Designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art exalts the work of George E. Ohr, a ceramic artist and moustache enthusiast known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi." After it was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the campus reopened in 2010 amidst a grove of ancient live-oak trees, featuring a series of six aesthetically impressive pavilions that include a welcome center, a gallery of African-American art, and an interpretive center inside a reconstruction of the house of emancipated craftsman Pleasant Reed. Current exhibitions include collections from some of the art world's biggest names, including Andy Warhol and ceramic sculptor Jun Kaneko, as well as selections from Ohr's Gulf Coast collection, which inspired the American Modernist movement and several MLB baseball teams to wear ceramic pots instead of baseball hats.
What began as a small art association?originally assembled to organize an exhibit of local art?eventually blossomed into a full-scale museum as its art collection grew. Today, works by world-renowned artists share space with masterpieces by Mississippians in a museum committed to making the visual arts more accessible for the community at large.?
The Building: After decades in its original location, the museum was moved to a new space in 2007. A transparent door and entryway enables outsiders to see the visitors inside the space, a play on the museum's mission to make it a "museum without walls."
Permanent Mainstay: The Mississippi Story celebrates art by Mississippians and includes photos by Eudora Welty, 280 works by William Hollingsworth, and a collection of 77 quilts.
Don't Miss: 19th-century portraits by British artists Thomas Lawrence and Thomas Sully; works by master artists Picasso, Mir?, Chagall, and Rembrandt; as well as a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.
In the Open Air: Outside the museum, take a stroll through the Art Garden, more than an acre of green space peppered with outdoor art installations and a performance stage.
Past Exhibits: Spacious Skies featured 14 painted or drawn landscapes culled from the permanent collections of such artists as John Sloan, Will Henry Rivers, Elaine Galen, as well as the museum's first painting, William P. Silva's The Shower.
Pro Tip: At the monthly workshop Look and Learn with Hoot, kids develop the skills for art literacy through an art activity and story time.
Special Programs: Almost 30 affiliate museums throughout the state regularly feature artwork from the museum's permanent collection.
More than 200 species swim through the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and that's just the facility's aquatic residents. Beyond the aquarium network sprawls an abundance of plant and animal life both indoors and out. A trip through the museum campus reveals Mississippi's diverse ecosystems, as well as their relationship to humans.
The leading receiver in NFL history, the leading passer in NFL history, and the patriarch of football's first family all have something in common—a few things, actually. Not only do Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, and Archie Manning all hail from the Magnolia State, but all three are also inductees in its Sports Hall of Fame. They share the honor with nearly 300 other legends, including winners of Olympic gold medals and World Series games. Visitors can learn about these athletes through exhibits and touchscreen kiosks, or they can head to play areas to have a chance to complete a game winning pass, strike out a batter with the game on the line, make a game winning shot, or kick a game winning goal.
The USS Alabama spent 37 months in active duty during World War II. It earned nine battle stars and never suffered significant damage from enemy fire. Following this illustrious military career, the battleship was set to be scrapped because of the prohibitive cost of maintaining a wartime fleet. Efforts to save the battleship became the catalyst for corporations to help fund the balance and attain the goal of $1 million, which was used to preserve the battleship as a memorial to the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. And so the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park was born.
Today, the ship rests safe and sound in the harbor?a 680-foot mammoth whose enormous mass displaces more than 44,500 tons of water.
Resting alongside the ship, the WWII submarine USS Drum welcomes visitors to explore inside its labyrinthine hull, inviting them to climb through hatches and imagine what life would be like if every doorway were round. The memorial park also houses a cavalcade of military equipment, vehicles, and aircraft on display, including a T-55 Iraqi tank, a Cold War?era Lockheed A-12 Blackbird, and a World War II?era Douglas C-47D Skytrain.
The five flags in front of the Cond?-Charlotte Museum House represent Mobile?s tumultuous history under the rule of five countries: France, Spain, Britain, the United States, and the Confederate States. Within the house, visitors can see antique furnishing that correspond to each of these periods in time, with a different theme in each room?for example, the British room holds antiques from 1763?1780, when the British occupied the city. The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Alabama run the house and operate its tours, which traverse both inside and the outdoor, Spanish-themed garden.