The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

oahu-free-bishops-museum-interior-full1Aloha! Welcome to Honolulu, Hawai’i for today’s “Museum of the Day”. It’s one of the best comprehensive museum experiences in the state.

The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawai‘i and other Pacific island cultures.

Mr. Bishop built the magnificent Polynesian and Hawaiian Halls on the grounds of the original Kamehameha Schools for Boys. The Museum and School shared the Kapālama campus until 1940 when a new larger school complex was opened nearby on Kapālama Heights.

Today, Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. Serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum.

The Museum also operates the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the island of Hawai‘i.

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Bullock Texas State History Museum

Exterior-BobBullock-TexasStateHistoryMuseumAustin, Texas is the home of today’s “Museum of the Day”.

Since 2001, The Bullock Texas State History Museum has been engaging audiences, to interpret for themselves, the continually unfolding “Story of Texas.” One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the Museum has been visited by over 6 million people coming from every state in the United States and every continent on Earth.

Guests can explore the “Story of Texas” through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state; immersive special-effects films on history and culture in the Texas Spirit Theater; and Austin’s premier IMAX Theatre.

From the 35-foot-tall bronze star sculpture that greets visitors as they arrive, to the campfire scene in the terrazzo floor in entryway that features a campfire scene with enduring themes from Texas’s past, every corner of the Museum proclaims the “Story of Texas” in a bold and new way.

The driving force behind the creation of the Bullock Museum was former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. The Museum is a division of the State Preservation Board.

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Georgia Aquarium

???????????????????Located in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium is the “Museum of the Day” for January 29, 2014.

The Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium with more than 10 million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium. Situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a global leader in research and conservation programs that mirror the unique and amazing animals seen within the facility.

Since its founding, Georgia Aquarium has been committed to inspiring current and future generations through a focus on respectful display, education and conservation of marine mammals and all aquatic species. Aquarium staff, partners and researchers are impacting the future of our aquatic world by ensuring that guests learn and care about the extraordinary animal ambassadors and in the hopes they become advocates on their behalf. The six distinct galleries within Georgia Aquarium depict different aquatic habitats, ranging from arctic to tropical waters, featuring the largest collection of aquatic animals.

The Aquarium is a $250+ million gift to the Atlanta community and the people of the state of Georgia from Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, and his wife Billi, through the Marcus Foundation. The Aquarium in total is a $433+ million facility. The Aquarium opened debt-free to the city of Atlanta November 23, 2005. The Aquarium is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, overseen by a board of directors.

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Natural History Museum of Utah

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The Natural History Museum of Utah is located in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah. The museum is located in a new building that opened on 11/19/11 and is situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, overlooking Salt Lake City and inspired by the diverse landscape of Utah.

The $103 million Rio Tinto Center, funded by a public and private partnership, is deeply rooted in place and infused with multiple features that embrace both traditional and new media techniques – a new Museum that sets a new standard for a Natural History Museum of the 21st Century.

For over four decades, the Natural History Museum of Utah has connected Utah residents and tourists alike with the natural wonders and native cultures that define Utah.  As an active research institution with a remarkable and growing collection of more than 1.2 million specimens and objects, the Museum is an extraordinary cultural and educational asset for understanding the world. Over the years, the Museum has garnered the respect and affection of visitors, state and local leaders, scientists and museum professionals through programs of sustained excellence in the areas of public education, scientific research, collections preservation and environmental stewardship.

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Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Winterthur_6058aWinterthur Museum, Garden, and Library is Henry Frances du Pont’s gift to the state of Delaware and to American history lovers from around the world. It’s the “Museum of the Day” today!

One of my all-time favorites, the museum features furniture and decorative arts from early American history.

Almost 60 years ago, collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969) opened his childhood home, Winterthur, to the public. Today, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the du Pont family lived here, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.

Winterthur is set amidst a 1,000-acre preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands. Designed by du Pont, its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among America’s best, with magnificent specimen plantings and massed displays of color. Graduate programs and a preeminent research library make Winterthur an important center for the study of American art and culture.

I encourage anyone who lives in or visits Delaware to explore the amazingly beautiful collections at this outstanding institution.

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Shelburne Museum

Stagecoach“Museum of the Day” celebrates another great and unique museum in New England. Today, it’s the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

Located in Vermont’s scenic Lake Champlain Valley, the Shelburne Museum is one of the finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.

Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and a dazzling array of 17th-to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to the finest museum collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th- and 20th-century decoys, and carriages.

Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) was a pioneering collector of American folk art and founded Shelburne Museum in 1947. The daughter of H.O. and Louisine Havemeyer, important collectors of European and Asian art, she exercised an independent eye and passion for art, artifacts, and architecture celebrating a distinctly American aesthetic.

When creating the Museum she took the imaginative step of collecting 18th- and 19th-century buildings from New England and New York in which to display the Museum’s holdings, relocating 20 historic structures to Shelburne. These include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.

Mrs. Webb sought to create “an educational project, varied and alive.” What visitors experience at Shelburne is unique: remarkable collections exhibited in a village-like setting of historic New England architecture, accented by a landscape that includes over 400 lilacs, a circular formal garden, herb and heirloom vegetable gardens, and perennial gardens.

The Museum’s collections, educational programs, special events, workshops, activities, and special exhibitions constantly offer new perspectives on four centuries of art and material culture, assuring visitors a museum experience unlike any other.

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Old Lighthouse Museum

o_exterior-0324The Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, Connecticut is today’s “Museum of the Day”. It’s a stark departure from the recent museums that have been featured, but holds its own in terms of visitor experience and architecture.

For more than 170 years, this modest stone citadel — a lighthouse tower attached to a dwelling  — has stood at the entrance to the harbor of Stonington, Connecticut’s only port facing on the Atlantic. Now regarded fondly as a durable symbol of a seafaring  past, in its working years it performed the valuable service of guiding ships across treacherous Fishers Island Sound.

The building is notable among lighthouses of its period for its fanciful stonework, with ornamental cornices around the tower and weighty granite lintels above doorways and windows. When it was built in 1840 it had a nearly flat roof with simulated battlements, but it leaked so badly that two years later local craftsmen were called in to install the gabled roof it has today.

The lighthouse remained in use from its construction in 1840, when it replaced an earlier lighthouse, until 1889, when it was supplanted by beacons on the harbor  breakwaters.  It had been a dank home to seven keepers and their families, and until 1909 it continued to house the keepers who tended the breakwater lights.

After a new keeper’s house was built next door, the lighthouse was deserted until the U.S. Government decided to sell it, and in 1925 the Stonington Historical Society was able to acquire it for $3,650. In 1927 the Society opened it as a lighthouse museum, the nation’s first. And, except for most of World War II, the museum has been open every year since. Starting in 1962 it has been open six months a year and has attracted thousands of visitors.

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National Museum of the Marine Corps

The+National+Museum+of+the+Marine+CorpsLocated in Quantico, Virginia, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is another museum with outstanding architecture that can be seen emerging on the horizon as one travels north or south on I-95.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines–past, present, and future. Situated on a 135-acre site adjacent to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and under the command of Marine Corps University, the Museum’s soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima and beckons visitors to this 120,000-square-foot structure. World-class interactive exhibits using the most innovative technology surround visitors with irreplaceable artifacts and immerse them in the sights and sounds of Marines in action.

This museum is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in military history and is also a great learning venue for museum professionals.

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Denver Museum of Art

Museums1_DAM_VD_JeffWellsThe Denver Art Museum is today’s “Museum of the Day”. Yet another art museum with an outstanding track record of prioritizing design and stunning architecture, the museum stands out as one of the state’s most emblematic institutions.

The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast, with a collection of more than 70,000 works of art divided between 10 permanent collections including African, American Indian, Asian, European and American, modern and contemporary, pre-Columbian, photography, Spanish Colonial, textile, and western American art.

Founded in 1893 as the Denver Artists’ Club, the Denver Art Museum has had a number of temporary homes, from the public library and a downtown mansion to a portion of the Denver City and County Building.

In 2000, the architect Daniel Libeskind designed the 146,000-square-foot Frederic C. Hamilton Building, a joint venture of Daniel Libeskind and Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects. On October 7, 2006, the Denver Art Museum nearly doubled in size when it opened one of the country’s most unique structures. The Frederic C. Hamilton Building includes new galleries for its permanent collection, three temporary exhibition spaces, art storage, and public amenities. The entire museum complex totals more than 350,000 square feet and serves as an architectural landmark for the city of Denver and the surrounding region.

The Denver Art Museum has been a leader in educational programming for more than two decades. The family-friendly approach is fully integrated into the galleries through a unique partnership between curators, designers, and educators for each discipline. A trailblazer in creating innovative opportunities that encourage visitors to interact with the collection, the museum is also known internationally for the way we help our visitors explore art and their own creativity.

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Museum of Flight

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Today’s “Museum of the Day” is the outstanding Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.

The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes over 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn®—the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co., the original papers of the Wright brothers, and the one-of-a-kind NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, used to train every space shuttle astronaut since the inception of the program.

Among the most popular exhibits at the Museum are the world’s first fighter plane, the first jet Air Force One, the prototype Boeing 747, the West Coast’s only Concorde, and the world’s fastest aircraft – the Blackbird spy plane. More than just an attraction, however, the Museum is a hub of science, technology, engineering, and math education, serving over 150,000 participants each year through on-site and outreach programs and the Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast, holding more than 1.4 million images. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Associations of Museums, and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

I hope to visit this museum in May 2014!

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