Denny Daniel is a self-identifying “downtown kid.” He is also the owner and founder of The Museum of Interesting Things. Daniel takes the museum to the visitors and brings curiosity and education with him.
The Museum of Interesting Things travels to schools, adult centers, camps, and any other location where moldable minds may be. Denny Daniel arrives with themed collections that invite visitors to interact with, to question, and to understand history through objects. The museum offers multiple collections and covers a wide range of topics such as the history of music, the history of quack medicine, the history of black inventors, and the history of suffragettes. There is no limit to the number of interesting things in existence. Denny Daniels wants his show to be able to teach people something impactful and thought-provoking every visit. The variety of his collections, and of his collectibles, helps him achieve this goal.
“I want to be able to entertain myself forever. I want to be able to entertain the kids, and us, my staff, everyone, forever and ever. Then you always have something to do. Always have something to show. That’s why we call it the Museum of Interesting Things”, said Daniel
Denny Daniel started off his career by hosting parties in his own apartment and showing off his impressive collection to friends. Ever since then he has been using the power of objects and the narratives of history to teach people of any age, and of any background, about the past and how antiques can help us understand our present and future.
“When we did these parties a lot of the people were really cool, interesting, intellectuals. Sometimes it would take until 4 a.m and a lot of alcohol to get them to agree or to understand this or that. Antiques do it in a heartbeat. People walk in with that beautiful smile, the same one you had, that says ‘I’m happy and I’m curious.’ I love that. All of a sudden I didn’t have to tell them who to vote for, to be a Republican, Democrat, where to go, what to say, liberal, conservative. It does not matter in fact. I got the same beautiful thing just by doing this…….” Denny Daniel proceeded to wind up a phonograph cylinder from the 1880s (pictured right). A song began to fill the small room packed with educational treasures.
“Every one of these items has 3 ingredients. The magic of the person who made it, the magic of the people who have owned it, and the magic of us buying these antiques and giving them new life”, per Daniel.
The Museum also has a small physical location downtown where visitors can interact, by appointment, with antique objects from all over the world. Additionally, Denny Daniel hosts monthly speakeasies to raise money for the traveling museum. The very first Museum of Interesting Things speakeasy featured 16 mm films, prohibition artifacts, and a bottle of sealed prohibition liquor. The theme for the September Speakeasy has not yet announced, but it sure to inspire, and to entertain curious minds of all ages. Check the Museum of Interesting Thing’s website for the next theme, date, and location.
Denny Daniels has been featured on “Pawn Stars”, “The Science Chanel”, and “PBS.” He is also an organizer for the NY Steampunk Society, a member of the nineteenth-century society and is a proud NYU alum. Above all, he is a dedicated and welcoming downtowner. “It is a complement to be comfortable in my home”, said Daniels. His fascinating home is located in an equally dynamic area to live. “This is where everything is. I am close to Soho, close to the Village. This is where life is, this is where energy is and I am never selling this apartment!” said Daniel.
The Museum of Interesting Things and its founder are educating children and adults alike with the help of tools borrowed from time. Denny Daniels reminds us that learning can be, and should be, fun.