RAIN OR SHINE: Territorial Fair at Historic Arkansas Museum today from 10am to 4pm

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Come celebrate the Arkansas Territorial Bicentennial at this year’s Territorial Fair!

Through living history performances, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, the event is an opportunity for adults and children of all ages to experience what life was like during Arkansas’s Territorial era. Activities occurring throughout the day include:

• Pioneer games
• Living history performances
• Cooking demonstrations
• Blacksmith demonstrations with Master Blacksmith Lin Rhea
• Hand-cut silhouettes with Silhouettes By Hand
• Ice cream from Loblolly Creamery
• Quapaw history and pottery demonstrations with Betty Gaedtke
• Mother’s Day cards in the Old Print Shop with print blocks designed by Arkansas artist Perrion Hurd
• Beekeeping with Lake In The Willows Apiary
• Dance performances by the Arkansas Country Dance Society
• Live music by Mockingbird, Lark in the Morning, Arkansas,
Sugar on the Floor, Clark Buehling, and Ricky Russell
• Plenty of food and beverages, including Say Cheese Food Truck

This is a FREE event!

#TerritorialFair #HistoricArkansas #AuthenticArkansas #LittleRock #Arkansas

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2nd Friday Art Night at Historic Arkansas Museum – Music by John Willis Music and the opening of “Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land”

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Join Historic Arkansas Museum at 2nd Friday Art Night for the opening of “Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land.” John Willis Music will be the evening’s musical guest. The Water Buffalo and Buffalo Brewing Company will be the featured brewery.

The reception is sponsored by the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation, with special thanks to 107 Liquor. Beverages and appetizers will be served in the Stella Boyle Smith Atrium. The exhibits and reception are free and open to the public.

“Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land”
2nd Floor Gallery

Based on the expedition routes of French and Spanish explorers, 18th century maps of the North American continent were vague and inaccurate, typically noting only significant rivers and mountain ranges. Early maps were often made with political and economic motives; in some instances, map makers took advantage of the unknown nature of newly acquired territories, manipulating boundaries to the advantage of their European sponsors.

Demand for American-made maps increased as the country’s boundaries expanded and dreams of westward migration took hold; map publication blossomed in the United States in the 1790s, and by 1820, the cartography hub of Philadelphia was home to around 150 engravers. Settlement of the new frontier required accurate maps, and gradually, map makers came to rely less on the hand-written notes of early explorers and depended more on the mathematical calculations of surveyors who used tools like a Gunter’s chain, compass, sextants, and theodolites to triangulate distances.

This exhibit chronicles changes in Arkansas’s place names, population demographics, and geography from the period just before La Harpe’s first explorations of the area in 1722 until early statehood.

2nd Friday Art Night – Historic Arkansas Museum features 49th annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition

Tonight (April 12), Historic Arkansas Museum marks 2nd Friday Art Night with more art, music, and beer!
Opening reception for the 49th Annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition with live music by Charlotte Taylor and #ArkansasMade beer from Lost 40 Brewing

The 49th Annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition showcases the wide range of techniques and approaches now available to artists working in water-based media.

Out of 159 paintings submitted from 12 states and Puerto Rico, juror Michael Bailey selected only 33 exceptional pieces.  Artists include Daven Anderson, David Belling, Matthew Bird, Selma Blackburn, Catherine Caldwell, Judi Coffee, Marie Echols, L. S. Eldridge, B. Jeannie Fry, Susan Gibson, Virginia Haines, Lance Hunter, Gary Johnson, Cheryl Kellar, Ronald Kinkaid, Shirley Kleppe, Jeannie Knod-Edwards, Sandra Marson, Glenda McCune, Monika Pate, Charlotte Rierson, Carol Roberts, Maureen Rousseau, Cynthia Schanink, Gary Simmons, Cary Smith,k Eileen Stearman, Richard Stephens, Luanne Stone, Donna Twyford, Kathryn Wedge, Beth Woessner, and Valdoris Wright.
A brief awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 pm in Ottenheimer Theater during 2nd Friday Art Night. This exhibit will be on view in Trinity Gallery through July 7, 2019.

Tartan Day, celebrate all things Scottish, visit the Brownlee House at HAM

Photo by Larry Pennington

Today is Tartan Day, designated to celebrate the contributions of Scots everywhere.

One of Little Rock’s oldest structures, the Brownlee House was built by a Scotsman.  The Brownlee House is one of the restored structures at Historic Arkansas Museum.

Robert Brownlee built this Federal style brick house in the late 1840s for his brother and sister-in-law. A Scottish stonemason, Brownlee came to Little Rock in 1837 to help build the State House (now the Old State House Museum). He pursued a number of careers before leaving for California in the 1849 Gold Rush. From the late 1840s through 1852, the home’s residents were James and Isabelle Brownlee and Tabby, a woman enslaved by James Brownlee.

Brownlee had the wooden mantels in the parlor and bedroom marbleized, a popular decorative art of the time. The home’s furnishings reflect the mid-19th century.

This house is a project of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Arkansas.

Historic Arkansas Museum is open seven days a week.  The galleries are free, but the tours of the historic structures have a nominal fee.  It is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Final 2018-2019 Evening with History focuses on End of Reconstruction

Join the UA Little Rock History Department for the last lecture in this year’s Evenings with History series!

In his last public lecture before retirement, Dr. Carl Moneyhon will present “The End of Reconstruction and the Long-Term Cost of Conservative Redemption.” His talk will examine the tactics of Conservative and Democratic opponents of biracial governments during Reconstruction and the long-term social and economic impacts on the South and nation.

The program starts at 7pm at Historic Arkansas Museum.

Cultural Spring Break in Little Rock

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It is Spring Break week! Several Little Rock museums have special activities planned.

Museum of Discovery
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
Monday, March 18 – Meet and have your photo taken with Jet Propulsion from “Ready Jet Go!”  Enjoy hands-on activities that teach about space and more.
Tuesday, March 19 – Meet and have your photo taken with Nature Cat, the star o PBS Kids’ “Nature Cat”!  Enjoy hands-on activities about the wonderful outdoors and meet some of nature’s coolest animals!
All Days
Tesla Shows: 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Awesome Science Demos: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Meet Museum Animals: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Historic Arkansas Museum
Spring Break 2019: Settling in Arkansas
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
In celebration of Arkansas’s Territorial Bicentennial, our Spring Break activities will focus on settling this state. The museum’s historic block has countless stories of making a life in early Arkansas, from just after becoming a territory to a decade after Statehood. Visitors can spend each day learning about a different person’s path to Arkansas. We will cook Pioneer food, make hands-on crafts, and share a few pioneer skills.

Little Rock Zoo

March 18 – March 22 • 9:30am to 4:00pm
See daily feedings of the penguins, interact with education exhibits, attend a meet and greet with animals, go to the Party in the Plaza, have a special meet and greet at the Arkansas Heritage Farm, and chat with animal keepers.

Clinton Presidential Center
March 18 – March 22 • 10:00am to 2:00pm
The Clinton Presidential Center invites children of all ages to enjoy FREE Spring Break activities on March 18 – 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Join us for FREE craft activities for the entire family! We’ll offer an instructional glass fusion project, led by Little Rock School District art specialist Sharon Boyd-Struthers, in conjunction with our White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit. Spring Break activities are FREE; however, admission fees to tour the Museum apply.


Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

March 19 – March 22 • 2:00pm
Special Spring Break matinee performances of Charlotte’s Web on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig.  Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Women Making History – Louise Loughborough

Louise Loughborough was the first woman to serve on the Little Rock Planning Commission.  Not only was the she first woman to serve on this body, she was the first to serve on any City commission other than the Board of Censors or Library Board.

Born Louisa Watkins Wright in Little Rock 1881, her ancestors included many early Arkansas leaders including Little Rock Mayor David Fulton, who had been born in Ireland.

In 1935, Loughborough was appointed to the Little Rock Planning Commission, and it was in this role that she first heard about the plan to condemn the half-block of houses that she had grown up admiring on Cumberland and East Third streets. Although the neighborhood had fallen on hard times, becoming a red-light district and slum, Loughborough feared the loss of several historic structures, including the Hinderliter House, the oldest building in Little Rock and thought to be Arkansas’s last territorial capitol. She mobilized a group of civic leaders to save these buildings. She enlisted the aid of prominent architect Max Mayer and coined the term “town of three capitols” to try to capture the imagination of potential supporters, grouping the “Territorial Capitol” with the Old State House and the State Capitol.

The Arkansas Territorial Restoration opened on July 19, 1941. The project was the first Arkansas agency committed to both the restoration of structures and the interpretation of their history, and it served as a model and inspiration for historic preservation in the state. Around the same time, she was a moving force behind the creation of a museum at the Old State House as well.  Today both Historic Arkansas Museum (as the Territorial Restoration is now known) and the Old State House Museum are agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

As founding Chairman of the Arkansas Territorial Restoration Commission, Louise Loughborough provided daily direction for the museum house complex through the first twenty years of its existence. She died in Little Rock on December 10, 1962 and was buried at Mount Holly Cemetery.