On more than one occasion, I have been known to advise people that if you want to learn about art and antiques, you need to visit a museum, and another, and another. Here is an update on what’s up in the fascinating world of museums.
Two new Museums open in Vegas
Neon Museum is the place where large scale signs are on display. These signs, once the objects of the Las Vegas, NV, skyline, are now symbols of the way life used to be on the famous strip. There are more than 150 neon signs that capture the high-lights (emphasis on the lights) of Las Vegas including the original 80 feet high Sahara sign and the Silver Slipper’s famous high heel shoe sign.
Las Vegas is also home to the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, known by the locals as The Mob Museum.
The new museum appropriately opened its doors on Valentine’s Day 2012. The 1929 Valentine’s Day massacre is one of the main displays in this museum devoted to the Mafia’s role in the rise and fall of Las Vegas. Amidst artifacts, art, and ephemera, various objects owned by famous mobsters themselves are on view including a Prohibition-era leather valise made by Abercrombie and Fitch featuring a false bottom to hide bottles of illegal liquor.
Civil War collections tour Virginia
It makes perfect sense that the Museum of the Confederacy is located near the former Confederate White House in Richmond, VA. The museum is working tirelessly to put more of its impressive collections on display there and also to extend its reach by exhibiting many of its important Civil War objects in historic Appomattox.
The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War has increased visits to historic battlefields and other key sites like Gettysburg, Manassas, Petersburg, McLean House, and Appomattox so the curators are working to get the artifacts to the locations where the tourists are visiting. Some of the unbelievable objects from the collection include the sword that General Robert E. Lee had at his side when he surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, Lee’s dress uniform from that fateful day, and the original battle flag of the Third Virginia Infantry are also part of the impressive displays.
Ornamental Architecture at Notre Dame
At the Snite Museum on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, there is a new exhibition focuses on drawings of architectural ornament from the permanent collection. The show highlights the interest in decorating buildings, design principles, and construction techniques dating back to the Renaissance. At Notre Dame, they know a little bit about such things as evinced by the famous Hesburg library mosaic known as “Touchdown Jesus”, a collegiate landmark that is visible from the end zone of Notre Dame Stadium.
While I am a major Michigan fan and have cheered many a day in the Big House, I have to admit that this year Notre Dame has a great time as well as an impressive museum exhibition schedule. The exhibition, the outstanding Snite Museum collections, and this unmistakable campus landmark deserve a visit there this season.
Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s hit TV show, Auction Kings. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call (888) 431-1010.