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In the streets of East Austin stands one of America’s last remaining in-home museums, The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata. Walking up to the home, you’ll find yourself immediately intrigued with the garden surrounding the quaint exterior. Stepping inside, you’re met with relics, stories, and treasures ranging from Venezuelan Ants to Marilyn Monroe’s last cigarette, a favorite among visitors. This eclectic museum so perfectly aids to Austin’s coined phrase, ‘Keep Austin Weird.’
Museum curators Scott and Jen Webel ventured into the world of odd and unique objects following in the footsteps of Scott Webel’s great grand uncle, Rolls Joyce Jr., the museum’s first curator.
For Rolls Joyce Jr., the museum was a place for endangered relics and memorabilia. After Joyce’s death, the museum ceased to exist without him. Later, Scott and Jen found his uncle’s collection boxed up in his grandmother’s shed, prompting them to reopen the museum in Tucson, Arizona, where it originated in 1921. In 2001, they moved to Austin where they began hosting community-themed exhibitions. What started out as just a side hobby for Scott and Jen Webel is today one of Austin’s best-kept secrets.
You can now enjoy drop-in tours on Saturdays at 4pm or call ahead to schedule a curator-led tour of The Impermanent Collection, their signature collection. The curators will share stories, enhancing your curiosity on the authenticity of each item. There’s an enchantment-type feel to their celebrity collection and an alluring weirdness to their entire wing dedicated to sleep.
The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata finds itself at the forefront of Austin’s most unique destinations.
For an updated time schedule please visit the museum’s website.