Hand of Man Museum – Duncan, British Columbia - Atlas Obscura

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Hand of Man Museum

A former elementary school houses one man's extensive collection of art, artifacts, and taxidermy. 


What if the “world’s most interesting man” bought a small elementary school and filled it with whatever objects brought them joy? The Hand of Man Museum is one man’s private collection of taxidermy animals, prehistoric skeletons, tribal artifacts, art, instruments, and all sorts of other random objects that interest him. Housed in an old school, every surface is brimming with the strange and unusual, and you never know what you’ll find when you turn a corner.

The Hand of Man museum is the work of Jim Shockey, a writer, wildlife photographer, hunter, and naturalist who grew up in Saskatchewan. He opened the 17,000-square-foot museum in 2018, and filled it with items that he has been collecting since he was 10 years old.

Shockey’s collection includes animals from every corner of the world: a veritable Noah’s Ark of taxidermy. Beyond that, there are massive mineral geodes, thousands of artifacts from cultures around the world, dinosaurs, books, and art. It’s a miscellany of items of every description; simply anything that Shockley must have felt was cool enough to exhibit. It’s a fascinating few hours.

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