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Manila Palm: An Oasis Secret
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston  This witty, 50-foot-high fake palm tree (1978) by Houston-born sculptor Mel Chin, located behind the CAMH building at the corner of Bissonnet St. and Bayard Ln., appears to be growing through the side of a rusted steel pyramid.
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Original 1880s Buffalo Hide Overcoat
Buffalo Soldier National Museum  Example of a coat worn by soldiers in the four African American US Army regiments formed after the Civil War to fight the Indian tribes that gave them their nickname, Buffalo Soldiers.
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North Carolina Emerald
Houston Museum of Natural Science  This 1,869-carat natural emerald crystal, unearthed in 2003, is easily the largest emerald ever found in North America and considered one of the finest specimens anywhere in the world.
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Bert Long Denim Overalls
Houston Museum of African American Culture  This paint-spattered work outfit was worn by the late Houston artist Bert Long and features a variety of Obama campaign buttons, including Australians for Obama and Artists for Obama.
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Section of Berlin Wall
This graffiti-covered Cold War memento was given in 1989 to Houston waste management company Browning-Ferris, which in turn donated it to Rice. After many years outside the Continuing Studies Building, it was moved to its current location outside the Baker Institute for Public Policy in 2000.
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Suitcase from Theresienstadt
Holocaust Museum Houston  This was in the possession of Holocaust survivor Cilly Dannenbaum when she was liberated from the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945. It contained all of her possessions, including the prayer shawl of her husband, who died in Auschwitz.
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František Kupka, “The Yellow Scale”
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  This c. 1907 self-portrait by the Czech artist, a gorgeous study in yellow, is one of the highlights of the MFAH’s modernist collection.
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Shinto Deified Lord
Menil Collection  Sitting by itself in a tranquil alcove of the Menil’s ancient art galleries, this simple wooden figure dates from Japan’s Kamakura period, which stretched from 1185 to 1333.
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Teletype Machine
Weather Museum  This machine was used in the Lake Charles branch of the US Weather Bureau in the 1950s and ’60s to receive weather data from hourly surface observations and ship reports from around the world.
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Boogie Woogie
Hermann Park
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