Boing Boing challenged its readers to send them photos of their favorite museum photos. The submissions ranged from "The Bishop's Rectum" to "Mummified Ice-Age Bison". My favorite:
"Arab Courier Attacked by Lions", on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Built by Jules Verreaux for the Paris Exposition in 1867, it was purchased first by the American Museum of Natural History—which quickly thought better of it—and was then sold to Andrew Carnegie in 1898 for $50.
The lions preserved here are Barbary lions, a subspecies that went extinct in the wild in the early 20th century.
The "Arab courier", thankfully, is a mannequin. However, that might not have always been the case. Jules Verreaux had previously stuffed and mounted the corpses of non-Europeans before he made this diorama. Meanwhile, the man who was preparator-in-chief at the Carnegie Museum at the time they purchased "Arab Courier" once wrote that the courier "might have been real prior to 1899 when it was refurbished." So, yeah. Historical racism. How about that?