Shingled peaks and a lofty white balcony greet visitors as they stroll up to the Texas Civil War Museum, where more than 15,000 square feet of exhibits and collections work together to educate present generations on The War Between the States. The museum's themed sections weave a visual trek through time with artifacts preserved from both sides of the conflict, including infantry, cavalry, and artillery remnants. Medical relics and musical instruments supply additional glimpses into the war zone, and a collection of more than 300 Victorian dresses, which rotate on exhibit, showcases the style of women and celebrity cannons from that era. In addition to escorting guests through history, the museum also plays host to frequent events, such as monument ceremonies and live musical acts.
Owners Maarten and Hanna Vanderstoel created Van Grow Studio of the Arts to promote creative thinking and problem solving in children through artistic crafts. Boasting degrees in fine arts and studio arts, respectively, Maarten and Hanna teach most of the classes and prepare the curricula for all of the studio's camps. TCU graduate Alma Worrell manages the open studio and paint-your-own-pottery rooms, which are also accessible to adults. Van Grow's upbeat instructors nurture creativity and confidence across three age groups, offering classes, parties, and workshops to pique a wide range of interests. Courses foster each student's individual vision, rather than a mastery of technique, and help to develop motor skills, self-esteem, and the ability to sculpt gummy-bear replicas of Rodin's The Thinker.
Founded in 1961, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art boasts a wide-ranging permanent collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures that break from Hollywood tradition by staying dead at night. Exhibitions are displayed on a rotating basis and include the upcoming The First 50 Years, which will commemorate the museum's first half century as an authoritative art stockpiler, and the Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision, which rolls into town on February 26 to celebrate the iconic landscape paintings of such visionaries as Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, and Asher B. Durand.
In the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Omni Theater’s domed, 120-foot-wide IMAX screen towers over moviegoers, projecting myriad tales of human, beast, and machine alike across eight stories. The screen has born documentaries on topics such as the Serengeti desert, the Grand Canyon, and the aquatic ecosystems that distinguish the ocean from well-maintained dunk tanks. Originally limited by its scale to films that lasted an hour or less, the theater can now show feature-length films thanks to digital remastering technology, and its new IMAX IDO projection lens has increased films’ brightness and sharpness. These developments mark yet another addition to its pioneering history, which includes being among the first IMAX screens in the region when it opened in 1983.
The National Cowgirl Museum honors the tough-as-nails cow-lasses of the American West with a comprehensive collection of more than 6,000 photographs and 5,000 artifacts, as well as both traveling and permanent exhibits. A Hall of Fame gallery shares the stories of 200 honorees, including Annie Oakley, Patsy Cline, and Sandra Day O'Connor, while artifacts such as costumes, boots, saddles, letters, and jackalope lassos span 150 years of cowgirl history. Exhibits are organized to display different aspects of the lives of women in the West. Into the Arena honors women riders with rodeo memorabilia and a life-sized bronco model, allowing mounters to simulate the thrill of the rodeo. Claiming the Spotlight takes a look at the entertainers, actors, and country-western musicians whose tales of rootin' and shootin' injected the American consciousness with nostalgia for the open prairie and dangerously full tobacco spittoons.
With more than 90 artifacts on display, Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea offers new, exciting interpretations of the Mesoamerican civilization. Head to the Kimbell Art Museum's architecturally renowned building and browse the Mayans' fascinating carved stone monuments, artifacts crafted from jade and gold, and sculpted figurines. From the shell-and-quartz carving of a frog to an intricately painted plate with the Mayan maize god, the Fiery Pool exhibit explores the Mesoamerican's spiritual relationship with the sea, intriguing both anthropologic buffs and those who believe other cultures only exist in their ancient-society-on-the-bottom yogurt cups. Designed by American architect Louis I. Kahn, the museum's subtle use of space and materials, along with its inventive use of natural light enhances the enjoyment of the art.