Want to fill in a few of the gaps your high school history books and mainstream museum visits have left when it comes to the contributions of women over the centuries? These seven museums throughout the country fill in some of the blanks as they celebrate the stories of women in the armed forces, sciences, arts, politics, and more.
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
The only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas with collections, exhibitions, programs, and online content.
The museum’s permanent collection contains more than 5,000 objects by over 1,000 artists like Frida Kahlo, Grandma Moses, and Georgia O’Keefe, as well as names that aren’t as well known, but should be. Each year the NMWA hosts ten world-class exhibitions featuring women artists. The museum is also a resource for facts about gender disparity in the arts.
- Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 12pm-5pm
- Admission Fees: Adults – $10; Seniors 65 and up – $8; Students – $8; Children 18 and under – Free
- Location: 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
United States Army Women’s Museum, Fort Lee, VA
The United States Army Women’s Museum is the only one of its kind – a museum dedicated to showcasing the history of contributions of women in the Army. From the American Revolution (where women had roles like laundresses and cooks) to the inception of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) to present-day where women serve in combat, stories of female patriots are preserved within the halls of the museum.
The museum is also an educational institution that provides military history training to soldiers and civilians.
- Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm
- Admission Fees: Everything is always free
- Location: 2100 ‘A’ Adams Avenue, Fort Lee, VA
International Women’s Air & Space Museum, Cleveland, OH
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum goes beyond Sally Ride and Amelia Earhart to document the history of all women in aviation and space, both past and present. Begun by a committee of Ninety-Nines (an international organization of women pilots), who saved memorabilia of women pilots, the museum opened in 1998.
The museum and its collection of artifacts, photographs, articles, textiles, art work, and paper items are located very close to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center, and should not be missed when planning a visit to one of the other two.
- Hours of Operation: Daily from 8am-8pm
- Admission Fees: Free
- Location: Burke Lakefront Airport, Rm 165, 1501 N. Marginal Rd., Cleveland, OH
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Located on the Spelman College campus, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is the the only museum in the nation that emphasizes art by women of the African Diaspora. These dynamic, important works are presented through exhibitions and programs.
The museum’s permanent collection dates back to the 1940s and is comprised of over 350 objects – including ethnographic, African, three-dimensional, polychrome, and wooden artifacts – that include African art and works by celebrated artists of African descent. The museum features female artists of descent from Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and other regions.
- Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm; Saturday noon-4pm; closed holidays, summers, and official college breaks
- Admission Fee: Adults – $3 suggested donation
- Location: 350 Spelman Lane, Atlanta, GA
National First Ladies’ Library, Canton, OH
Where can you find a collection of miniature First Lady gown reproductions? At the National First Ladies’ Library. The museum isn’t about only the fashions of president’s wives, though. It’s the foremost repository of scholarly research, information, and education on the country’s First Ladies.
Part of the museum is located on the site of the family home of First Lady Ida McKinley. Another part of the museum – the education and research center – is at the former City National Bank building just a block away from the McKinley home. In the library is a rotating exhibit space, a 91-seat Victorian Theatre where films and documentaries on the first ladies are shown and lectures are held. The library also houses a collection of books somewhat similar to the first White House Library.
- Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday 9am-4pm; Sundays in June, July and August only 12pm-4pm
- Admission Fees: Adults – $7; Seniors – $6; Children 17 and under – $5
- Location: Museum/Saxton McKinley House. 331 S. Market Avenue; Education and Research Center, 205 S. Market Ave. Canton, OH
Pioneer Woman Museum, Ponca City, OK
Since 1958, the Pioneer Woman Museum has preserved the legacy of women who contributed to Oklahoma’s development. The 10,000 square-foot museum showcases the influence women had on the development of the state as well as the nation as a whole. In the museum’s education center visitors will find craft demonstrations, special exhibits, an interactive timeline, and the Pioneer Woman Walk of Fame.
The building’s entrance represents the iconic sunbonnet of pioneer women, and written on 20-foot tall copper bonnet are the words, “I See No Boundaries” – fitting words for a museum dedicated to the enduring spirit of women—past, present, and future. Outside the museum is the Pioneer Woman, a 30-foot tall bronze statue of a pioneer mother (in a sunbonnet, of course) with a Bible in her hand and courage and determination on her face.
- Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
- Admission Fee: Adults – $7; Seniors – $5; Students 6-18 – $4; Children 5 and under, and Active Military Personnel – Free
- Location: 701 Monument Road, Ponca City, OK
National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
2017 inductees to the National Women’s Hall of Fame include food activist, Alice Paul; athlete, Aimée Mullins; playwright and essayist, Lorraine Hansberry; and geneticist, Janet Rowley, M.D. These diverse women are just a handful of the females, honored in the museum, who have influenced other women and the country. The museum is purposefully located in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement.
This hall of fame is the nation’s oldest membership organization dedicated to honoring and celebrating the achievements of distinguished American Women. This group is 260+ women strong and grows each year. With special exhibits, events, and its annual Induction Weekend, the hall uses the stories of its inductees to help drive inspiration, innovation, and imagination.
- Hours of operation: Wednesday – Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday – Tuesday 12pm-4pm
- Admission Fee: Adults – $4; Students and Seniors – $3; Families – $8; Children 5 and under – Free
- Location: 76 Fall St, Seneca Falls, NY
From Marrakech to Los Angeles, October is filled with annual events and long-awaited openings. Music, visual arts, history, politics, and even fashion are represented in this roundup of the month’s best festivals and exhibits across the globe. Whether you’re wanting or jet set or stay closer to home, here’s the serious cultural collateral that will get your brain – and your body – moving.
La Fiesta des Suds, Marseille, France (Oct 20-22)
If ever there was a cutting-edge international music festival, La Fiesta des Suds is it. The southern French city of Marseille hosts this four-day event at Docks des Suds, the famous music venue and nightclub located in a former warehouse. Diversity abounds among the super-hip lineup, which includes rap, reggae, funk, and soul, plus regional pop genres from Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Headliners include Syrian pop sensation Omar Souleyman, Afro-trap star MHD, and French hip hop duo Bigflo & Oli. Expect to party all night.
Halifax Pop Explosion (Oct 19-22)
Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, the annual Halifax Pop Explosion brings more than 150 artists, comedians, and speakers to various venues across the Canadian city. With a focus on new and innovative music from all over the world, even music aficionados are wowed by the new sounds they discover here. The concurrent HPX Music Conference caters to industry professionals and others who want to connect with musicians and executives over trends and networking.
Amsterdam Dance Event (Oct 19–22)
The Amsterdam Dance Event describes itself as the “biggest club festival in the world,” with 375,000 attendees and 2,200 performing artists. With performances taking place across the city in 120 different venues, this is one massive party. But ADE has a serious side, too; it also runs a professional conference for DJs, producers, and other industry pros. Whichever track you’re on, related exhibitions, documentary films, master classes, and artist talks are held throughout the daytime programming – if you’re awake for it, that is.
Dalí / Duchamp, Royal Academy of Arts, London (through January 3, 2018)
Two heavyweights of the art world, Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp were also good friends. Although their work was remarkably different, the pair bonded over a shared sense of humor and skepticism, which led each to challenge conventional thinking. Dalí / Duchamp brings together roughly 80 works total, including well known painting and sculptures as well as lesser known photographs and correspondence between the two artists. The result is a refreshing take on the work on each.
Pacific Standard Time, various locations, Southern California (through Jan 18)
Exploring identity throughout place and time, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA brings an extraordinarily broad range of artworks to museums, galleries, and performing arts centers throughout Southern California. This five-month-long collective exhibit primarily focuses on modern and contemporary art; however, a handful of shows also explore the ancient world, including pre-Columbian works and objects, 20th-century Afro-Brazilian art, and more. Inspired by the area’s historical and current demographics, the show implicitly aims to “raise complex and provocative issues about present-day relations throughout the Americas and the rapidly changing social and cultural fabric of Southern California.”
Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris and Marrakech (ongoing)
This month, two new museums dedicated to the revolutionary French fashion designer will open to the public. On October 3, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris opened in the building where Laurent worked for more than 30 years. Rotating exhibitions will show the house’s extensive collection. In Marrakech, a 40,000-square-foot building to open later this month will also house exhibitions dedicated to the designer’s oeuvre, as well as an auditorium and research library. Laurent famously fell in love with the North African city in 1966, and immediately bought a house there. Many of his collections were inspired by the place.
From Jack the Ripper to the Tower of London, the city along the Thames has a long, sordid, haunted past. In October, museums in London, England celebrate their ghostly heritage by opening after hours. The 2017 Museums at Night events are filled with spooky activities like mummy unwrappings and canal rides by torchlight.
Twice a year the United Kingdom’s museums, historical sites, and galleries participate in after-hours events for the “culturally curious.” The 2017 fall Museums at Night takes place October 26-29. There are 33 events in London. Here are five spine-tingling activities, workshops, sleepovers, and mysteries not to be missed.
The Amazing Halloween Experience-London Canal Museum
Located near King’s Cross, the London Canal Museum hosts a frightening trip in a narrowboat. During the Amazing Halloween Experience, a witch tells spine-chilling tales on the 50-minute ride through the Islington Tunnel. In the museum, explore the Corridor of Fear, listen to ghost stories, and enjoy special kids’ activities. This family-friendly event costs £11 for an adult and £8 for a child, including the boat trip and the museum. Advanced booking for the boat trip is recommended.
Dickens After Dark: A Halloween Special-Charles Dickens Museum
For one night only, on October 26, you can visit the townhouse of renowned storyteller, Charles Dickens, for Dicken’s After Dark: A Halloween Special. To celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, a night dedicated to telling stories of the dearly departed, explore where Oliver Twist, Pickwick Papers, and Nicholas Nickleby were written. In this classic Victorian home, a housemaid will read your fortune, a magician will entertain you in the parlor, and adults can “ward off the chills of this dark and mysterious night” at a candlelit bar. This all-ages event costs £16.
London’s Night Owls Halloween Sleepover-Museum of London
Spend the night in one of London’s most popular museums featuring the city’s history from Roman to modern times. On October 27, the Museum of London asks, “Are you brave enough?” to join in London’s Night Owls Sleepover? This family-friendly, costume-wearing sleepover includes trick-or-treating. Children answer historical questions as they wander by candlelight through the galleries. Infamous, frightful London tales, like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “The Barber of Fleet Street,” are told. Gothic masks are made before bedtime. After breakfast, enjoy a screening of Hocus Pocus. Advanced booking is required. The fee is £60 for children and adults.
The Case of the Missing Monsters-Dorich House Museum
What happens when monsters jump out of their stories? Running all three nights of London’s Museums at Night Festival, the Dorich House Museum hosts The Case of the Missing Monsters, a combined theater and monster hunt. The museum was the home of Russian sculptor, Dora Gordine. It currently promotes and supports women’s creativity, including spooky stories. This Halloween family adventure begins with the telling of haunted tales, but there is a hitch. The monsters escape from the books! Search all over this unique museum to recapture them. Children are encouraged to come in costume. Advanced booking is required. Discounts are given for families.
Archives at Night: Cabinet of Curiosities-The National Archives
On October 27, the National Archives will open their Edwardian Cabinet of Curiosities as part of Archives at Night. Inside the cabinet, you will find Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s letters on mediums, as well as learn about witch trials and sorcery history. The Cemetary Club will provide talks on the Three Curses of Tutankhamun, Witchcraft and the King in Medieval England, and the Second Pendle Witch Scare. Perhaps the most exciting event at the Archives at Night is the unwrapping of a mummy! During this re-enactment of a mummy unwrapping party (no mummies will be harmed), Egyptologist John J. Johnston will perform the operation and instruct viewers on how mummies were procured for such events in the 19th century. Additionally, you will learn about which guests would attend the unwrapping, what they saw, and what happened to the remains afterward. This event costs between £17.60 to £22, advanced booking is required, and is for adults only (18+).
5 Must See London Museums at Night Dates
- Dickens After Dark: A Halloween Special-Charles Dickens Museum; Oct. 26
- The Case of the Missing Monsters-Dorich House Museum; Oct.26-28
- Archives at Night: Cabinet of Curiosities-The National Archives; Oct. 27
- London’s Night Owls Halloween Sleepover-Museum of London; Oct. 27-28
- The Amazing Halloween Experience-London Canal Museum; Oct. 28-29
Imagine spending the night in a museum without your kids or sipping cocktails while you explore exhibitions. Adult-only night at the museum evenings are popping up all over the United States. In October, these 21 and over events focus on haunted and magical themes.
A Night at the Museum Sleepover for Grown-Ups
A Night at the Museum Sleepover for Grown-Ups begins with champagne and jazz in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. Guests are allowed to roam the museum halls by flashlight, wander through museum halls viewing the 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil in the dark, then sleep beneath the looming 94 feet long, 21,000-pound blue whale model in Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Advanced reservations are required. Cots are provided. Meals include a buffet dinner with wine and beer, evening snack, and a light breakfast.
Location: American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York
When: October 13-14, 2017
Tickets: $350, members: $300
After Dark: Agave, Perception, and Collisions
Every Thursday night, the San Francisco Exploratorium features “After Dark” programs for adults 18 years and older. On October 12, the agave plant will be the focus of the evening. Agave, Perception, and Collisions will immerse participants “in mind-bending experiences and unique, thought-provoking programs.” In the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery, you can learn about agave’s unique relationships with bats in the desert ecosystem. Of course, tequila-sage smash cocktails and tequila-plum trifles will be served. In the Perception exhibit, adults will learn about emerging technologies, like the Glass Brain. The Glass Brain allows you to see real-time, 3D brain activity utilizing high-density EEG. If you would like to see a screening of Collisions, an advanced, separate reservation is necessary. This film is a “poetic virtual reality (VR) journey” to the remote Western Australian Pilbara desert with indigenous elder Nyarri Morgan of the Martu tribe. Prior to Western Culture contact, the tribe witnessed an atomic bomb test in the 1950s. Traditional ideas of caring for the planet coupled with modern issues of climate change are explored.
Location: Exploratorium, San Francisco, California
When: October 12, 2017; 6:00-10:00pm
Tickets: $17.95 in advance, $19.95 at the door
Haunted Museum: Year of the Monster
Live music, cocktails, and curated programs are highlights of the popular “After Dark” at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
The lights are low, the bar is open, and the music is playing. Armed with a cocktail and your closest friend, you venture into a prehistoric world where giant sauropods tower over the bustling crowd and two T-Rexes cast in multi-colored lights are frozen in battle.
This isn’t the museum of your childhood. This is After Dark.
Two October evenings of Haunted Museum: Year of the Monster are planned for guests 21 and over. Adult trick-or-treating, spooky cocktail drinking, and dancing will entertain costumed adults. This event focuses on “brutes and beasts in legend and in nature.” Past “Haunted Museum” events at Carnegie have included live animal encounters, presentations by paranormal hunters, and ghostly storytelling. Face masks and costume weapons are not allowed.
Location: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
When: October 21 & 27, 2017; 6:00-10:00pm
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, members: $13.50
Alder Afraid of the Dark?
The Adler Planetarium hosts an after dark event every third Thursday of the month. In October, the Alder Afraid of the Dark? is based on the 90s TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Fernilab scientists will present on dark matter and particle physics. The dance floor will be pumping with Halloween classics like “Thriller.” There will be hands-on science experiments and spooky brews from partner breweries. In the full dome theater, The Man from the 9 Dimensions, a Japanese film exploring “The Theory of Everything” will be shown. This popular event sells out quickly and promises to be fun and fearful! Creative costumes are encouraged.
Location: Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois
When: October 19, 2017; 6:00-10:00pm
Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door, members: $15 in advance
Adult Nights: Halloween at Hogwarts
Ever wanted to play Quidditch or drink real butterbeer? The North Carolina Museum of Natural History throws the ultimate adult-only museum party for fans of Harry Potter. Adult Nights: Halloween at Hogwarts will begin by crossing Platform 9¾. During the evening, attendees can perfect their Defense of the Dark Arts and take a potions class. Don’t get lost wandering through the Forbidden Forest! Costumes are allowed, but no masks or weapons are permitted. The first drink is included with admission for Catalyst members. This evening sells out quickly.
Location: North Carolina Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina
When: October 26, 2017; 7:00-10:00pm
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, members: $10
Adult Only Museum After Dark Dates
- Agave, Perception, and Collisions–San Francisco, CA; Oct. 12
- Night at the Museum Sleepover for Grown-Ups-New York, NY; Oct. 13-14
- Alder Afraid of the Dark?-Chicago, Illinois; Oct. 19
- Haunted Museum: Year of the Monster-Pittsburgh, PA; Oct. 21 & 27
- Adult Nights: Halloween at Hogwarts-Raleigh, North Carolina; Oct. 26
As far as locations to drink beer go, Munich rates pretty high on the bucket list. After my first night there, I woke up with a large bruise between my thumb and index finger – from lifting and swilling liters of beer at the Haufbrauhaus the evening before. (How do those beer maidens do it?) I also ended up on the lap of a man in lederhosen. On stage. In an Oompah band. But that’s another story.
If you’re headed to Oktoberfest, you’ve probably already sussed out the 15-plus beer tents that are part of this massive festival. But there’s so much more to Munich than beer. If you decide to take a short break from drinking, there’s plenty else to take in.
Munich is the capital city of the German state of Bavaria, and the country’s third largest city. Home to centuries-old buildings and cutting-edge architecture, it houses a fascinating array of art and culture. In the city center lies the Marienplatz, a great place for a stroll and some fabulous people-watching at one of the many cafes. Located in the Altstadt (Old Town), this square houses landmarks including the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (New Town hall). The building’s famous glockenspiel, a cuckoo clock of sorts, is built of chimes and life-size figures. Twice a day – at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. – the glockenspiel reenacts fanciful stories from the 16th century.
St. Peter’s Church has been standing since the 11th century, and after many renovations and additions, it tells the story of time itself. Climbing the tower’s 299 stairs is worth it for a stunning view of the city. If the workout leaves you hungry, check out the Viktualienmarkt (Farmers’ Market) next door to find some delicious, local eats.
Considered a seminal symbol of the city, the Cathedral Church of Our Lady is also located in Munich’s Old Town. Dating back to 1468, this Gothic masterpiece was heavily damaged by air strikes during World War II, but has since been rebuilt. Climb the south tower – topped by an onion dome – for fantastic views of the city and even, on a clear day, the Alps.
Not far from the Marienplatz, the Odeonsplatz is lined with ornate 19th century buildings like the Feldherrnhalle, which was built in the 1840s in honor of the Bavarian Army. To the west, the bright yellow Theatiner Church, was built in 1662; it’s all-white interior will amaze you. The Residenz Munich is an impressive and stately palace that was built for the monarchs of Bavaria; today it’s a museum open to visitors who can peruse its lavish interiors and royal artifacts. The adjoining Hofgarten (courtyard) is a peaceful place to sit and take in the views, or relax. Beyond it lies the entrance to the Englischer Garten, a huge urban park with miles of walking trails, as well as a lakeside beer garden (just in case you start craving a brew).
West of the Englischer Garten, the Nymphemburg Palace sits on a 500-acre estate. Originally the summer residence of Bavarian monarchs, highlights include intricately painted ceiling frescoes, rococo furnishings, and expansive baroque gardens.
But Munich’s alluring – and enduring – design isn’t limited to ancient history. Marvels of modern architecture abound. The Allianz Arena – the 75,000-seat home to the Bayern Munich soccer team – was built by renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, with an inflatable plastic exterior that changes color. Other sporty design includes Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Olympic Games, which was remade into a beautifully landscaped sports facility with bicycle paths, concert venues, and restaurants.
With a such a broad and rich history, it’s no surprise Munich has its share of world-class museums featuring everything from medieval to modern art.
The futuristic BMW Museum, with its gleaming silver exterior, will delight car lovers with vintage and cutting-edge cars, as well as history of design. The Deutsches (German) Museum, is a 540,000 square foot homage to humankind’s technological achievements and understanding of science. At the Judisches (Jewish) Museum, visitors can engage in a rich and vast display of Jewish history, art, and culture that goes well beyond Germany’s borders. The Pinakothek der Moderne, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest spaces dedicated to art, architecture, and design of the 20th and 21st centuries.