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A Brand New V&A Design Museum Opens This Week

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/11/2018, 6:00 PM

The world-famous V&A museum, founded as an offshoot of the Great Exhibition of 1851, is one of London's most popular attractions, bringing in about 4.4 million visits a year. This weekend, the Victoria and Albert, the more formal name for the powerhouse of decorative arts, will have a presence in Scotland, too. V&A Dundee, billed as Scotland's first design museum, opens on the revitalized...

National Comedy Museum Opens in New York State

By Julia Levine

Posted on 08/13/2018, 12:00 PM

Think of the word museum and you’ll probably think of old paintings. You might expect the sound of footsteps crossing a quiet gallery or guards standing watch over masterpieces.    The National Comedy Center, which just opened in Jamestown, New York, shatters that lofty picture in favor of something more fun. If this museum is doing its job, attendees will be laughing their way through more ...

Former High-Security Prison in Tennessee Opens to Visitors

By Julia Levine

Posted on 07/30/2018, 6:00 PM

Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary was not a spot often visited for just one day. This former maximum-security prison held dangerous criminals with sentences exceeding 200 years. The penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, about 40 miles west of Knoxville, has been closed since 2009, but last Saturday it opened to the public as a tourist attraction, giving outsiders access to this rustic lockup like ...

After 700 Years, Westminster Abbey Opens Secret Attic to Visitors

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/11/2018, 12:00 AM

It took five years and $30.5 million (£22.9 million) to make it happen, but Westminster Abbey in London has just made a spectacular new addition to one of Europe's top tourist attractions. Which is to say it opened something more than 700 years old. The Triforium, a medieval attic balcony that runs around the top of the Abbey's nave from 52 feet high, has been converted into the Queen's Diamond ...

Study Proves It: Museums Change Lives

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/04/2016, 4:00 PM

  Hard to believe that no one had looked into this before, but now someone has: Exposing your kids to museums will enrich them forever. A few high-powered museums, including New York's Whitney and Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, wanted to know whether their youth programs were valuable. So they got together and commissioned a study. As Smithsonian reports: "They recru...

Pausing for Art in the Napa Valley: A Visit to the Spectacular di Rosa Preserve

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/14/2015, 10:45 PM

White, red, or rose, and whether to sip or spit—those are the choices and considerations that fill the days of most visitors to the Napa Valley wine region. But even the most avid oenophiles usually need to take a break from hour upon hour of vino. And when that happens, many head to the di Rosa Preserve, a sprawling, 217-acre visual arts complex that provides its own form of intoxication. ...

#1 in #2: Japan Opens First Toilet Museum

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/02/2015, 4:00 AM

I don't know if you've ever sat on one of those futuristic Japanese toilets, but they will change your life. In North America and Europe, toilets plug into the plumbing, but in Asia, most of them are also plugged into the electric supply. The things have more buttons than the remote control than your television, and boy do they make you feel happier—between the seat warmers, odor neut...

Point/Counterpoint: Pauline Frommer Gives Her Impressions of Colonial Williamsburg

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/04/2014, 10:00 PM

I won’t lie: I was dragged, kicking and wailing, to Colonial Williamsburg. I thought the idea of spending Thanksgiving at the famed “living history museum” was a goofy one, and the rolling of my teenage daughter’s eyes when the plan, created by my father, was announced only confirmed that this was going to be a familial disaster. I expected a weekend of candle making and rock candy suckin...

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