. Mr. Calliope has based this quest very cleverly on the story of the real Mata Hari, Margarete Zelle, who was shot by the French as a spy in October of 1917. Be careful when you try this challenge, Dear Readers, not to dismiss any detail you uncover as insignificant! Random Calliope has demonstrated not only a brilliant imagination here, but also that he has a remarkably romantic soul.
I was very fortunate while embarking on the challenge to encounter an attractive, albeit somewhat mysterious, man--a fellow quester who very helpfully demonstrated just how Random Calliope kissed Margarete after her performance in his ballroom, the current home of the Crescent Museum. This . . . um . . . kind gesture on his part led me to find the ring as well as the first few clues. Armed with that information I intend to pursue to the end this quest to find Margarete's jewelry and to, perhaps, meet my charming fellow quester once more. I shall endeavor to keep you posted on my . . . um . . . further adventures there.

In the meantime, take a trip yourselves to FairChang Island and discover the Crescent Museum, a place where so much of what is best about Second Life--art, music, dance, creativity, and romance--can be found.

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