Here at Museum Hack we think museums are f***ing awesome. We’re constantly hearing awesome stories from our museum partners — stories about new exhibits and even some pretty weird and wild stuff!
We wanted to share the amazing news items that come across our virtual desks, so we’re putting together a monthly roundup of some of the most awesome museum news happening around the globe. So sit back, relax, and listen to the sounds of museums doing beautiful things.
EXTINCT ANIMALS RETURN TO EARTH (SC)
Extinct animals are being recreated digitally and projected onto mist-screens inside of tents as they sing a song of forgiveness to humans at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC.
Giant Animatronic T-Rex arrives at the Australian Museum in 40 foot tall containers. We’re just happy it’s not the scariest dinosaur of all…the terror-dactyl.
OMG…GIANT TROLLS. (IL)
This summer, six giant wooden trolls will make their home in The Morton Arboretum’s 1,700 acres. Were told the trolls will hunt guests with…GIANT NETS!?!?
LOOKING FOR A GOUDA TIME? (ONTARIO)
Canada’s Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum announces BIG CHEESE DAYS are back every Saturday in May all across Oxford County! If you’re a monster for Muenster, this event curd be the highlight of your year.
‘MUSEUM DANCE OFF’ GOES GLOBAL (PA)
Our friends at the Pennsylvania York County History Center got down-and-dirty during the 2018 Museum Dance Off, competing with 41 other international museums in the music video contest. We also really enjoyed Richmond’s “Let’s Get Factual” 80s revamp. See all the entries here.
NEW EXHIBIT IN MIAMI, FLORIDA
From May to September, discover poisonous power as it seeps through the walls of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science during its newest and most ambitious special exhibition to date. The Power of Poison explores poison’s role in nature, human health, and myth, while coming face-to-face with different poisonous and venomous species from South Florida and around the world.
FIRST-EVER STEAMPUNK MACHINE EXHIBIT (ID)
Visitors can explore the depths with Jules Verne in an old-fashioned, VR-outfitted diving helmet, shock things to life with Mary Shelley, and experiment with 20+ other interactive machines dreamed up in the 19th century at the Museum of Idaho.
JEWS IN SPACE (NY)
The opening of Jews in Space was presented by Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA’s first Jewish male astronaut, at the Center for Jewish History. The exhibit tells the story of Jews’ relationship to the solar system. Come learn stuff like who coined the term “science fiction”. And coming up in June – a starry night for singles!
AN ESCAPE ROOM INSIDE THE MUSEUM (PA)
Pennsylvania’s Chadds Ford Historical Society opens an ESCAPE ROOM complete with real Revolutionary War spy techniques, codes and cyphers!
NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT (CO)
From January to August, check out “Nothing To Sneeze At: One Woman – 1,107 Handkerchiefs”. The new exhibit running at Colorado’s Avenir Museum tells the story of a mystery woman named Florence and her carefully collected hankies.
THE TERRACOTTA ARMY MAKES ITS DEBUT IN CINCINNATI
The famous Terracotta Army will be on display now until August at the Cincinnati Art Museum. More than 40 of these works have never been on view in the U.S. before this exhibition!
ONE DOLLAR, HOLLER! (VA)
Virginia’s Mariners’ Museum and Park is offering $1 admission this summer to celebrate a 250% increase in summer visitation at the museum!
A WARM WELCOME TO AMERICA (RI)
RISD Museum offers free museum membership to newly naturalized U.S. citizens living in Rhode Island.
THE OLDEST SITE OF HUMANS IN NORTH AMERICA OPENS ITS 50TH SEASON (PA)
Pittsburgh’s Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village opened its 50th season on May 5. The site tells 16,000 years of history through the Rockshelter, the oldest site of human habitation in North America and a National Historic Landmark, and a series of historic villages.
ART APP THROWS A SCAVENGER HUNT IN NYC
The art app, Urban Archive, threw an NYC Scavenger Hunt on May 19 & 20 to explore some lesser known corners of the city, including Yorkville, East Harlem and a super spooky cemetery.
PRETTY POWERFUL: FASHION & VIRGINIA WOMEN EXHIBIT OPENS
The fashion industry was one of the first industries to offer Richmond women of diverse backgrounds a promising professional path. “Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women” will examine the role of fashion in the professional, creative and social advancement of women in Richmond, Virginia.
THE BEARY FIRST PADDINGTON EXHIBIT (MA)
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA is holding the first ever U.S. exhibition of Paddington. Paddington Comes to America opened 2 weeks ago and runs through October 7.
100 YEAR OLD PLAY PERFORMED USING ORIGINAL SCRIPTS (ONTARIO)
The Aurora Museum & Archives was gifted the original scripts to the Temple of Fame – a play that was performed in Aurora in 1918. The re-mount of the Temple of Fame took place on May 11-13 — exactly 100 years after the 1918 production took place. Dayum, dat’s tight.
CUTE ALERT (TN)
A wave of egg discoveries and recent hatchings has been making the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey building feel cute as ever. This is egg-cellent news!
NEW INITIATIVE FOR DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING (MO)
A groundbreaking initiative to provide high quality, accessible, and inclusive programming for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing is underway at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
MOST ATTENDANCE SINCE 1981 (MN)
2017 attendance totals came in at 141,000 guests above the previous all-time high from 1981, making Glensheen the number one most visited historic home museum in the Midwest. An amazing increase from its 56,000 attendance figure in 2007! Congrats!!
BRIDGING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER (TN)
The McClung Museum of Natural History at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville is working to bridge language barriers with ¡Vamos al Museo! (Let’s Go to the Museum). The program is designed for multilingual students and parents and offers tours in Spanish and Maya dialects.
ASTRONAUT HOPES TO HELP MUSEUM RAISE A MILLION BUCKS (CA)
Local hero and former astronaut Steve Smith was the 2018 Legacy for Children Award honoree on May 18th for inspiring children to pursue their dreams with what he calls an “explorer’s mindset.” Legacy For Children is a huge fundraising event as last year brought in $1.4 million!
THIS NEW EXHIBIT WILL HAVE YOU RUSSIAN AROUND (MA)
From May through January, the Museum of Russian Icons is pleased to announce an exhibition of contemporary paintings by Russian artist Alexander Gassel. Based on traditional Russian artistic values, his surreal work combines ancient symbols and contemporary subjects to reflect his experience of life in America.
ALL ABOARD! (WA)
Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of big adventures and even bigger memories at Day Out with Thomas in Snoqualmie, Washington on July 13-15 & 20-22, 2018.
IS YOUR CHILD THE NEXT PICASSO? (NY)
Beginning June 2, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s new interactive experience “Art, Artists & You” encourages children to explore self-expression and identity through art-making. You have a hunch they’re the next Picasso, so why not confirm your suspicions this June?
EVAPORATE SUMMERTIME BOREDOM (NE)
Omaha Children’s Museum is opening the permanent exhibit S.T.E.A.M. Cave on May 26. There will be four new exhibits and a NASA learning space. The exhibits will introduce children to inventors, scientists and engineers who work or have worked in S.T.E.A.M. fields in addition to art and literature.
SAY ‘ALOHA’ TO THESE AMAZING YOUNG ARTISTS (HI)
From May to June 29, the Young Artists of Hawaii exhibit will be at the Hawaii State Art Museum for the very first time. 96 artworks by Hawaii students grades K-6 are in the exhibit, expressing their views on the theme of “My Culture, My Family, and Me.”
PLAY LIKE A PACKRAT (AZ)
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum opened a brand new indoor two-story play-based exhibit this April. Children can climb, slide, explore, play and learn like a packrat. By playing games at the museum as packrats, children will learn about climate change through animal’s eyes, all the while avoiding predators!
A MUSEUM FOR A TOWN THAT’S NEVER HAD ONE (WA)
Coming soon – the opening of the NEW Highline Heritage Museum. Covering an area south of Seattle that that has never before had their own museum, this long awaited amenity will begin its opening ceremonies toward the end of June…SOON!
INNOVATIVE NEW EXHIBIT AT THE HENRY FORD MUSEUM (MI)
Get inside the minds and the workspace of Charles and Ray Eames, two of the 20th century’s most influential designers. At The World of Charles and Ray Eames — making its U.S. premiere at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation — hundreds of the couple’s most enduringly influential works, including architecture, furniture, films and more, come together to form an inspiring visual adventure full of color and ideas.
NEW DIRECTOR AT THE CARNEGIE CENTER (IN)
The Carnegie Center’s Director of thirty years, Sally Newkirk, just retired, leaving an incredible legacy. Their new hire, Eileen Yanoviak, is a mover and a shaker who has exciting plans for the future of their institution. Watch this space!
NEW DIRECTOR AT THE RICHARD H. DRIEHAUS MUSEUM (IL)
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of its new executive director, Richard P. Townsend. The appointment comes after an extensive national search by the Museum’s Board of Trustees. Townsend will be responsible for the leadership and overall vision of the Museum.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE CELEBRATES 200 YEARS
The Pink Palace Family of Museums has a special exhibit planned for the upcoming Bicentennial of the City! The exhibit, titled “Making Memphis: 200 Years of Community,” brings together stories of the past and present and their influence on the future to illustrate the interconnected web of Memphis history.
FLORIDA ARTISTS CONFRONT A CHANGING LANDSCAPE
The Enchanted Florida exhibition in Maitland Art Center is Greater Orlando’s only National Historic Landmark. It presents works by Florida artists longing for pristine nature, only to encounter a changing landscape blighted by development. Visit artandhistory.org/events for details.
MUSEUM OF TEACHING AND LEARNING WINS CONTEST AND PRIZED TYPEWRITER (CA)
An Adler typewriter was donated to MOTAL by Barbara Park of Stanton in 2013. Barbara was battling ovarian cancer at the time, yet she was determined to place her valued possessions in new homes. She put out a call in the local newspaper for letters from those who were interested in the typewriter. Barbara decided that Greta Nagel’s letter about housing the typewriter at MOTAL where it would be appreciated and enjoyed by visitors of all ages was compelling. Her beloved typewriter is now one of the museum’s vintage teaching tools.
NEW EXHIBIT IN COLUMBUS, OHIO
Alec Soth has spent much of his career photographing the peculiarities of American life. The Pizzuti Collection will exhibit over two dozen works whose subjects range from brides at Niagara Falls, hermits living off the grid, Scenes from life along the Mississippi River, and teenagers at prom in Cleveland, Ohio.
BECOME PART OF THE ART (NC)
From April 7 to July 22, 2018, “You Are Here” features immersive art installations by 15 contemporary artists. Some are delightfully low-tech, while others make use of experimental new media in interactive works that change in response to the viewer. This exhibition takes over an entire floor of the NCMA’s temporary exhibition galleries and more than 23,000 people have come to the exhibition in just 3 weeks.
THE PEOPLE OF THE MAHONING VALLEY: STORIES OF IDENTITY AND INNOVATION EXHIBIT OPENS (OH)
After five years and over $500,000 the Mahoning Valley Historical Society is proud to premiere the permanent installation in the Drs. Thomas and Maria Fok Exhibit Gallery at the Tyler History Center in Downtown Youngstown. The People of the Mahoning Valley: Stories of Identity and Innovation traces the history and development of the Valley from the early Native Americans and Pioneers, to the formation of townships and cities, to the rise and fall of the iron and steel industries, all through the stories of the people that called this Valley home.
ILLUMINATING NEW EXHIBIT (PA)
For the first time in more than 20 years, The Room Chapel by pioneering sculptor of light Stephen Antonakos will be on display. Originally built in 1996, this architectural installation featuring the artist’s Neon Panels will be specially recreated in the Allentown Art Museum’s Butz Gallery. Opened Sunday, May 6.
TECH IN THE MUSEUM
During the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival, the Cortina Productions team conducted demonstrations of the Microsoft HoloLens at two Austin museum clients. The goal was to explore the potential for mixed reality in museums.
NEW EXHIBIT: OUR SIDE (MT)
In fall 2017, Wendy Red Star (Absaalooke/Crow) guest-curated an exhibition at Missoula Art Museum with four indigenous women artists called “Our Side: Elisa Harkins, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Marianne Nicolson, and Tanis Maria S’eiltin.” The exhibit sparked a publication and website that was released recently. Red Star invited these four artists from different tribal affiliations across the U.S. and Canada to shape and define their own identity, language, and territory through a broad range of contemporary media to express common ties around indigenous narratives, community, feminism, and activism. The exhibit will begin to travel internationally this summer.
See, what did we tell you? Awesome #MuseNews!
Do you want more information on a particular news item mentioned above? If so, contact Ally at Museum Hack: [email protected]!