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NYC's New Museum of Optical Illusions Wants to Blow Your Mind

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/19/2018, 9:00 PM

Remember that day in fourth grade when your teacher distributed photocopied handouts of M.C. Escher prints, figures that appeared to be differing sizes but were actually the same, and drawings of ducks that, on closer inspection, were also rabbits?  The new Museum of Illusions in New York City is two floors of that, with the added benefit—crucial in the age of Instagram—that guests can put them...

Acclaimed Houston Art Museum Open After Renovations

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/24/2018, 8:00 AM

After more than six months of renovations, the Renzo Piano-designed main building of Houston's Menil Collection—home to an eclectic horde of 17,000 artworks, from antiquities to contemporary creations—reopened to the public on Saturday, September 22.  The interior has been extensively reconfigured to make the place less cluttered and to make room for new and expanded galleries, allowing for the p...

Huge Projections and New Architecture Center Added to Chicago Riverwalk

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/15/2018, 7:00 AM

The Chicago River has had about as strange a career as any waterway in North America, starting with its namesake city's decision in the late 19th century (enacted in the early years of the 20th) to reverse the river's course in order to keep sewage out of Lake Michigan.  Of course, that just sent the sewage—including the foul runoff from the same meatpacking factories that gave Upton Sinclair the...

A Temporary Museum of the 1980s Opens in Seattle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/09/2018, 9:45 PM

There's nothing like seeing cultural artifacts from your childhood in a historical exhibit to make you feel like an ancient relic. Those of us with memories of the 1980s can have that disconcerting experience at Seattle's Living Computers: Museum + Labs, where a temporary exhibit called "Total 80s Rewind" transports visitors to the world of a teenager in the Reagan years.  Gather 'round, kiddies...

The Game-Changing Museums of Indianapolis

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/09/2018, 6:45 PM

Indianapolis is reinventing the museum. As dropping attendance and revenues plague museums across North America, Indy’s most storied institution, Newfields: A Place for Nature and the Arts—once known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art—has become the sixth-most-visited museum in the United States per capita.    Part of the reason for its success has to do with that name change. In 2017, curato...

James Bond Museum Opening in Austrian Alps

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/26/2018, 11:45 AM

You'll have to wait until the fall of 2019 for the next James Bond movie, which is being directed by Danny Boyle and stars Daniel Craig in what is reportedly his last outing as 007. Starting on July 12, though, the debonair British spy's fans (Live-and-Let-Diehards?) can visit a new Bond-themed museum set at one of the shooting locations for the previous installment, 2015's Spectre.  The 007 Ele...

Polish Vodka Museum Opens in Warsaw

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/12/2018, 8:00 AM

There's some dispute about where vodka was born. Both Poland and Russia lay claim to having produced the first batch of the transparent spirit from distilled grains or potatoes more than five centuries ago. Since the stuff has become so deeply embedded in both countries' cultures and economies—not to mention their citizens' bloodstreams—we're content to call it a tie.  Poland has arguably la...

A Makeover and New Museum at Gateway Arch in St. Louis

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/08/2018, 9:00 PM

A multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to gussy up the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis culminates this summer in the July 3 opening of an expanded museum that tells the tale of America's westward expansion.  Located underground, the newly rechristened Museum at the Gateway Arch replaces the similar but more limited previous facility, which had become outdated both in its simplistic, Gu...

Thanks (and No Thanks) for the Memories, Bob Hope

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/21/2018, 12:00 AM

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans—truly one of the best, most thorough, and well-funded historic museums in the United States, and deeply underrated—is adding a special new exhibition through the end of 2018 and into early 2019. It's all about Bob Hope, the comic megastar whose association with the USO was a defining feature of both that war and his career. The exhibition, So Ready f...

Avocado Museum Coming to San Diego

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/04/2018, 9:00 PM

Even fruits and vegetables are subject to trends—need we remind you of the Great Kale Craze of 2013?  One of the hottest green things in recent years has been the avocado, which has at least one significant advantage over kale: It doesn't taste bad.  Now, California avocados are getting their own trendy pop-up museum in San Diego. Named The Cado, it will open June 16 at Liberty Station, a waterf...

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