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

Monday, March 30, 2009

1). Oriental History Museum: Oriental's History Museum is co-sponsoring a Tour of Homes on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. -4 p.m. The homes on the Tour are of historic significance or historic in design. Tickets are available for a donation of $20 on the day of the Tour at the Museum, 802 Broad St. (Route 55), Oriental, NC, across from the Post Office. For more information, contact

2). High Point Museum presents “Natural Egg Dyeing in the Historical Park” on Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 5, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Get ready for the Easter Bunny! We’ll provide eggs you can dip in dyes made from plant material, like onionskins and blueberries. All ages welcome. $1 per egg; free for members.

3). Discovery Place: Though school is out; guests still can take the opportunity to be a ‘class clown’ for a day during Spring Break. In conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition, “Circus!” Discovery Place is offering a full week of special, Spring Break activities Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10. Daily activities include juggling presentations, appearances by local sports mascots, a dress-up-like-a-clown day, an animal balloon-making bonanza and more! All activities are free with Museum admission.

4). Hickory Museum of Art will host its next Art Party, “A Taste of Tuscany,” Saturday, April 4 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the home of Suzanne and Andy Wells. Enjoy a festive evening of Tuscan wine and hors d’ oeuvres while supporting the programs run by HMA. A reception, show and sale for Charleston artist, Karen Hewitt Hagan, will take place during the evening. Hagan’s landscapes will instantly transport you to the “painter’s paradise,” a vineyard and olive farm she paints at overlooking the medieval city of Siena.

5). N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources: The N.C. Office of State Archaeology, in cooperation with the Division of N.C. State Historic Sites and Properties, has scheduled an archaeological excavation Monday, April 6, through Thursday, April 9, at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site. Both agencies are part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Archaeologists will excavate Battery B, located within the existing Fort Anderson earthworks, to recover details about its construction that will assist in the reconstruction of the cannon firing platform. Fort Anderson was one of the largest Civil War earthworks constructed on the Cape Fear River and one of the best preserved in the nation. John Mintz from the Office of State Archaeology will direct the excavation between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day.

6). Historic Halifax State Historic Site: Mark 233 years of American independence from Britain on Sunday, April 12, at the annual Halifax Day celebration held in Halifax. From 1-5 p.m., visitors may join in a colorful remembrance of the April 12, 1776 vote by North Carolina’s Provincial Congress to separate from the British Crown at Historic Halifax State Historic Site. The festivities will feature colonial-costumed interpreters, historic building tours and a patriotic ceremony. All activities are free and open to the public.

7). Ackland Art Museum: The Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts world-renowned composer Stefan Litwin, the George Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill, on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m., presenting the final installment in the Ackland's ongoing series Perspectives on Progress. This special lecture series brings experts from across the campus and the community together to share their unique perspectives on the Ackland's exhibition “At the Heart of Progress: Coal, Iron, and Steam since 1750 - Industrial Imagery from the John P. Eckblad Collection.”

8). Greensboro Children’s Museum presents “Simply Story Time” on Thursday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. Join us for a special story time this Thursday we take kids away to faraway lands, go on amazing adventures and meet lots of exciting characters in the world of make believe!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1). Port Discover : Port Discover, in partnership with Elizabeth City State University, will offer a Weekend Science Lab Experience on Saturday, April 4 at 9 a.m. at Elizabeth City State University. The program will offer 4th and 5th graders (9 to 12-year-olds) the opportunity to work with a scientist in the labs at ECSU and conduct a hands-on scientific experiment. The program is open to the public; reservations are required.

2). Bennett Place State Historic Site: In the March 28 program “Planting the Fields,” join the farm staff as they prepare for the spring planting season. Visitors will get to learn how the Bennett family and other North Carolina farmers made their living, trying to survive during the time of the American Civil War. The program is from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. For information call (919) 383-4345.

3). Reynolda House Museum of American Art: Reynolda House Museum of American Art invites the public to an Americans in Paris Community Day Festival on Sunday, March 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. Visitors are invited to tour the historic house and the current exhibition, “American Impressions: Selections from the National Academy Museum,” at its only venue outside New York. The event is free.

4). SciWorks: SciWorks will celebrate NanoDays 2009 with an event on March 28 from 12 noon – 3 p.m. Faculty and students from the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University and Forsyth Technical Community College will be at SciWorks for our 2nd annual NanoDays event. This exciting program features live atomic force microscope demonstrations, guest lectures and SciWorks’ own NanoLab for children. Learn about degree programs and careers in this emerging field from WFU and FTCC.

5). Kings Mountain Historical Museum would like to invite everyone to visit our current exhibit, “The History of Cleveland County: What You Need to Know.” The exhibit features the early years of the county’s development, agriculture, natural resources, education and the textile mills. The Museum is excited about borrowing objects from the Cleveland County Museum collection in cooperation with Destination Cleveland County.

6). Ackland Art Museum: The Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts Associate Professor of History Chad Bryant on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m., presenting “On the Train: Time, Space, and the Modern World,” the second in the Ackland's ongoing series “Perspectives on Progress.” This special lecture series brings experts from across the campus and the community together to share their unique perspectives on the Ackland's exhibition “At the Heart of Progress: Coal, Iron, and Steel since 1750 - Industrial Imagery from the Collection of John P. Eckblad.”

7). N.C. Museum of History: French scholar Pascal Brioist will speak about Thomas Harriot, the explorer, scientist, navigator and mathematician that Sir Walter Raleigh sent on the Roanoke voyages of the 1580s, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, in the North Carolina Museum of History auditorium. Brioist’s talk is part of a larger celebration of Thomas Harriot that will take place in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Greenville and Manteo April 1-4.

8). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences: The Charles Darwin Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, March 31 as local biologist Rob Dunn presents "Life after Darwin: Are there still big discoveries to be made in biology?" His presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' auditorium in downtown Raleigh.

Monday, March 16, 2009

1). Bennett Place State Historic Site presents “Planting the Fields” on Saturday, March 28. Join the farm staff as they prepare for the spring planting season. Visitors will get to learn how the Bennett family and other North Carolina farmers made their living and tried to survive during the time of the American Civil War. Program runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

2). Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens: Two new galleries celebrating 50 years of Tryon Palace history will open on March 21, 2009. The galleries, which are inside the Palace, will exhibit antique furniture, paintings and objects d’art from the original Maude Moore Latham collection and items bought to furnish the Palace for its opening on April 8, 1959. Many have not been on view for decades. Eighteenth-century archaeological evidence found during the restoration will also be on display. Visitors will be able to see the Palace evolve over time – from the furnishings of the 1950s to today’s more historically accurate portrayal of eighteenth century interiors.

3). N.C. Museum of History : Nearly 150 years after the Civil War, the bloody Battle of Antietam is still studied and analyzed. At day’s end in the countryside surrounding Maryland’s Antietam Creek, more than 23,000 American soldiers were dead, missing or wounded. Stephen R. Potter, PhD, will speak on “Antietam and the Archaeology of Tactics” on Saturday, March 28, from 4-5 p.m. at the N.C. Carolina Museum of History.

4). N.C. Maritime Museum: The N.C. Maritime Museum will offer two programs that feature birds the week of March 24 that are geared toward beginners and experts alike. James Craig, PhD, a retired Virginia Tech professor, will give a free program at the Museum that features photos and tips on photographing wild birds on Tuesday, March 24, at 11 a.m. The Coastal Photo Club will meet at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center in Scotland Neck on Thursday, March 26, for a daylong workshop. Reservations are required for the event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $30.

5). Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site presents “144th Anniversary Living History Program, School of the Soldier: Confederate Army Camp of Instruction,” March 21-22. Costumed military living historians will present small arms weapons, close order drill, and other military-themed demonstrations. A small army camp will be on display to show how the soldiers lived. 19th century civilian domestic skills will also be presented around the Harper Kitchen area. All demonstrations are subject to change without notice. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. both days.

6). Reynolda House Museum of American Art will present “French Impressionisms,” a program of French Impressionist music and poetry, on Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. The program is held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “American Impressions: Selections from the National Academy,” on view through June 28. Visitors attending the concert are invited to see the exhibition at its only venue outside New York. Admission is $8, $5 for members and students.

7). Museum of the Cape Fear: Jon and Caroline Parsons will present a free musical program on Sunday, April 5, at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. Starting at 2 p.m., the duo will delight the audience with traditional songs and many old-time favorites. See the Parsons play unusual instruments, such as a kazoo, harmonica, jaw harp, spoons and a comb with wax paper. They will also play more traditional instruments: the guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and bass. As a special bonus on April 5, the museum will give away toy musical instruments: slide whistles, tambourines, harmonicas, or kazoos. The Parsons’ performance is the closing act for the museum’s special exhibit, “Rhythm and Roots of North Carolina Music.”

8). SECCA: The playful rendering of ice-skaters, slow-motion leaps of a trampoliner, or the downpour of water provide backdrops for artist Anna von Gwinner to create short video loops of imaginary moments in the life of a city. Von Gwinner, of Berlin, Germany; will speak at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 31 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC-C). The event will be held at the College of Arts + Architecture, School of Architecture in Storrs Hall, Room 110, 9201 University City Boulevard. Von Gwinner’s talk is co-sponsored by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) and UNC-C. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Monday, March 09, 2009

1). High Point Museum presents “Blacksmithing Demonstration in the Historical Park” on Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Come watch our costumed blacksmith in action as he crafts various iron pieces. All ages welcome; free.

2). Mint Museum of Art presents “Masterpieces from New Orleans” - exhibition on view at the Mint Museum of Art from March 14 – June 21, 2009. When the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, staff at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) took refuge in their museum to protect its artwork from looters and water damage. The fruits of their efforts are reflected in the pristine collections of European and American art which will travel to the Mint Museum of Art in the spring of 2009 as the special exhibition “Masterworks from the New Orleans Museum of Art.”

3). Battleship NORTH CAROLINA presents “Hidden Battleship” on Saturday, March 14. Tour times: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. See the Battleship like you never have before! Small groups will be taken behind-the-scenes to areas not on the regular tour from down in the brig (ship’s jail) to high up in the fire control tower to large, complex engineering spaces. The tours will last approximately three hours. The price of $45 includes admission to the Ship. Friends of the Battleship members pay $35. You must be 12 years or older to participate. Wear comfortable, warm clothing and sturdy, rubber-soled shoes; bring a camera, but no large backpacks.

4). Tobacco Farm Life Museum will be presenting a temporary exhibit on March 14, celebrating the hard work of farmers across the state and the beginning of the 2009 growing season. The museum is inviting author and professor Billy Yeargin and auctioneer/ticket writer Joe Parker to speak, starting at 11 a.m. A kids program will be offered from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. with crafts and refreshments for $5 per child. We are also hosting a photography competition; the winners will be announced at 1:30pm. The public is welcome to enter the competition.

5). Port Discover: Toddlers will dig up the “dirty” facts about worms at Port Discover’s Toddler Time, “Wiggly Worms,” on Thursday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. Children will discover the important role worms play as nature’s recyclers and build a worm farm to take home. The program fee is $5 per family and reservations are required. Program is for 3 – 5 year-olds and parents or guardians must accompany the child.

6). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences: Crazy about reptiles and amphibians? Well, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the place to be on Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 16th annual Reptile and Amphibian Day. Hailed by many as one of the coolest free, public events at the Museum, Reptile and Amphibian Day has grown in popularity, bringing out thousands more visitors each year. Visitors will see hundreds of live reptiles and amphibians, including native North Carolina species and exotic species from around the globe, and learn how they can get involved in statewide conservation efforts starting with just a little effort in their own back yard.

7). Joel Lane Museum House: Come enjoy American music of the colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods by renowned specialists David & Ginger Hildebrand on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of Raleigh Moravian Church at 1816 Ridge Road, Raleigh. Tickets are $25 in advance for the general public, $30 at the door, and $20 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. The Hildebrands will recreate the patriotic songs, ballads, marches, dance tunes, and theater songs known by Franklin, Washington, and other American patriots!

8). Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) presents a textile seminar: Wednesday - Friday, March 11-13: "Weaving Cultures in British North America: The Influence of Needlework and Woven Forms on Colonial America." Bringing together nine speakers from several disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, Asian studies, African studies, and textile studies, the seminar examines how the textile arts of many cultures influenced and shaped the world of colonial America. For schedule and registration information, contact MESDA at 336-721-7360 /

9). Ackland Art Museum: At the Ackland Art Museum next Friday, March 13, the Museum's monthly Art after Dark will feature live music from “Invisible” - a group that performs on instruments made from repurposed bits of consumer and industrial junk, including typewriters, computer hard drives, plastic cups, toy instruments, clothes driers, and highway signage. Art after Dark is Friday, March 13, from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. Admission is free and a cash bar (beer and wine) will be available. Music begins at 5:00 p.m.

10). Hickory Museum of Art invites you to Vivian Jacobson’s Gallery Talk, “Chagall and the Women in His Life,” on March 15 at 2:30 p.m. in the Coe Gallery. Marc Chagall was a Jewish Russian artist who was associated with several art movements and became one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. He was unique because he worked in multiple mediums from painting, illustrating literature, ceramics, and fine art prints to stained glass, tapestries, and designing theatre stage sets. Jacobson’s program will highlight the people, mostly women, who influenced Chagall’s work.

11). N.C. Maritime Museum: The N.C. Maritime Museum will offer “Ports & Pilots,” a guided tour of the North Carolina State Port in Morehead City on Thursday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. Reservations are $10; for more information, call (252) 728-7317.

Monday, March 02, 2009

1). N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher presents “Scales and Tails” on Saturday, March 7, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, March 8, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher continues “Saving Frogs – Spring Forward” initiatives with a two-day celebration of our amphibian and reptile friends. Visitors will have an opportunity to see, touch and learn about our cold-blooded neighbors. Aquarium staff and invited experts will introduce the public to dozens of live amphibians and reptiles, including alligators, snakes, iguanas, lizards, turtles and more!

2). Reynolda House Museum of American Art presents a lecture titled, “Painting in the Lion’s Den: The Spiritual Art of Henry Ossawa Tanner,” which focuses on the art of the most distinguished African American artist of the 19th century on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 5:30 p.m. Guest lecturer Marcus Bruce is professor and chair of the Religious Studies Department at Bates College and the author of “Henry Ossawa Tanner: A Spiritual Biography.” Admission is $5; members and students are free.

3). N.C. Transportation Museum: Visitors touring the N.C. Transportation Museum “after hours” Friday, March 6 will see and hear something special. Exhibits will come alive, as those who worked and lived around the machines of the past tell their tales. Volunteers and interpretive historians in period dress will uniquely communicate the history the museum preserves and celebrates. These special free tours, taking place at 5, 6 and 7 p.m., are being offered as the first ever “Night at the N.C. Transportation Museum” event.

4). Kings Mountain Historical Museum: The Kings Mountain Historical Museum would like to invite everyone to visit our current exhibit, “The History of Cleveland County: What You Need to Know.” The exhibit features the early years of the county’s development, agriculture, natural resources, education and the textile mills. The Museum is excited about borrowing objects from the Cleveland County Museum collection in cooperation with Destination Cleveland County.

5). Cameron Art Museum presents “Archaeomusicology Lecture” by Dr. Theodore Burgh on Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. Program admission is by donation. Dr. Theodore Burgh will discuss how the study of music and musical instruments from texts and the archaeological record may help to better understand the culture of ancient Israel. Dr. Burgh is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Philosophy and Religion, UNCW. One of his areas of special interest is archaeomusicology, also known as music archaeology. His most recent book is “Listening to the Artifacts Music Culture in Ancient Palestine.”

6). Greensboro Children’s Museum presents Culture of Color Program Series – “We are One” performs on Saturday, March 7, 2 p.m. Join GCM each Saturday through March as we celebrate the culture of the African American community in a new series called the “Culture of Color!” We’ll have local artists visit us each week including painters, actresses, storytellers, singers, dancers and drummers to perform their craft for children and families. On this day, the children’s group, “We Are One,” performs. Free with admission or membership.

7). N.C. Maritime Museum: Restoration of an LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel) or “Higgins Boat” was completed by volunteers at the N.C. Maritime Museum’s Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, concluding a seven-month project. The vessel will be returned to the protective care of its owner, the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Ill., in a hand-off ceremony at the center on March 6 at 2 p.m.

8). Weatherspoon Art Museum: The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is pleased to present the exhibition “Sharon Louden: Taking Turns,” which opens to the public on Sunday, March 8, 2009. Taking Turns is organized by Ron Platt, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, and former Curator of Exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

9). Museum of the Albemarle: Traditions of duck hunting and decoy making are brought to life at the Museum of the Albemarle in their newest exhibit entitled, “Art DuckO: Waterfowl Culture in North Carolina.” This exhibit opens in the museum’s new expansion gallery with a “Family Day” on Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m. More than 100 decoys by noted carvers, unique feathered fashions, and several exciting, interactive activities are featured in this fun and free exhibit.

And don’t forget – the NCMC/SCFM Annual Conference opens this week in Rock Hill, SC. See for more details!