Category Archives: Music

Musical Instrument Museum

0511story2Today’s “Museum of the Day” takes us to Phoenix, Arizona.

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) was founded by Robert J. Ulrich, former CEO and chairman emeritus of Target Corporation. An avid collector of African art and a world museum enthusiast, Ulrich and his friend Marc Felix originated the idea for MIM after a visit to the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels, Belgium. Their unique vision was to create a museum and collection that afford equal representation to the musical instruments and music of every country in the world. Using state‐of-the‐art audiovisual technology to show musical instruments being played in their original cultural context and delivering the sound of these instruments through high-quality headphones, MIM provides a one-of‐a‐kind experience to museum guests.

MIM’s collection was assembled by five expert curators, with consultation from distinguished ethnomusicologists, organologists, and other field experts, under the supervision of MIM’s founding president and director Dr. Billie (Bill) R. DeWalt. The bulk of the collection is highlighted in Geographical Galleries that focus on five major global regions. There are also special exhibition spaces such as the Mechanical Music Gallery, which features instruments designed to play on their own, and the Artist Gallery, which includes noteworthy musical instruments and artifacts associated with some of the world’s leading musicians. The museum opened its doors to great acclaim on April 24, 2010.

I can’t wait to visit Phoenix again JUST to visit this museum!

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Liberace Museum

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The Liberace Museum, now closed, is our Museum of the Day for Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

“Behind the Candelabra,” an HBO feature film that earned Michael Douglas a Golden Globe this past Sunday, features the star as the famed pianist and Liberace’s partner, Scott Thorson, is portrayed by Matt Damon. The museum closed in 2010 due to economic struggles, and the exhibits never “came out” with the truth about the nature of Liberace’s relationship with Thorson.

Liberace himself opened the museum on April 15, 1979. His brother George became the director. The museum was part of the Liberace Plaza, where his restaurant was also located. The museum had two buildings: The Jewelry and Costume Gallery, and the other building where the pianos and cars were showcased.

On October 17, 2010, the Liberace Museum closed “indefinitely, but not forever” according to Liberace Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Jeffrey Koep. The closure was announced due to economic downturn and a decline in the number of visitors. A tour of the Liberace collection is planned. The museum’s board of directors is continuing to seek a new home for the museum on Las Vegas strip, but the efforts have thus far been unsuccessful.

As of 2013, the Liberace Foundation was exhibiting the collection at temporary exhibitions. As of December 2013, the Foundation was exhibiting Liberace’s collection at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in an exhibition titled “Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful: Liberace and the Art of Costume.”

Here’s a YouTube clip that shows the museum collections

It is said that megastars like Elton John, Boy George and even Lady Gaga can attribute their artistic flamboyancy to Liberace. Perhaps with the new HBO film, Liberace’s legacy will be revived and the museum can find a more suitable venue that will re-engage old fans and bring in new audiences.

Further reading: http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/kats-report/2010/sep/10/liberace-museum-closing-final-day-operation-longtm/

Motown Museum

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Today’s Museum of the Day features the Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan because it was 55 years ago today the Berry Gordy, Jr. founded the record label.

The Motown Museum, which was founded by Esther Gordy Edwards in 1985, is one of Southeast Michigan’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors come from across America and throughout the world to stand in Studio A, where their favorite artists and groups recorded much-loved music, and to view the restored upper flat where Berry Gordy lived with his young family during the company’s earliest days.

Home to an extensive array of Motown artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia, the Museum’s mission, which is presented below, is to preserve the legacy of Motown Record Company and to educate and motivate people, especially youth.

A nonprofit 501c(3), the Motown Museum tells the story of how a man’s vision turned into one of the largest, most successful record companies of all time and how the music—the Motown Sound —captured the hearts of young people, not only in America, but across the globe.

Motown Museum Mission: To preserve the history and legacy of Motown Records Corporation through the conservation of Motown’s original site on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. To educate and motivate people, especially youth, through exhibitions and programs that promote the values of vision, creativity and entrepreneurship. To build awareness of the global impact of Motown and its artistic contributions to entertainment.

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