Last Friday, I checked out a local museum, as they have free admission on the first Friday night of every month. I am ashamed to admit that I hadn't been there in years. Please understand that I am in no way, shape or form what I consider to be a "cultured" person; I know much less about art, classical music, etc. than I'm sure I should, and that's entirely my fault. All I know is that this museum is the coolest place I've been to in a long, long time.
They had all kinds of neat paintings. I love portraits from the eighteen-hundreds, and they had lots of those. They also had some landscape tapestries that were made by a local mental hospital patient in the nineteen twenties, and those were exceedingly cool. They had some Dali sketches and some by Picasso. One of my favorite pieces was a wooden diorama of a goatman's cottage; the "goatman" in question was half goat, half man. There were some scary sculptures, and some stuff that I couldn't figure out exactly what it was.
Then it was on to the Audubon exhibit. They had lots of his prints, and corresponding stuffed animals by a local taxidermist. Frankly, a lot of the stuffed stuff looked like it had seen better days, but it was still cool to look at a print of a bald eagle and compare it to the real thing (well, as real as a stuffed thing can be, I mean). (And yes, I am aware that the bald eagle is an endangered species, and no, I have no idea where this local taxidermist got ahold of one to stuff. I am assuming that the museum researched this thorny little issue before they put it on display.)
There was an exhibit of landscape paintings of the area, and also an exhibit by a local artist, and an exhibit of masks, and lots more. At one point, I came to what appeared to be the end of a hallway, but I could see fancy sofas and stuff ahead. So I went on through, and I was inside an actual mansion that is attached to the museum. The staff has been restoring the mansion over the years, and parts of it are open to the public. This was so, so cool - you would not believe the stained glass windows in this place.
I realize that I've badly overused the word "cool" here, but I cannot emphasize enough how cool this museum is. And here's the thing - The entire time I was there, I only saw three other people. Here's this great museum, with all this fantastic stuff in it, and nobody's going there, even on nights when admission is free.
And at first I couldn't figure it out, until I realized that I myself hadn't been to this museum in AT LEAST twenty years. It just wasn't on my radar screen. So I think the museum needs to get a bigger advertising budget. Because this place is seriously cool. And I will be going back every first Friday that I can.
Oh! And they allow photography. I'll take pictures of the coolest stuff and post it here. Promise.