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Seven Museums You Must Check Out

Concerning mankind's ability to take in all the knowledge of the universe, Albert Einstein once wrote that people are, “like a child, entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues.” I would like to think that museums are some of the few tomes that are readily readable yet powerfully able to inspire awe and wonder. Hopefully, the following seven museums will do just that.

The first place we have on deck is the Bluff Country Artists Gallery, a site, which affirms my beliefs about human creativity. You see, I am of the belief that the human mind is a seed, which can flourish in any soil. In every culture and in every time period, human creativity can be seen to grow splendiferous. Take the people of Borneo for example. Hardly having access to art-supply stores in their remote region of the world, they, nonetheless, went on to create works enthralling enough to cause Michael Rockefeller (the son of former New York governor John D. Rockefeller) to amass a huge collection thereof.

Holding to such a belief then, it should come as no surprise to one that there are massive art treasures in any locale with the Bluff Country Artists Gallery being a reliquary of just such artworks. Whether it be the hauntingly beautiful stained-glass creations of Vicky Kurk, the Japanese handicrafts of Pamela Jenkinson, or the ceramic masterpieces of Ann Ohotto Thompson, there is something for everyone at this gallery. So, if you are taking a vacation to southeastern Minnesota, why get a postcard to serve as a memento for your trip when you can get one of these masterworks?

As the American historian, Henry Glassie, once wrote, “History is not the past but a map of the past, drawn from a particular point of view to be useful to the modern traveler.” One has oft heard the phrase, “if these walls could only talk.” Well, even though the walls might remain mute, The Egg Harbor Historical Society does its utmost to bring to life those stories, which took place within the varied buildings of Egg Harbor. Stephen King, though fiction, has shown us that even the smallest town can have a rich and fascinating history. The Egg Harbor Historical Society (and many other local historical societies throughout the country) shows this in fact.

When one thinks of New Mexico, one often thinks of barren landscapes, where Walter White and Jessie Pinkman can be found cooking meth, but as 516 Arts reminds us, artistic fervor indwells New Mexico just as much as anywhere else. Not just a bunch of paint splotches n a canvas, 516 Arts apprises us that art also poses philosophical and social questions. One thematic exhibition, for example, explores the impact of modern technology on society's habits of mind...a lot deeper than chaotic pictures eh?

Those who think the American West has nothing more to offer by way of attractions than The Oracle of the Plywood Elvis will be happy to learn of the Adams Museum. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it documents that time in Deadwood's history when the town was awash in gold-prospectors, muleskinners, gamblers, gunfighters, and prostitutes. Founded in 1930 (when the Old West was the Middle-Aged West?) it features, among other things, an authentic pencil sketch of Wild Bill Hickok, and a 7.346 gold nugget found by a prospector.

Being a denizen of Akron, where Stan Hywet is located, I have always had a warm-spot in my heart for Tudor architecture. Therefore, when I discovered Agecroft Hall, a place where one can take a tour to see, I found it to be quite a gem. If you are in central Virginia, you must go there! Like Stan Hywet in Akron, Agecroft Hall is a sprawling manor-house with a breathtaking interior and exterior. In addition to a yearly Shakespear-festival, you can actually rent out its banquet hall. How cool is that?

In Hershey Pennsylvania, candy is not the only thing that is sweet. There is also the AACA Museum. The auto-enthusiast will be like a kid in a candy store, as he or she views the sumptuous displays of lovingly restored vehicles from every era. A place where art and science meet, the automobile has been almost deified in modern American life, oftentimes coveted as much for its aesthetic qualities as for its utilitarian ones, and the AACA Museum shows this in stark relief. Also, like Agecroft Hall, you can hold your event there. In short, the museum comes fully loaded with all the features.

As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once wrote, “A thing rests by changing.” Sometimes the best way to preserve something is not to put it behind a glass panel, like a museum piece, but to expose it to constant use. This is what the folks at the 1794 Meetinghouse are doing. Taking an 18th century church/meetinghouse, they have maintained it by constantly holding events there. Thus, if you want the atmosphere of the 18th century to co-mingle with the guitar sounds of Glenn Jones, this is the place to go!

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In sum a vacation should constitute more than going to the beach and getting drunk. Expand your mind by visiting these fine establishments.

Site for The Egg Harbor Historical Society

Site for 516 Arts

Site for Adams Museum

  • Adams Museum - Deadwood History, Inc.
    In 1930 pioneer businessman W.E. Adams founded the Adams Museum in Deadwood, with the purpose of preserving and displaying the history of the Black Hi...

Site for Agecroft Hall

Site for the AACA Museum

Site for 1794 Meetinghouse

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