Museums for sight, sound and feel

It has been pretty hot lately, luckily Missouri has great locations to inspire and keep you cool. I recently visited one of the finest art museums in the country, the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City. The Nelson is free and has art collections that can’t be matched. They have European, American Indian, Chinese, Japanese and American collections to name a few. They also feature a 22-acre outdoor sculpture park.

If in southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau has one of the newest museums, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum on the beautiful River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University. The museum features the archaeology, history and fine art of southeast Missouri. I was lucky enough to have been in Cape for the First Friday with the Arts. It was a peaceful night walking around the historic downtown waterfront and visiting just a few of the many galleries open late for the event.

For the historian, farmer or child in you, I recommend the Southeast Missouri Agricultural Museum & Granny’s Antiques in Sikeston. A warehouse full of every piece of antique farming equipment you could ever think of and some you didn’t know existed.

Now on to the unusual Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence and Bonne Terre Mine in Bonne Terre. Leila’s has artwork and jewelry like no other because it is all made of hair!  The Bonne Terre Mine allows you to feel the constant cool waters by scuba diving and observing the mining industry artifacts underwater. For those of you who can’t scuba dive you can still take a walking tour and boat ride.

For some hands on museums the Puppetry Arts Institute has examples of puppets from all over the world. If your feeling artistic or just want to make something for a friend you can make your own puppet from the original Hazelle’s Marionettes. The Institute is featured in Englewood Arts District of Independence’s Third Friday Art Walk. The American Jazz Museum allows you to listen to various jazz instruments and jazz masters. If you want to experience live Jazz just visit the Blue Room jazz club right on the corner of the famous 18th and Vine in Kansas City.

There are so many other wonderful places no matter where you are in Missouri to learn, inspire and enjoy.

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