Artober – Museums…. the Museum of Discovery

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October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month. Today looks at the Museum of Discovery.

Related imageLittle Rock’s oldest museum, it was founded in 1927 as the Museum of Natural History & Antiquities. After starting in a downtown storefront, it later moved to the third floor of Little Rock City Hall. In December 1929, it was given to the City as a “Christmas present.”  In the mid-1930s, the museum went dormant when the space it occupied in City Hall was needed to house federal New Deal agency offices.

In 1942, the museum reopened in a new location, the formal Arsenal Tower in City Park (now MacArthur Park.) It would remain in that building for over 50 years.  In 1998, with name change to its current one, it relocated to the Museum Center in the River Market district. In 2011, the facility closed for a major renovation and reopened in January 2012.

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Today, the Museum of Discovery is Arkansas’ premier science and technology center, with a mission to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences.

The permanent galleries include Discovery Hall, the Amazing You gallery, Earth Journeys, Tinkering Studio, Room to Grow, the Tesla Theater and Tornado Alley Theater.

It has been ranked the 6th best Science Museum in the US. by MENSA.

 

Labor Day Sculpture Vulture: John Deering’s RICK REDDEN

ReddenLabor Day celebrates a time to take a break from work and relax.  Today’s Sculpture Vulture showcases John Deering’s sculpture of Rick Redden which depicts the visionary architect doing just that.

As an architect, Rick Redden designed many downtown buildings including several in the River Market District.  He was involved in new projects like the 300 Third Building and River Market Tower, as well as rehab projects such as the Ottenheimer Market Hall and the Museum Center.  One of his last projects was the Arcade Building.

This sculpture, by John Deering, was commissioned by Jimmy Moses, Rett Tucker and the Central Arkansas Library System Endowment to honor Redden’s memory.  It shows him playing his banjo, with architectural drawings rolled up behind him. The piece looks like he had just taken a break from work to relax a little by playing music.

It is appropriate that the sculpture is located in front of the Arcade Building. Not only was the project one of his designs, but the building also contains space for work and for entertainment.  The placement is also a continuation of the commitment of both Moses Tucker Real Estate and the Central Arkansas Library System to include sculpture in their projects.

May 21 Architeaser

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Today’s architeaser looks at the unique water spouts on the Museum Center building.  Built as a railroad terminal in 1927, it later served as the press building for the Arkansas Democrat. In 1998, a $12 million adaptive reuse was completed. The building is now home to restaurants, offices and the namesake Museum of Discovery.

One of the other occupants of the building is Riverfest.  The staff and volunteers are busy at this time getting ready for the three day festival this weekend.

Architeaser June 27

Yesterday’s Architeaser was the awning on the front entrance to the Museum Center building.  One of the key structures in the development of the River Market District, this building formerly housed a train station and presses for the Arkansas Democrat.  It is a unique awning in that it has a rounded shape instead of a being flat.  As many awnings are, it is affixed to the building with cables.

Here is today’s Architeaser.

Architeaser June 8

Yesterday’s Architeaser was a Lion near the entrance of the Museum Center building in the River Market district. It was the second feature for the building this week, but was part of a separate piece of art near the entrance.

Today’s Architeaser has, in part, been featured on this blog before but not as part of the Architeaser feature.  The Tony Awards are this weekend; one of the featured musicals is a revival of Porgy and Bess with the famous song “Summertime” which contains lyrics about the fish jumping. These fish may not be jumping, but they are enjoying summertime.