A sampling of local museums

By Addie Malone

Chapel Hill residents lamenting the July 11 closing of the Chapel Hill museum need mourn no longer. While the Chapel Hill-centric East Franklin street establishment will be missed, there is no dearth of worth-your-while museums in the Triangle area.
Auckland Art Museum- A short bike ride or leisurely walk from the Planetarium, UNC’s free-of-charge Auckland Museum of Art is the perfect air-conditioned retreat during an afternoon downtown. The museum has recently announced plans to open a museum shop at the corner of Columbia and Franklin- a move that will likely expand the museum’s already extensive clientele base. Half the museum’s gallery space is dedicated to special and traveling exhibitions, so even the Auckland’s most hardened fans have a reason to keep coming back.
Current Special Exhibitions include:
Flowers from Earth and Sand: Art Glass and Ceramics, 1880-1950
September 12 – December 12, 2010
The Good, the Bad, and the Ambiguous: Discerning Good and Evil in Early Modern Art
Through February 11, 2011
And for all of the East music enthusiasts– Sunday, October 17, the Len Gettes String Quartet performs in the Auckland’s main gallery.
Nasher Museum- Located on Duke’s campus, the Nasher houses one of the Triangle’s largest collections of modern art.   And unlike the Auckland, the Nasher has a museum café perfect for a quick snack following a mid-day visit to the museum (the menu changes seasonally and features local and organically grown products).  The Nasher attracts acclaimed and engaging exhibitions, such as the popular recent exhibition “Andy Warhol’s Big Shots”.
Upcoming Nasher Attractions:
The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl
September 2, 2010 – February 6, 2011
Current Nasher exhibition “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” is the first museum exhibition to explore the culture of vinyl records within the history of contemporary art, and is causing quite a buzz.
For record collectors, or anybody with a free Saturday, WXDU will be holding its annual record sale fair Saturday, October 16 from 11 a.m.-4p.m. WXDU-FM’s sale attracts record and CD dealers from across North Carolina and throughout the entire Southeast. All proceeds benefit the radio station.

North Carolina Museum of Art- While the cost of gas to get from Chapel Hill to Raleigh might initially deter you from visiting the North Carolina Museum of Art, don’t let it. The recently expanded museum is breathtaking. The new 127,000-square-foot building houses the museum’s permanent collection, creating a dramatically expanded exhibition space characterized by galleries illuminated by natural light. Large scale sculptures can be found throughout the building’s now extensive gardens, making it hard for museum goers to decide whether to spend the bulk of their time in the museum’s interior or exterior exhibitions.
North Carolina Museum of Art attractions:
Sculptural works by Roxy Paine
Described by Roxy Paine as “dendroids,” her sculptures are huge metal tree-like forms with elaborate branching structures. The monumental sculptures have been installed in the Museum’s south garden.
The sculptures of Auguste Rodin
The NCMA has 29 Rodin sculptures in total, making the museum the largest repository of Rodin sculptures in the Southeastern United States. The Rodin works found at the NCMA are some of his most widely known; the museum has designed a whole garden around the artist’s sculptures, so prepare to make a day out of your visit.
American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell
November 7, 2010–January 30, 2011
The exhibition traces the evolution of Rockwell’s art and iconography throughout his career, a fascinating must see for any American art aficionado.

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