Cleaning the Nation's Attic

Vince Wilcox meanders through the large, dusty room, past mummies of Eskimo babies, past Amazonian poison darts and Japanese dollhouses, past lost cultures and found treasures. President James Buchanan's saddle is over in the corner, next to a statue of a samurai warrior. Meditating Buddhas sit on top of cabinets filled with spears and mandolins. Wilcox opens a drawer full of shrunken heads, some human, some sloth, some monkey. He holds up an apple-size human specimen and strokes the long black hair. "See how soft the hair is?" he marvels. "They removed the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!