Explore Great Museums

A typical sight in New Orleans – the Second Line Parade.  Winding through the French Quarter, this lively group embodies the New Orleans Tradition.  The roots of this and other elements of New Orleans’ rich musical heritage are explored in GREAT MUSEUMS: New Orleans: A Living… more >

Second Line Parade

Some called them robber barons, but the egos of the successful capitalists in the 19th century helped provide the foundation for some of America’s greatest collections. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006).   more >

The Exhibitionists

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry was inspired by a trip to foreign soil. Philanthropist Julius Rosenwald visited Germany and saw for the first time a museum where visitors could touch things and pull levers and learn how things work. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals… more >

Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

Abby Rockefeller, wife of John D., contributed to the founding of the most important museum of contemporary art in America—The Museum of Modern Art.  This was a space for contemporary living artists to show their work. From GREAT MUSEUMS: In Our Time: The Museum of Modern Art.… more >

A MoMA Moment

With items representing all cultures and all civilizations, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an encyclopedia of the human experience. From GREAT MUSEUMS: A World of Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  more >

A Moment at the Met

The Henry Ford Museum s a tribute to American innovation and ordinary genius with its celebration of great milestones of American invention. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006).   more >

The Henry Ford Museum

The discovery of dinosaur bones always makes headlines. In the early 1900s, collectors competed for the largest finds. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006).   more >

The Dinosaur Wars

In spite of hard times, museums flowered during the Great Depression, with the WPA creating museum jobs for all types of workers. From Riches, Radicals and Rivals.  more >

The Great Depression

John Cotton Dana was a significant forerunner of the “Buy American” movement.  One of the most important museum directors of 20th century, he thought European art was a waste of money. The Newark Museum is a quintessential American art museum. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches,… more >

John Cotton Dana

Percussionist Luther Gray performs at the “Spirit of Congo Square Celebration,” sponsored by Tulane University.  New Orleans: A Living Museum of Music.  more >

Luther Gray in Congo Square, New Orleans
Luther Gray in Congo Square, New Orleans

Founded in 1961, the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the first African-American museums in the country.  “We’re talking about 1961, we’re not talking about ancient times,” says former Chief Curator Ramon Price. “But in 1961 there… more >

American Soul: The DuSable Museum of African-American History

The National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, LA This is not the history of World War II, but the story of what it takes to transform a nation of people into a nation of warriors. This New Orleans-based museum, opened in the year 2000, talks about war in human terms and… more >

Triumph of the Spirit:  The National D-Day Museum

What makes a masterpiece? In this visually stunning high definition production, A World of Art, the magnificence of America’s premier art museum lights up the screen. One of the architectural glories of New York, the Met stretches 1000 feet along Fifth Avenue. Inside is a… more >

A World of Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Narrated by Mariel Hemingway This GREAT MUSEUMS of the WORLD documentary shows a side of the island nation that we seldom hear about: Cuba’s art, history, and culture. Despite Cuba’s overwhelming economic and political challenges, museums in Havana abound; from rum and… more >

The Great Museums of Havana, Cuba
The Great Museums of Havana, Cuba

Founded in 1773 on the eve of American independence, this South Carolina museum features natural wonders like the rattlesnake, which so fascinated early European explorers; shells and pottery shards from an on-going archaeological dig that reveal the lost truths of rural slave… more >

America’s First Museum: The Charleston Museum

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