Avid readers will have a new destination to visit in 2017 when the American Writers Museum opens to the public. As the museum’s name implies, it will focus on North American writers. There are many museums around the world dedicated to an individual author or authors who lived in a specific city, but a museum concept related to writers or books that has this wide scope is rare.
The museum will feature themed galleries, interactive exhibits, educational programs, and special events. They will change regularly to engage visitors of all ages. Writers Hall will introduce popular authors in their own environment and it will follow travel writers like Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck on their journeys.
Famous fictional sites will also be exhibited in Nation of Writers, such as “Tara,” “Cannery Row,” and “The House of the Seven Gables”.
The Mind of a Writer, A Writer’s Room, and Word Play are designed to unveil writers’ lives and their writing methodologies. Readers Hall will host films, talks, readings, and presentations to school classes and other groups.
The address of the museum is 180 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago city center. The opening is expected in early 2017.
Planning is still ongoing for the exhibits that will be set up in the museum, but rotating exhibits will be seen in the museum. Here are a few possibilities for planned exhibits:
Censorship: Banned Books
Villains in American Literature
Great Characters in American Literature
The Lost Generation
Coming of Age—on the Page
The Poetry of Revolution
The Short Story
First Novels that Rocked the World
American Writers as Cultural Ambassadors
The Agony and the Ecstasy—Love Poetry
Writers on Writers
American Plays and Playwrights
American Humorists from Mark Twain to the Present
American Literary Critics
Storytelling: Narrative Art in a Variety of Genres
The Immigrant Experience
The Native American Experience
From Page to Screen (Turning Books into Films)
The Art of Book-Making
Literature & the Visual Arts
In June 2015, three cities have Guggenheim museums. The cities are New York in the U.S., Bilbao in Spain and Venice in Italy. Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates has agreed to build a Guggenheim museum but construction hasn’t started. Guggenheim organized a design competition for a new museum planned in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. The winner, Moreau Kusunoki Architects , was recently announced, allowing us to compare designs of five Guggenheim museums across the world.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (planned design).
Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
The planned Guggenheim Museum for Helsinki.
Architecture always delivers a message that tells something about the city where the building is located. It also tells about the time and the trends, but in every way, public building is a statement. Look at me! This is who I am!
What do the five Guggenheim museum designs tell us? The architecture of New York, Bilbao and Abu Dhabi museums are asking for our admiration by showing how daring and prosperous the cities are. The designs of Venice and Helsinki museums are modest but solid and proud of their roots. Both Venice and Helsinki invite visitors in to the building, instead of asking them to admire art from the outside.
With or without a Guggenheim museum Helsinki is a travel destination worth visiting in northern Europe. Download a travel guide to Helsinki and take it along on your smartphone or tablet when you travel.
The status of Guggenheim Helsinki and Abu Dhabi can be followed at their own web pages.
Many museums publish beautiful paper books on art collections, historical objects and exhibitions they have. Print books, however, only have a limited life span. When books become too costly to print and keep in stock, they become unavailable. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has solved the availability problem of old books elegantly: the museum has released books older than 50 years as free ebooks.
You can explore the collection of free art and history ebooks here. Ebooks are available as PDF downloads, or you can read them online. Online reading seems to be more convenient option, because downloads are very, very slow.
We are always looking for travel tips, and Metropolitan Museum’s free ebook collection didn’t disappoint. For instance, book titled Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain shows many magnificent historical destinations in Spain that can be visited today.