Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cleveland Rocks! Go visit a museum!

I'm traveling again today (after the great summer vacation in Maine last week) - heading for the Society of American Archivists meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.  I will meet up with my archival friends, speak on a panel and take in some minor league ball (the Indians are out of town this week).

None of the museums on this list are in Cleveland (but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is - and I'll be going there) - but one should visit these, I've been to several already and will work on the rest in the coming years!
  1. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - I've been here (at another conference).  The largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the United States, the Andy Warhol museum features works from throughout the career of the king of pop art. The museum is located in the North Side of Pittsburgh, which was Warhol’s hometown.
  2. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California - I missed out on the SAA meeting in San Francisco and have yet to visit the city by the bay.  San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum features one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of art and handicrafts from throughout the Asian continent.
  3. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii - I've not been to Hawaii and don't have a whole lot of interest, unfortunately.  While Honolulu’s Bishop museum features several different exhibits ranging from Earth science to art, what really makes this museum unique is its collection of items of importance from the Hawaiian people and their culture, which is unparalleled, and visiting the Bishop Museum means you are in Hawaii, which is pretty excellent.
  4. Chasing Rainbows Museum, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee - I've not been to Tennessee either, but might be able to be convinced.  Yes, that’s right, there is a museum that’s all about Dolly Parton, and, yes, you have to visit this all Dolly Parton museum that’s a featured attraction in Dollywood, the all Dolly Parton theme park located in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.
  5. Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas - Hey, it's a National Archives location! If you are in the mood for some 90s nostalgia, there’s really no better place on this planet today than Little Rock, the home of Bill Clinton’s presidential library and museum, which does a pretty nice job of breaking down the state of the world during the Clinton presidency.
  6. Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York - I really meant to stop here on the way home from Rochester last year.  This could be done as a day trip or an overnight.  Located in the small Upstate New York town of Corning, which is also the home of the Corning Glass Works that founded this museum in the 1950s, the Corning Museum of Glass is part hands on science museum and part art/history museum focusing on the development of glass as a material and it’s many uses.
  7. Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island, New York - Wait, there's something other that landfill on Staten Island? Tucked in a suburban neighborhood on New York’s remote Staten Island is one of the world’s best collection of Tibetan and Himalayan art and artifacts. It’s a pretty interesting and quiet oasis in the middle of one of the world’s biggest cities.
  8. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, New York - CHECK! While certainly an important stop for any fan of America’s Pastime, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum presents a succinct telling of American history through the lens of one of this nation’s most popular sports. It seems like today there is a hall of fame for just about everything, but Cooperstown is no doubt the best of the bunch.
  9. National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee - Two museums from Tennessee on the same list?  Housed in the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis, infamous as the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April, 1968, the National Civil Rights Museum takes a poignant look at America’s Civil Rights Movement from the 1600s through today.
  10. National Cryptologic Museum, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland - I keep meaning to go, but I can never find it, plus I think it's password protected.  If you can believe it, the National Cryptologic Museum is a pet project of controversial National Security Agency (NSA). The museum is perfect if you are a fan of looking at the actual objects that inspired your favorite Bond gadgets, this museum is perfect for you. It’s perhaps best to turn off your phone before you enter though… just in case. 
  11. New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts - Growing up on Long Island, I often would visit the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor.  That's not to say that I'm not prepared to branch out.  Before we discovered fossil fuels were capable of helping us generate energy while destroying the environment, people actually loaded up on sailing vessels and went out to harpoon whales to process their blubber as oil. The New Bedford Whaling Museum, located in what was once one of the biggest whaling ports in the world, looks at the history and culture of the whale fishing era, whale biology as well as the fight to help save these incredible creatures. 
  12. Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, Maine - We hit this one up just last week! With all the summers I spent in Maine, I had never been there.  Located in the small coastal Maine village of Kennebunkport, the Seashore Trolley Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of mass transit vehicles from street cars dating to the 1800s to busses and subway trains just decommissioned from their respective cities. Be sure to take a ride on one of their functioning cars for a bit of transit nostalgia.
  13. Totem Heritage Center, Ketchikan, Alaska - I've not been to the Last Frontier State, yet. Tucked at the end of the scenic Alaskan Peninsula, Ketchikan hosts the worlds largest single collection of authentic totem poles in the Totem Heritage Center along with the Totem Bight State Historic Park and other nearby facilities.

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