Here at Museum Hack, we believe museums are f***ing awesome. We are constantly hearing awesome stories from our museum network about new exhibits, quirky happenings, epic events and more.
To share all the amazing news that comes across our virtual desks, we’ve put together a roundup of museum happenings around the globe. Sit back, relax, and listen to the sounds of museums doing beautiful things.
North Carolina State University Basketball Player Lends an Arm to Ancient Statue
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, USA
The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) worked with North Carolina State University men’s basketball player Wyatt Walker to re-create the arm of an ancient statue as part of its Bacchus Conservation Project. The 6-foot-9-inch player’s arm was 3-D scanned by Heather Pendrak of Pendragon 3D, with Walker holding grapes above his head in the manner depicted in a 19th-century drawing of the statue, to help artist Larry Heyda of Lawrence Heyda Studios create the new statue arm.
COOL ALERT: Arizona’s new “Electric Desert”
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America
Desert Botanical Garden is exhibiting latest blockbuster exhibition—Electric Desert | A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. Cactus and desert become a living canvas in this nighttime experience, taking visitors on an immersive journey through the Garden using light and original music. Electric Desert includes seven site-specific locations, with each experience inspired by and related to the Garden.
Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz found 13 years after they were stolen from the museum
Judy Garland Museum, Minnesota
A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz has been recovered by the FBI in a sting operation 13 years after being stolen. The shoes, often said to among the most valued props in movie history, were taken from a Minnesota museum in 2005, when someone broke in through a window late at night.
New York’s only museum dedicated to man’s best friend opened in February
The AKC Museum of the Dog, New York City, New York, United States
The exhibition, collection, interpretation, and preservation of the art, artifacts, and literature of the dog for purposes of aesthetic enjoyment and to enhance the human/canine relationship opened in New York on February 8, 2019.
WEIRD & WILD: Dusting The Eyeballs
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Winter breaks are for dusting eyeballs at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. You heard them right! Dusting eyeballs! Collections Manager Cindy Opitz uses the closure to take care of some routine maintenance on exhibits and specimens that is best done on quiet days.
Brazil Museum Fire Update: Rebuilding Plans & Virtual Tour w/ Google Launched
Brazil Museu Nacional, Brazil
Three months after celebrating its bicentennial and a few days before the 196th anniversary of Brazil’s proclamation of independence, a huge fire spread throughout the National Museum, engulfing almost all of its rooms and completely destroying large parts of the building. A plan to restore the museum to its former glory is in the works, as part of a governmental event where they will announce the reconstruction efforts planned for the next few years.
In the meantime, Google Arts & Culture invites you to revisit or discover the museum digitally by experiencing the treasures that once adorned its galleries and use Street View to walk through the majestic space. Here you can see such treasures such as the oldest human skeleton in the Americas, the Bendegó Meteorite, and an unparalleled collection of ancient Brazilian ceramics.
Explore the seduction and destructive power of sugar
Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
In an exhibition that explores the problematic and the joyful aspects of sugar, visitors will encounter mid-century advertisements for candy, sugar and soda; tools used in the cutting and processing of sugar cane; historical stereoscopic images of workers in sugar-cane fields; and artwork by contemporary artists such as Maria Magdalene Campos-Pons, Will Cotton, Tim Davis, Julia Jacquette, Beatriz Milhazes, Vik Muniz, Zineb Sedira, Laurie Simmons, Kara Walker and others.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man taking over Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH, United States
Prepare yourself for the visual art and artists of Burning Man. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man will bring room-sized installations, mutant art vehicles, creative costuming, films and more to the Cincinnati Art Museum. Mark your calendars: the first phase opens April 26, and the second, which will unveil additional art throughout the museum, opens June 7.
KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab Expands Rockwell Campus!
The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY, USA
KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab is a new interactive family studio, located just around the corner from The Rockwell Museum at 36 E. Market St. in Corning, NY. Visitors can start their experience at either location with just one ticket. The Art Lab opened to the public on September 17, 2018. Activities will evolve as new exhibitions and themes are introduced at the Museum, with a goal of making art accessible to kids and inspiring an appreciation for art at a young age. Plus, kids under 17 are free!
Grand Rapids Museum Launches $115 Million Expansion Project
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Internationally renowned, New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners are leading the re-envisioning and expansion of facilities.
Bringing forgotten games back to life at Melbourne’s coolest laneway museum!
Chinese Museum, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The Chinese Museum is the coolest place to be during Melbourne’s sweltering summer as they bring back some long-forgotten Chinese laneway games to celebrate the museum’s new Impressions of Shanghai exhibition. It’s totally screen-free and kids are loving it! Plenty of January and February dates left for the young at heart who are heading to Melbourne’s Chinatown this summer.
USF Contemporary Art Museum Built and Deconstructed a 20 Foot Long Wall
USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Florida, United States
As part of “The Visible Turn: Contemporary Artists Confront Political Invisibility”, the USF Contemporary Art Museum presented the public installation and performance of “Muro”, an approximately 6 foot high by 20 foot long wall constructed with 1080 unique clay bricks. “Muro” was erected in front of the USF Contemporary Art Museum’s entrance for one day, at the end of which visitors were invited to collectively disassemble the wall by removing one brick to take home with them.
Late Thursdays at The Newark Museum
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, United States
Inspired by pop art on view in the Newark Museum’s newly reinstalled Expanding Pop gallery in Seeing America, this Late Thursday celebration invites guests to get funky on the dancefloor with a live DJ spinning disco-era songs and those of Andy Warhol’s famous Factory friends. Highlights of the event include a disco costume contest, live drag queen performances, and a specially themed guided tour of Expanding Pop.
Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge-Pair History and Cocktails
Washington County Historical Society, Hagerstown, Maryland, United States
Washington County Historical Society, Hagerstown, Maryland, is hosting a monthly lecture series titled, Culture and Cocktails. Each month a guest speaker takes the mic to talk about anything from dinosaurs to James Brown. Guests can relax and sip a signature cocktail that pairs with the theme of the lecture. Interested in learning about paranormal activity with a Corpse Reviver #1 in your hand? Come join us as we enjoy a drink and have a think!
8th Annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade
Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park , Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Get ready, get ready, get ready! Let the good times flow during Vermilionville Living History Museum’s 8th Annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade! Save the date and stay tuned for details.
Celebrate true diversity at the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Street Festival this June!
Museum at Eldridge Street, New York , New York, United States
The Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, & Empanadas Festival is an annual celebration of the diversity and vibrancy of the Museum’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Historically a Jewish neighborhood, today Chinese and Puerto Rican communities have made it their own. The festival melds energetic klezmer with traditional Puerto Rican Bomba; Chinese tea ceremonies with Jewish scribal arts; and the beloved food traditions of each culture. Now in it’s 19th year!
Picnic N Planes
Western Museum of Mining & Industry, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
The Western Museum of Mining is honored to be neighbors with the United States Air Force Academy and our grounds make for the perfect place to watch the amazing aerial acrobatics of the Air Force Thunderbirds! Bring and enjoy a picnic lunch by our spring-fed ponds and flowering meadows as you experience the mighty Thunderbirds soaring right over you!
The Catskills’ *Coolest* Tradition – Ice Harvest
Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith, New York, USA
Every February, guests take part in a traditional ice harvest, just like rural communities did a century ago. This February marked the 30th anniversary of the Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum. Highlights included horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice sculptors turning blocks of ice into works of art, a hot soup buffet, and ice fishing. Fun Fact: The ice we harvest will be used to make ice cream on July 4th!
Can you beat Santa Anna?
Star of the Republic Museum, Washington, Texas, USA
After his victory at the Alamo, Santa Anna & his army are on their way, you must determine what to take with you & make your way to safety! This is the Runaway Scrape Escape, the newest program at the Star of the Republic Museum. Guests, ages 10 and up, use teamwork & problem-solving skills to decipher puzzles & riddles in order to get out of the room in the 45-minute time limit. Held the third Saturday of each month, this is a perfect activity for families, groups of friends, & Texas History buffs!
Tour a dark mansion with a cup of liquid courage
Glensheen Mansion, Duluth, MN, United States
Glensheen has revamped its Flashlight Tour to be an adult-only, 21+ experience. Tour three floors of the dark mansion with a cup of courage, including the previously closed Third Floor. We don’t know of another house museum in the country that allows you to drink on tour! When touring via flashlight, artwork and furnishings come alive with detail. Other exclusive experiences to this tour include a roaring fire in the Carriage House Fireplace Room and the chance to taste beer brewed with Congdon hops.
‘Imagine the Moon’ opens at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium, Chicago , IL, United States
“Imagine the Moon” opened at the Adler Planetarium, the first new sky show in the state-of-the-art domed theater in more than two years. According to the Chicago Tribune, “In 25 or so minutes, viewers leaning back in the planetarium’s central domed theater will see a range of breathtaking images relating to this “constant companion in our collective imaginations,” as the script calls it. And they’ll get a story exploring the lore and science of the moon at a level that doesn’t pander to kids but doesn’t speak over their heads, either”.
Israel museum develops a robot for those who cannot physically visit
Museum of the Jewish people at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is proud to present the first of its kind museum-touring experience in Israel: BeamPro Telepresence Tour. BeamPro is a telepresence device (sometimes fondly referred to as a robot) whose purpose and function is to provide a rich and unique experience for visitors who for any reason are unable to physically come to the Museum for a visit. While The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is the first in Israel to facilitate these technologies, other museums around the world have harnessed and refined them and their applications in remote visitation and telepresence. The visitor will have control over the “robot” and a guide will accompany it through the Museum as the visitor controls the direction and speed of movement of the device.
Influential director at LASM to retire after 39 years of service
Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Carol S. Gikas has lead the Louisiana Art & Science Museum since 1980 and has helped the Museum make great strides in growing its collection and programming. She has overseen the creation of our hands-on learning spaces, the opening of our Ancient Egyptian Gallery, and our state-of-the-art Planetarium. She also helped to found the Louisiana Association of Museums and is a former President of LAM. She is due to be succeeded by Serena Pandos in late January.
Utah Museum Of Contemporary Art Chosen for Warhol Foundation Grant
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA)is honored to be chosen for a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This is the seventh award the organization has received from the Foundation since 2001. UMOCA is Utah’s only museum devoted to contemporary arts and culture. Through their cutting-edge program, we engage with social issues, provide a platform for dialogue and nurturing space for artists to work and develop.
Southbound project expands imaginings for the 21st century South
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC, USA
Representing the largest exhibition of photographs of and about the American South in the twenty-first century, Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South presents multiple ways of visualizing the region. All are necessarily incomplete and imperfect, yet viewing the region through different lenses may bring into focus, however fleetingly, this newest New South. Representations of the world around us in the languages of fine arts and geography embodied for Southbound in photography and digital mapping, are central to how we see our world.
The show-stopper from SOFA Chicago 2018 is Now at Imagine Museum
Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, FL, United States
From now until June 24th, titanium, LED lights, and transparent mirrors will take you into a universal and transcendental world of wonder. The historical cosmology of Plato and the silhouette of Francesco Borromini’s dome for Sant’lvo in Rome is the inspiration for this overwhelming piece of art at Imagine Museum.
Trash talk inside the Museum in Massachusetts
The Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA, United States
The Museum of Russian Icons is teaming up with the Fitchburg Art Museum to welcome Russian artist Konstantin Simun (known in Russia for his famous WWII memorial in St. Petersburg, The Broken Ring) and his exhibit, The Sacred in the Profane. Simun makes sculptures from “found” objects–plastic bottles, recycling bins, milk crates, and, even, discarded briefcases that he finds on the streets.
The LatinX Experience is told through 50 years of album covers
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, United States
Visual Clave explores the evolution of Latin album cover art paying attention to issues of identity and aesthetics through depictions of people and cultures, historical context, and the unsung graphic artists who helped present Latin music to the world. For the artists, record albums served as an important creative outlet for commentary on urgent cultural, political, and economic issues affecting Latin American and Caribbean immigrant communities in the United States.
The MAX to Host The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited
Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, Meridian, Mississippi, Launderdale
The MAX, Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience, announces the opening of The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, a unique attraction that explores the life of Mississippi-native Jim Henson and the impact his creations have had on popular culture. Experience Henson’s creations and see how his early work in film and television evolved into the magical worlds that have become so familiar to audiences worldwide.The traveling exhibition will run now through May 4, 2019.
Japanese ‘Propaganda’ Kimonos Focus of Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts Exhibit
Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, FL, USA
Curated largely from the Center’s permanent collection, this exhibition presents kimono and associated textiles from one of the most distinctive periods of textile production in Japanese history. Designed to Mobilize will feature over 75 historic textiles and focus on the iconography, motifs, and metaphors displayed in objects manufactured as propaganda during the World War II era.
The human side of the border – “Borderlands”
Gregg Museum of Art & Design, Raleigh , North Carolina, United States
“Borderlands-Evidence from the Rio Grande” is Susan Harbage Page’s testimony and commemoration of the courage, fear, hope & determination that continues to drive countless people to risk everything in search of a better life. For over a decade, she has traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to record the journeys of immigrants entering the United States. By collecting images and gathering found objects at the scene, she has created an “Anti-Archive” that documents this still-unfolding event.
New Winter Exhibitions at the Richmond Art Center including Empowering Threads quilting project
Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA, Contra Costa
In August 2018 the Richmond Art Center and Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) partnered to run a workshop at the Latina Center in Richmond, CA. Women from the Latina Center’s leadership program came together to learn how to visualize social justice issues to design fabric squares that express ideas relevant to themselves and their community. The multiple squares were then embroidered, pieced and sewn together to create a quilt that amplifies the impact and energy of the individual messages within it. Empowering Threads brings together recent SJSA quilts made in workshops held across America, including quilts by women at the Latina Center and youth from Richmond High School.
Opened February 1st: Ghost Stories & Fairy Tales in Miniature
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, Tucson, AZ, United States
Anaheim-based artist Geoff Mitchell illustrates ghost stories and fairytales using 1/7 scale miniature scenes. Built in the scale of stop-motion animation sets, and reminiscent of the Gothic Cinematic style of Tim Burton, these dioramas are both ethereal and enchanting. Accented by thematic lighting and a musical soundtrack, this exhibit approaches the enduring art of storytelling.
“The Sea Shall Not Have Them” Exhibit Opening
NC Maritime Museum at Southport, Southport, NC, USA
Between many shipwrecks, sandbars, and tidal shifts, the Cape Fear region has become a notoriously dangerous place to navigate. This exhibit will provide a history of those who risked their lives to save others and why it was, and continues to be, so dangerous. The exhibit includes a section on the lighthouses and light ships of the area, United States Lighthouse Service, United States Life-Saving Service, United States Revenue Cutter Service, and the United States Coast Guard.
Sport and Art Collided at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery!
Tom Thomson Art Gallery , Owen Sound , Ontario, Canada
Situated in one of North America’s “Must Visit Hockey Towns” The Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, ON, Canada has recently wrapped their newest exhibition; Saving Face: Art in Front of the Hockey Net. This original exhibition celebrated goalie mask art, and air brush art as a medium. Featuring over 20 goalie masks worn by former NHL players, this exhibition had something for every art enthusiast and sports fan alike.
Behind the Lines 2018- Australia’s Best Political Cartoons
Old Treasury Building, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons 2018 celebrates another year in Australia’s unique, vibrant and fearless tradition of political cartooning. No politician, party or policy is safe from the nation’s best cartoonists; witty, powerful or ribald, their images offer an astutely observed journey through twelve months in our political life.
Multisensory installation immerses visitors in glassmaking experience
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, United States
A new exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art will provide visitors with an introduction to glassmaking that involves multiple senses and experiences beyond the visual. Located in Gallery 18, Katherine Gray: (Being) in a Hotshop opened Feb. 9 and runs through May 12, 2019.
#YesterdayInMicrofashion: 150 Years of Charleston’s Children
The Charleston Museum, Charleston, SC, USA
Historically, Charleston has set the standard for Southern fashion, for both young and old. #YesterdayInMicrofashion: 150 Years of Charleston’s Children explores the evolution of children’s fashion in Charleston and the Lowcountry through more than a century of fashionable outfits, worn by the smallest of Charleston’s residents.
First time since 1864 that crucifix from Pope Pius IX will be on public display
The Bryan Museum, Galveston, Texas, USA
The Bryan Museum and Mexico’s Consulate in Houston are co-presenting a special preview reception to celebrate the acquisition of a truly legendary artifact: an ebony, ivory, and gold crucifix. The 15” crucifix was gifted by Pope Pius IX to Austrian Prince Ferdinand Maximilian. Maximilian visited the Pope to receive a blessing and the crucifix before becoming His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor of Mexico in 1864. This is the first time the artifact has ever been on public display.
A grown-up version of “pick up sticks”
Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown, Florida, USA
After Hurricane Michael blew through the Florida panhandle in October, things looked bleak for the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown Florida. All eighteen buildings suffered damage from the storm. From roofs ripped off to whole walls blown out, the repair process will take time. Both the buildings and their contents need to be protected from the elements. Enter the RV volunteers, local displaced workers and Americorps. Thanks to these hardworking volunteers, Pandhandle Pioneer Settlement is on the mend!
That’s all the awesome MuseNews for this issue!
Do you want more information on a particular news item mentioned above? Contact Ally at Museum Hack: [email protected]!