Museums and other exhibition venues provide an engaging and fun way to learn. They inspire us and offer a meaningful way to spend time with family. Come summer, many can also be a fascinating escape from the heat. Here's a look at some of the newest and most intriguing exhibits from coast to coast.
20 Exhibits You Don't Want to Miss This Summer
Museum: Cincinnati Museum Center
Exhibit: Star Wars and the Power of Costume
Dates: May 25 - Oct. 1
Price: $24 for adults; $21 for seniors; $16 for children 3 to 12.
What You'll See: Get an up-close look at costumes from one of the most beloved movie series of all time. More than 60 costumes from all seven Star Wars films are on display, including the monk-like robes of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker; Darth Vader's iconic black suit and breathing apparatus; and the uniforms of the Imperial Stormtroopers. The exhibit also examines the challenges faced by director George Lucas and the films' costume designers.
Museum: George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas
Exhibit: Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors
Dates: Through Oct. 1
Price: $19 for adults; $17 for youths 13 to 17; $16 for seniors; $13 for kids 5 to 12; free for kids under 5.
What You'll See: This exhibit features former president George W. Bush's oil paintings of military service members along with the service members' inspiring stories. It also showcases a four-panel mural created by the 43rd president as part of a larger tribute to America's military members.
Museum: Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York
Exhibit: Tiffany's Glass Mosaics
Dates: Through Jan. 7, 2018
Price: $19.50 for adults; free for ages 17 and under.
What You'll See: Glass artist Louis C. Tiffany is likely better known for his exquisite and iconic lamps, but this exhibit is entirely about his beautiful mosaics. On display are nearly 50 works that were created between the 1890s and the 1920s, among them smaller-scale items designed for homes as well as large-scale architectural installations made up of thousands of pieces of glass.
Museum: James Madison's Montpelier, Orange, Virginia
Exhibit: The Mere Distinction of Colour
Dates: Permanent exhibit opens June 5.
Price: Exhibit access included with the price of admission to Montpelier. $20 for adults; $7 for children.
What You'll See: The exhibit is designed to examine the lives and reveal the humanity of President James Madison's slaves by sharing stories from slave descendants, many of whom were closely involved with the exhibit's creation. Two reconstructed slave homes will feature video and audio presentations about the slave families who worked for Madison.
Museum: Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, California
Exhibit: Ugo Rondinone: The world just makes me laugh
Dates: June 28 - Aug. 27
Price: $12; free for ages 18 and under.
What You'll See: Clowns occupy a unique place in our culture -- existing on a spectrum between hilarious for some and frightening for others. Artist Ugo Rondinone explores the emotions surrounding clowns with an installation that includes 45 highly realistic, life-size clown sculptures in various poses. The exhibit, which exudes both euphoria and melancholy, is described as psychologically intense.
Museum: Southern Food & Beverage Museum, New Orleans
Exhibit: The Age of Elegance
Dates: July 18 - Dec. 31
Price: $10 for adults; $5 for students and seniors; free for children under 12.
What You'll See: Offering an intriguing and unique spin on history, the exhibit examines fine dining as an art form. Covering the mid-1800s through World War I, the exhibit includes menus and other artifacts.
Museum: Missouri History Museum, St. Louis
Exhibit: #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis
Dates: Through April 15, 2018
What You'll See: The exhibit focuses on St. Louis' important role in the civil rights movement and examines four precedent-setting Supreme Court cases that originated there, as well as other historical events and battles.
Museum: Detroit Institute of Arts
Exhibit: Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement
Dates: July 23 - Oct. 22
Price: $12.50 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for students; $6 for ages 6 to 17; free for children under 5.
What You'll See: During the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, many African-American artists in Detroit formed collectives where they worked together to produce art designed to assert black identity and push for racial justice. This exhibit showcases 34 paintings from this chapter in Detroit's history, as well as sculptures, installations, and photographs.
Museum: Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, Ohio
Exhibit: Visions from India
Dates: Through Oct. 28
Price: $12 for adults; $10 for seniors.
What You'll See: The exotic and colorful continent of India comes into focus in this exhibit, which includes large-scale installations, paintings, videos, and sculptures. The 40 works on display cover themes ranging from religion and the environment to colonialism. They were created by some of the most prominent artists working in India today.
Museum: Wild Center, Tupper Lake, New York
Dates: May 26 - Oct. 9
Price: Admission is $17 for adults; $15 for seniors and military service members; and $10 for kids 5 to 17.
What You'll See: Created by award-winning British composer Pete Wyer and inspired by the beauty and nature of the Adirondacks, this immersive sound exhibit invites visitors to walk along a forest path while choral work is broadcast through an intricate system of speakers. The installation is designed to create a novel way of experiencing nature.
Museum: Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California
Exhibit: Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
Dates: Through Sept. 3
What You'll See: One of the giants of the 20th-century art world, Frida Kahlo was well-known for her self-portraits. This exhibit offers a look at the artist through a collection of photographs of her taken by Nickolas Muray, her friend, lover, and confidant. The exhibit includes 52 portraits taken between 1937 and 1946.
Museum: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Dates: Through July 31
Price: $15 for ages 13 to 64; $12 for seniors; $10 for children 3 to 12.
What You'll See: The Shona people of Zimbabwe have been sculpting stone into works of art for nearly 1,000 years. The stunning sculptures have attracted famous collectors such as the Prince of Wales, the Rockefellers, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, and Michael Jackson. The first show of its kind in the South, the ZimSculpt exhibit showcases more than 100 works throughout the Dallas Arboretum's gardens.
Museum: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Exhibit: Vikings: Beyond the Legend
Dates: Through Aug. 13
Price: $25.95 for adults; $21.95 for seniors; $17.95 for children 3 to 18.
What You'll See: More than 500 artifacts from Scandinavia's Viking culture are part of this exhibit, which seeks to explore beyond the barbarian stereotype often associated with this legendary group of people. New archaeological discoveries are included in the collection, many of which have never before been shown outside of Scandinavia.
Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami
Exhibit: South Florida Cultural Consortium 2017 Exhibition
Dates: June 8 - Aug. 6
Price: $5; free for MOCA members and North Miami residents.
What You'll See: The exhibition showcases the work of 25 artists exclusively from South Florida, which ranges from conceptual art and sculpture to painting and drawing. Each year hundreds of artists compete to be included in the show. The exhibit is presented by the South Florida Cultural Consortium, which seeks to promote the appreciation and production of art in the region.
Museum: Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Virginia
Exhibit: Pocahontas Imagined
Dates: July 15, 2017 through January 28, 2018
Price: $17 for adults; $8 for children 6 to 12; free for children under 6.
What You'll See: Explore the life of Pocahontas at this exhibit, which gathers depictions of the Powhatan Indian from throughout history to tell her legendary story. Among the items on display are portraits and sculptures inspired by Pocahontas, memorabilia, and advertisements. The exhibit also includes interactive elements.
Museum: Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Exhibit: Wedding 396: Four Centuries of Wedding Fashion From the First Plymouth Colony Marriage in 1621 to the Present
Dates: Through Dec. 30
Price: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors 62 and older; $6 for kids 6 to 15; $28 for a family of two adults with children 6 to 15; free for residents of Plymouth and children under 6.
What You'll See: A fascinating look at nearly 400 years of New England wedding history, this exhibit begins with fashion from the first Plymouth Colony wedding in 1621. More than two dozen vintage wedding gowns are on display. There's also a multimedia display featuring hundreds of real-life wedding photos from the past 150 years that were crowdsourced from area residents.
Museum: North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum, Bismarck
Exhibit: Chocolate: The Exhibition
Dates: May 27 - Sept. 6
Price: $7 for adults; $3 for kids 6 to 16; free for children 5 and under.
What You'll See: Think you are a chocolate aficionado? This exhibit will put your chocolate knowledge to the test. It's designed to tell the complete story behind the tasty treat. It explores the plant, products, and culture of chocolate through the lenses of science, history, and popular culture. Sadly, there are no free chocolate samples included in the exhibit.
Museum: James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Exhibit: Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography and Sculptural Form
Dates: Through July 9
Price: $18 for adults; $16 for seniors; and $8 for students 6 to 18.
What You'll See: A Condé Nast photographer during the Jazz Age, Charles Sheeler is one of the country's best-known modernists. Between 1926 and 1931, he created fashion images and portraits for Vanity Fair and Vogue that capture the personalities and glamour of the Jazz Age. The 86 photographs from Condé Nast archives have not been seen by the public for nearly 90 years.
Museum: Tennessee State Museum, Nashville
Exhibit: Alan Shuptrine: Appalachian Watercolors of the Serpentine Chain
Dates: Through Oct. 1
What You'll See: The land and the people along the Appalachian Trail are the focus of a collection of watercolors created by Alan Shuptrine now on display at the Tennessee State Museum. More than 50 of his paintings are included in the exhibit. Pay close attention to the frames, as well. Shuptrine is known for handcrafting each frame and often embedding precious serpentine stones in them.
Museum: Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico
Exhibit: The Errant Eye: Portraits in a Landscape
Dates: June 3 - Sept. 17
Price: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors 65 and older; free for students and kids under 18.
What You'll See: Love them or hate them, selfies have become a ubiquitous part of pop culture. This exhibit contrasts the fine art of portraiture alongside the emergence of selfies. The formal portraits on display represent various media and explore the portrait's evolving role as an art form and its power to capture the human condition.
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