Museum exhibits worth planning a trip around in 2020

What Me Worry? by Patty Kuzbida Courtesy AVAM

Planning your 2020 travel? Some museum-centric ideas

If history, art and eclectic adventures are what you seek out when you travel, you’ll have plenty of excuses to pull off the road in 2020.

For CNBC we put together a list of great options, from a retrospective celebrating 25 years of outsider art to fresh shrines and exhibitions devoted to everything from eyesight, motion pictures, shoes, music and rodeo culture.

Celebrate Southern Rock in Georgia

Courtesy the Mercer Museum at Capricorn

In early December, Macon, GA celebrated the reopening of the Capricorn Sound Studios, which captured the music of the Allman Brothers and other emerging bands playing a new musical genre dubbed ‘Southern rock’ during the 1970s.

The new Mercer Music at Capricorn now operates as a music incubator, with the Museum at Capricorn opening on January 2 to tell the history of the iconic studio with artifacts, photos, recordings, album art and music-filled interactive digital kiosks. (Museum admission: $7; Studio tour: $5)

Radical rodeo in Fort Worth

Red Grooms – Rodeo Ruckus – Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

If you’re headed to Fort Worth, Texas to attend the parades, shows, contest and other events that take place during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas (January 17- February 8, 2020) be sure to stop by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

The museum will display artist Red Grooms’ rollicking Ruckus Rodeo installation, a giant walk-through work that celebrates the Fort Worth rodeo with 3-D caricatures of rodeo regulars ranging from the rodeo clowns and cowboys to broncos to and bulls. (January 17-March 29, 2020; Admission: $16; half-price Sundays; free admission Fridays.)

Fancy Footwear in Florida

– Peep Toe Ankle-Strap shoes. Stuart Weitzman Collection. Photo Glen Castellano, New -York Historical Society.

The grandiose Gilded Age estate that is now the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida is an appropriate exhibition space for Walk This Way: Historic Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection. Organized by the New-York Historical Society, the 100 shoes in this exhibition are not just pretty to look at, they tell stories of culture, consumerism, power and history. (Jan 28-May 10, 2020; Admission: $18).

Garden of delight

©YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo Singapore Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York

In the Bronx, NY, the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will present KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature, by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama from May 9 through November 1, 2020. The garden-wide exhibit will include the artist’s signature mirrored environments, paintings, giant polka-dotted sculptures flowers and pumpkins, site-specific sculpture and a new greenhouse installation. Tickets go on sale on sale on January 20.

When women got the right to vote

Library of Congress

The 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative has an extensive list of museum exhibits around the country marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote.

Wyoming, which gave women the right to vote 50 years before the rest of the nation, kicked off its suffrage celebrations in 2019 and continues with many special exhibits statewide in 2020.

In Washington, D.C. the National Museum of American History will present “Creating Icons: How We Remember Women’s Suffrage,” with artifacts from 1919 and 1920 donated by the National American Women Suffrage Association, the precursor to the League of Women Voters (Opens March 6; free).

A visionary retrospective

Matchstick sculpture by Gerald Hawkes. Courtesy American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) collects curates and celebrates self-taught artists and “outsider” art and presents workshops, parades and themed exhibitions filled with odd and exquisite creations. In November 2020, AVAM will mark its 25th anniversary with a retrospective show featuring work from its past 40 exhibitions, bring back some work which has been in storage for years. (Admission: $15.95)

Courtesy Museum of Science, Boston

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum opens in Colorado Springs, CO in April 2020, ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In Spring 2020, keep an eye out for the opening of the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The free museum at the headquarters of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will feature a collection of more than 38,000 artifacts, books, and instruments and virtual reality activities.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, featuring a collection of photographs, films, videos, costumes, props and more, is scheduled to open in Los Angeles, CA (of course) in Spring 2020.

And in late 2020, the Museum of Science, Boston will open “Arctic Adventure,” a major permanent exhibition that will immerse visitors in a polar environment using state-of-the-art light projections and a real ice wall. (Admission included with Exhibit Halls ticket: $29 for adults, $24 for kids.)

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