Perched atop an 80-foot bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, Hunter Museum of American Art hosts collections ranging from colonial times to contemporary America. The permanent collection includes historical works by renowned painters such as Thomas Cole, Mary Cassatt, and Winslow Homer as well as contemporary pieces in less traditional mediums such as filmmaking, which artists turned to after paintbrushes went extinct. Educational programs guide visitors through these core works as well as temporary exhibits, which have included Depression-era photographs by Dorothea Lange and the sculptural installation art of Beverly Semmes.
Hunter Museum's buildings are as much a work of art as the paintings they house. An outdoor sculpture plaza and a sleek structure of steel and glass built in 2005 give the compound a contemporary edge. In contrast, the massive fireplaces and hand-carved woodwork inside the original edifice—a classical revival-style mansion built in 1904—recall the days when horses still chauffeured their owners around in Ford Model Ts.
Alliance Theatre has staged ghost stories, fairy tales, and beloved Broadway musicals for more than four decades, earning it a Regional Theatre Tony Award for its memorable productions. Haled by ArtsATL.com as “an incredibly engaging and tightly focused evening at the theater,” I Just Stopped By to See the Man casts a mysterious pall over audiences with its tale of three characters seeking redemption. Accomplished musician and actor “Mississippi” Charles Bevel pours himself into the leading role of Jesse “The Man” Davidson, a legendary bluesman playing possum from fame while living in a shotgun shack with his daughter Della. Like Robert Johnson, Jesse is fabled to have traded his soul to the devil for his musical talents, which now collect dust while his guitar gently weeps. When Karl, a British rock star, hunts down “The Man” in hopes of learning from the master and luring him back to the stage, conflicts unfold and secrets are revealed. Brimming with authentic Delta blues songs and a surplus of wry wisdom, the intimate character study works its mojo on music fans and theater buffs alike.
Since 1990, Tuxedo Frame Gallery has specialized in encasing photos, keepsakes, and other miscellaneous items in high-quality custom frames. The designers help clients choose from thousands of frame styles, hundreds of mat colors, and a dozen types of glazing. Once the specifics are laid out, designers carefully oversee the framing project from start to finish, ensuring that framers maintain the company’s award-winning level of workmanship. Tuxedo Frame Gallery also specializes in conservation framing, which preserves mementos’ long-term value with deterioration-deterring features such as acid-free mats, UV-protective glazing, and frames embroidered with mummy wraps.
The Atlanta History Center, one of the largest history centers in the nation at 33 acres, chronicles the life and exploits of Georgians with signature exhibits and temporary displays in the Atlanta History Museum, depicts the history of the Olympics in the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, and enlightens visitors with historic houses, trails and gardens. In the temporary exhibit, War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865, visitors study interactive map overlays, artifacts, and photographs to discover which Civil War battles took place in their yards and which took place where their statue of Bruce Lee stands. Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment explores the history of the Apollo Theater’s influence on American entertainment and showcases memorabilia including Michael Jackson's fedora and dresses worn by The Supremes, and the Native Lands: Indians and Georgia display educates modern Georgians on the state’s original residents, the Mississippian Indian tribes. The Atlanta History Center’s historic houses such as Swan House give visitors a glimpse of rural Georgian lifestyle during the 1920s and '30s, and gardens and trails both historic and contemporary soothe minds with lush foliage, leaving visitors as relaxed as a rubber band in a steam room.
Thousands of dragons glitter and glimmer within the Dragon Dreams Museum. So many, in fact, that the museum owner is working on her entry in the Guinness Word Records book for—you guessed it—the biggest collection of dragons on earth. One-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted figurines made from silver, jade, and ivory highlight the expansive collection. The on-site gift shop can help you start your own collection as well as purchase other items such as jewelry, magnets, ornaments, and posters.
When the Center for Puppetry Arts opened its doors in 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were on hand to cut the ribbon. Fittingly, one of its first major exhibitions, The Art of the Muppets in 1981, attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Since then, the center has matured into a multifaceted complex equal parts museum, performance center, educational facility, and hub for working artists.