“Hoot let the owls out? Hoot, hoot hoot hoot!” – The Baha Men, probably.
For the past 52 years, the United States has come together (kind of) to yell at their televisions, make enemies of their best friends and eat finger foods on Super Bowl Sunday. However, what if we told you that we have been celebrating this divisive holiday wrong all along?
You see, about 52 years ago, the NFL created the Super Bowl. The NFL distributed Super Bowl merchandise, purchased radio and television ads and grew anticipation for the game by the day – but the entire thing may have been a mistake.
Here at Museum Hack, we believe that the proper reading of “Super Bowl” is actually “Superb Owl,” and we’re here to restore balance to the force and give the spotlight back to its rightful subject, owls. We’re 52 years into what should have been a celebration of the most superb owls imaginable and we want to make up for lost time.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at seven of the most superb owls in museums across the world.
#1 – The Tootsie Pop Owl
Created By: Tootsie Roll Industries
Museum: Hoboken Historical Museum
How many Tootsie pops does it take to get inside a history museum? The world may never know.
The Hoboken Historical Museum in Hoboken, New Jersey is home to an exhibit about every child’s favorite lollipop, the Tootsie Pop. Made famous by an inquisitive bird named Mr. Oliver Owl, the Tootsie Pop quickly took its place among the pantheon of candies AND owl related advertising. This superb owl is still recognized by millions today, and is honored in the Hoboken Historical Museum for all who want to ask exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
#2 – Owl (#1)
Created By: Angelo Colombo & Paul Manship
Museum: Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Super Bowl awards the Lombardi Trophy, but the Superb Owl is all about the Owl (#1). Owl (#1) isn’t a trophy, but a large-scale golden owl, and, in our opinion, one that’s way dang cooler than a giant shiny metal object.
Created to show off the personality of an owl while also capturing an owl’s beauty, this piece is a key part of celebrating our favorite bird. And it’s way shinier than the Lombardi Trophy.
#3 – Theodore Roosevelt’s Snowy Owl
Before he was president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt was just a young, budding ornithologist, observing and recording notes on different species as he traveled around the United States. He collected and mounted this Snowy Owl (a polite way of saying he killed and stuffed it) in 1876, the same year he entered Harvard.
Roosevelt’s passion for natural history remained after he became president and he became the driving force behind protecting some of our country’s most precious lands. Pretty superb, indeed.
#4 – Ronald and Christina Gidwitz Hall of Birds
Museum: The Field Museum
Every bird watcher and owl enthusiast should spend time in the Ronald and Christina Gidwitz Hall of Birds. Located in the Field Museum in Chicago, the Hall of Birds was completely redesigned in 2012. Home to all types of birds, including a few of the most superb owls in the entire museum world, the Hall of Birds uses digital, physical and art mediums to express the wonder of our flight-focused friends.
#5 – The Owl
Artist: Arnold Mesches
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why isn’t there a painting of an owl that kind of looks like a fan art version of Batman?” Or perhaps, “If only an owl looked vaguely like the Obama 2008 painting, I would be so happy.”
We have just the owl for you. Artist Arnold Mesches painted this unique interpretation of our feathered friend. You can check it out at the Hirshshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.
#6 – Owl (#2)
Artist: Paul Manship
Museum: Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Tom Brady of owl-related art, Paul Manship scores a surprising second entry in the Superb Owl competition with Owl (#2). Unlike the dignified first owl, his second entry looks like it’s in motion and about to take flight. Let’s be real: it looks like the owl equivalent of the Heisman Trophy and that’s something that any Superb Owl fan will get behind.
#7 – Only Owls
Museum: Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
If you haven’t gotten quite your fill of Superb Owls yet, you can order an entire touring exhibition from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.
Featuring 40 two-dimensional works that all center around owls, the Only Owls touring exhibition will only set you back a cool $3,000 for eight weeks of owl-centered viewership. That’s one way to make your next party superb!