An occasional list of exhibits, programs, and events at North Carolina museums. Sponsored by the North Carolina Museums Council.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1). The Hickory Museum of Art is teaming up with Lenoir-Rhyne University and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center to celebrate the Spirit of Black Mountain College. A three-day festival will be held September 25 – 27. Although Black Mountain College closed its doors more than 50 years ago, it is recognized around the world as one of the most important educational and artistic movements of the 20th century in the United States. For a complete list of events and times, visit

2). Southeastern Museums Conference: Just a reminder that the deadline for applying to JIMI 2009 is October 10, 2008 -- and NCMC will be offering a tuition scholarship ($600) to a member. This annual Institute provides an eight-day, total immersion environment for professionals to learn more about general administration and operations. JIMI gives administrators the key resources imperative to orchestrating personnel efficiency, staff morale and overall organizational improvement.

3). Asheville Art Museum ( Join the Asheville Art Museum Sunday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m. for a film screening of “Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru No Haka)” directed by Isao Takahata and based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka. Released in 1988, this film explores the tragedies of war through the lives of two orphans struggling to survive in Japan during World War II.

4). N.C. Museum of History: Drive to the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and step inside to immerse yourself in the 1700s. Join Revolutionary War re-enactors in a military drill, hear the fife and drum band, dance to 18th-century music, dress in period clothing, learn to grind corn and experience more during the activity-filled “Family Day: Colonial North Carolina” on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Museum of History. With something for all ages, this free event is a fun, hands-on opportunity to explore our state’s past, from colonization to the American Revolution.

5). Cape Fear Museum: The state’s annual gathering of shell collectors, exhibitors and enthusiasts returns to Cape Fear Museum of History and Science September 26 through 28. The 2008 North Carolina Shell Show, sponsored by the N.C. Shell Club, will feature hundreds of seashells – remnants of bivalves and gastropods alike – collected far and wide by club members and other exhibitors. Participants from up and down the East Coast will install museum-quality displays and compete for ribbons, trophies and bragging rights.

6). High Point Museum: The High Point Museum is pleased to present “Growing Seasons: An American Farm Family at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century,” curated by Carolyn Splear Pratt, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, September 23 and run through Sunday, January 25, 2009. The “Growing Seasons” educational exhibit is a slice of American history, depicting a distant, but familiar, social experience. The text, casein paintings, pen & ink vignettes and artifacts relate to the seasons of the farm year, through the experiences of a family during the early years of the new century.

7). Bellamy Mansion Museum: American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) congratulates the winners of the 2008 AASLH Small Museum Committee scholarship. They are Madeline Flagler, of the Bellamy Mansion Museum in Wilmington, NC and Sabine Kretschmar, of the Shaker Historical Society in Shaker Heights, Ohio. This scholarship covered registration fees and paid a travel stipend that enabled both recipients to attend the AASLH Annual Meeting September 9-12 in Rochester, NY. Applicants for this highly competitive scholarship must explain how attendance will benefit their personal professional development, their particular institution, as well as their extended community.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

1). Great Smoky Mountains Railroad: “Railfest 2008,” a Great Smoky Mountains Railroad festival, will return to the Bryson City Depot, September 19th through 21st. This three day festival gathering for railroad enthusiasts and history buffs provide an opportunity to ride special excursions, see railroad memorabilia and experience music of the rails. Thousands return each year, along with first time visitors, to enjoy a taste of railroad food, storytelling, dancing, live music, and special excursions.

2). Asheville Art Museum: “Ashcans, Trains and Factories: Students and Followers of The Eight” opens Friday, September 19, 2008 in the Asheville Art Museum’s Holden Community Gallery which is free to the public. The Asheville Art Museum invites you to enjoy this exciting exhibit drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection.

3). Reynolda House Museum of American Art invites young professionals to an open house on Thursday, September 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by Reynolda After Hours, is free and open to the public. Visitors are invited to come after work for guided tours of the historic house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. They will view such “behind-the-scenes” areas as the squash court and take in panoramic views from the rooftop while the Aeolian organ will entertain visitors with period music. Happy hour will follow at 6:30 p.m. on the lake porch patio with a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

4). Joel Lane Museum House will sponsor Lizzie Lane’s Colonial Tea on Sunday, September 28 from 3 to 5 pm with a rain date of Sunday, October 5. Elizabeth was Colonel Joel Lane’s seventh child. He was a founding father of North Carolina’s capital city and an officer in the Militia during the American Revolutionary War. In the beautiful colonial gardens at the Joel Lane Museum House, mothers, daughters, grandmother, and granddaughters will learn the etiquette of taking tea and crumpets in the colonial manner. They will have a chance to learn a Scottish country dance and participate in a colonial craft or game. “Flies in the Kitchen”, a string quartet, will provide music.

5). SciWorks: SciWorks visitors will be in for a treat in September when a lively group of stomping, roaring, animated dinosaurs move in for a four-month stay from September 20th through January 31st. The prehistoric giants are manufactured in Los Angeles by Kokoro Dinosaurs, using the latest robotic technology. A computer-controlled air compressor gives each dinosaur its own unique sequence of movement and sound.

6). Western Carolina University: Western Carolina University presents “Plaza Suite,” a comedy by Neil Simon, to begin the University Theatre’s 2008-09 Mainstage season. “Plaza Suite” performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 17-20, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at Hoey Auditorium, on the WCU campus. For tickets, call the box office at (828) 227-2479 or go to

7). Discovery Place presents “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs,” September 2, 2008 – November 20, 2008. Rediscover the tombs of the great pharaohs of Egypt and examine the mummification process and its role in ancient Egypt’s society in “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs”. Capturing the efforts of scientists, the film reveals the valuable information these uniquely preserved ancient remains hold. “Mummies” unravels some of the mysteries enshrouding the ancient royal mummies, how they were embalmed and where they were hidden, and also re-creates the dramatic story of their recovery.

8). Fort Dobbs State Historic Site: State officials unveiled a much-anticipated, detailed scale replica of the original Ft. Dobbs on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Friends of Fort Dobbs annual membership dinner held at the state historic site. North Carolina folk artist Don Stevenson recently finished crafting the fort replica, scaled at 1/16th of the size of the 1756 fort. The three-story replica stands 25.75 inches high and weighs more than 200 pounds. Stevenson created the work in consultation with archaeologist and historian Dr. Lawrence Babits and Ft. Dobbs staff, using funding from the Friends of Fort Dobbs, the state historic site’s support group.

9). Port Discover: Preschoolers at Port Discover’s September 18 Toddler Time will learn all about “Swampy Critters”—the animals that inhabit the Great Dismal Swamp. The program will discuss why reptiles and amphibians are cold-blooded and which birds lay and incubate their eggs in the winter. Everyone will make their own swampy critter to take home. The program begins at 10 a.m. A fee of $5 per family and reservations are required. Program is for 3 – 5 year-olds and parents or guardians must accompany the child.

10). Cameron Art Museum: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded the Cameron Art Museum a $5,000 grant to support museum visits for fifth graders of New Hanover County. This Foundation grant ensures that over 1,800 New Hanover County fifth graders will visit the museum this school year for guided tours of all exhibitions.

11). N.C. Department of Cultural Resources: Researchers on the wreck of the presumed “Queen Anne’s Revenge” (QAR), Blackbeard’s flagship, will conduct the fall dive expedition Sept. 15-Nov. 7, and they are thinking big. The highlight of the thousands of artifacts they expect to recover is a cannon about eight feet long and weighing more than a ton, at about 2,500 pounds. It will be the 12th cannon recovered. “Cannons are favorites among tourists and museum visitors, and the large number of cannons found at this wreck site only adds to Blackbeard’s lore,” said QAR Shipwreck Project Director Mark Wilde-Ramsing.

Monday, September 08, 2008

1). Asheville Art Museum: The Asheville Art Museum’s “smArt speak: Distinguished Artist Series” proudly presents Art Spiegelman: History of Comix 101 on Thursday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. As part of its 60th Anniversary Celebration, the museum brings, for the first time to Western North Carolina audiences, Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrator Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman is the creator of “Maus,” a gripping graphic novel about the Holocaust, and “In the Shadow of No Towers,” a personal work about his experiences during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

2). Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art is having a sidewalk sale of the entire inventory of items from the art center’s visitor’s shop. The sale will be held at SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive, on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sale items include jewelry, ceramics, specialty decor items, books, stationary, children’s games and much more. All items will be sold at greatly reduced prices. The sale will be held in the parking lot in front of SECCA.

3). Museum of the Albemarle: The Friends of the Museum of the Albemarle invite you to participate in the 20th annual “A Day on the River featuring the Classic Moth Boat” Saturday, September 20. Free family activities presented by the Museum’s Junior Docents begin at 10:00 am on the Museum Green with children’s crafts including making a miniature wooden sailboat, and making pirate hats. Enjoy the maritime music of performer Bill Darrow.

4). Western Carolina University: A performance by Fushu Daiko, a Japanese drumming ensemble, will launch Western Carolina University’s 2008-09 Lectures, Concerts and Exhibitions Series. Fushu Daiko will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus. Tickets for the event go on sale Aug. 28 and are $20 for the general public; $10 for individuals 60 years and older and WCU faculty and staff; and $5 for WCU students.

5). Orange County Historical Museum announces the return of Colonial times to Hillsborough on Saturday, September 13, 2008, 11:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Girls and boys ages 6-13 are invited to an afternoon of Revolutionary and Colonial-style events. Scheduled events include lessons in 18th century social dances, Colonial-style crafts, and a Lemonade Party where young ladies and gentlemen can practice their manners as they enjoy lemonade and cakes.

6). Cameron Art Museum presents a lecture: "Behind the Men, Behind the Gun: Women, Blacks, and Children on the World War II Wilmington Home Front" with Wilbur Jones on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 3:00 pm. Program admission is by donation. Native award-winning historian Wilbur Jones describes how women, African Americans, and children aided the war effort by providing the fighting men at the global fronts with weapons, food, equipment, morale, and kept the home fires burning.

7). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences is hosting an eight-part lecture series to complement The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. Join Pnina Shor, Head of the Department for the Treatment and Conservation of Artifacts, Israel Antiquities Authority, as she discusses past and present conservation techniques used on the Dead Sea Scrolls. This lecture, the third in the series, will be held Tuesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. in the Museum's WRAL Digital Theater. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the first two lectures, the Museum strongly recommends purchasing tickets in advance.

8). N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher will offer a lineup of programs tailored especially for the deaf and hard of hearing on Saturday, Sept 13. Sign language, captioning or scripting will enhance most of the activities of the day – animal feedings, live-animal presentations and films – and interpreters will assist visitors at selected exhibits. The dive program, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., will include an interpreter assisting with questions for the diver. The aquarium presents Deaf Awareness Day with the assistance of the Regional Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to draw attention to the needs and interests of the hearing-impaired.

9). Mint Museum announced on Sept. 6 a $5 million grant award from the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation. This gift will support enhancements to the Mint’s new facility, which will open in 2010 in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning Center City. In recognition of this generous gift, The Mint Museum in Center City will name its dramatic, light-filled Atrium – the Museum’s principal gathering area – in honor of the late Mr. Morrison.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

1). Museum of the Albemarle: The Albemarle Historic Roundtable series continues on Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. Members of the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild will celebrate the 50th year of the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair. The event will feature a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments and live music, followed by a Historical Roundtable presentation at 7:00 p.m. Guild members will present highlights of the past fifty years of crafts in the Albemarle region. Also that evening the Museum will unveil its newest exhibit: “Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair: 50th Anniversary,” a special selection of works spanning the past half a century.

2). Cameron Art Museum ( Cameron Art Museum in New Hanover County has been awarded three grants totaling $75,000 from the North Carolina Arts Council. These grants will support the museum’s general programs, the development of the Minnie Evans Study Center, and an artist residency between New Hanover County high schools and Hiroshi Sueyoshi, the artist in residence of the museum’s Clay Studio.

3). Newbold-White House: The Perquimans County Restoration Association which owns and operates the circa 1730 Newbold-White House has recently begun urgent repairs and has moved forward to deal with other ongoing conservation problems. Officials gave formal approval earlier this month to begin the roof and electrical repairs that may pose serious potential risk. Deteriorating with time and help from Hurricane Isabel in 2003, the handmade cypress shingles are being replaced this week.

4). N.C. State Capitol : Come meet Sir Walter Raleigh and other historical figures on the Capitol grounds Saturday, Sept.6, during Raleigh Wide Open III, the capital’s third annual downtown celebration. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., interpreters portraying Sir Walter Raleigh, Margaret Wake Tryon (wife of North Carolina’s first royal governor, William Tryon) and the Marquis de Lafayette will tell visitors about their character’s lives, answer questions and pose for photographs.

5). Duke Homestead State Historic Site: Traditional tobacco farming will be recalled Saturday, Sept. 6, at Duke Homestead State Historic Site in Durham in a program featuring tobacco priming, looping and curing at the barn; a traditional tobacco auction; a tractor show; hornworm (tobacco parasite) races; and even a MoonPie eating contest! The free festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A special musical treat will be performances by legendary blues guitar master John Dee Holeman at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

6). High Point Museum: Each month, the museum showcases local people through its Artist of the Month program. Local author Julia Ebel is our September artist of the month. A native of Jamestown, she has been writing for 20 years. Ebel celebrates nature, heritage and cultural history through stories and poetry. Her books include “Walking Ribbon,” “Addie Clawson: Appalachian Mail Carrier,” and “Orville Hicks: Mountain Stories, Mountain Roots.” Come meet the author when the Museum hosts a booking signing on Sunday, September 7 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Museum.