Going Places Near & Far… Major museums draw travelers with important exhibitions

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Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Painterly scenes abound at Heritage Museums and Gardens, in historic Sandwich on Cape Cod is actually the theme of this year’s exhibition Landscapes: Contemporary Views.

Major museums and institutions are not just enhancements to a trip, but often are the centerpieces for travelers. Here are a few major ones this season:

Heritage Museums & Gardens Announces an “Up Close and Personal” 2017 Season 

Imagine having a concierge-style tour of expansive gardens and exceptional exhibits, the opportunity not only to see a classic automobile, but actually to ride in it, to take classes with art experts, and to have exclusive after-hours access to a great exhibit and food truck cuisine. These and other experiences are available to visitors during the 2017 season at Heritage Museums & Gardens, in historic Sandwich, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

“We’re taking our mission of exploration, discovery, and learning to a new level in 2017,” said Ellen Spear, President and CEO at Heritage Museums & Gardens. “From the moment visitors arrive, there are multiple options to experience Heritage in fun and engaging ways. Because there’s so much to see and do, this season our visitors can enjoy personalized, behind-the-scenes tours that cater to their interests and get them up close and personal with our collections, gardens, and exhibits. They’ll even have the opportunity to ride in one of our historic cars.”

Heritage opens for its season (April 15-October 9) with a special exhibit, Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views. Featuring the work of Alex Katz, one of the most widely recognized American artists of this century, Paul Resika, Sam Cady, April Gornik, and others, the exhibit offers a range of styles, subjects, and approaches which, when taken together, form an intimate, contemporary, and startlingly beautiful collection that addresses what landscape painting is today. Each artist featured takes acute notice of the physical world at a time of heightened awareness of the landscape, informed by today’s concerns, including climate change, environmental health, conservation and the green movement. Guest curator of the exhibit is New York art expert Lauren Della Monica.

To complement the exhibit, Heritage will offer a panel discussion with artists whose work is on display, as well as Plein Air Painting and Pastel Workshops throughout the season, led by renowned Cape Cod artists.

Heritage’s 2017 outdoor installation, Points of View (June 3-October 9), features art set within the gardens and grounds of Heritage, in which artists play with the concept of point of view. A variety of materials are incorporated that enhance the viewer’s appreciation of the gardens and grounds while challenging them to think about what a point of view can be.  As an added bonus, visitors get the chance to talk with the artists as they install their sculptures during Artists in Action Days (May 20 and 21).

Also part of Heritage’s 2017 season are a number of new events and activities, for an additional fee, including concierge-style tours—90-minute tours that provide behind-the-scenes views and “inside” information about the exhibits, gardens, and more—which will be offered twice daily, June 17-September 17.

Fall activities include a Halloween Fest as well as the Heritage Hoppy Fall Festival on September 23, from 10-5 pm. Hoppy Fest features beer tastings from local Massachusetts breweries—including Cape Cod Beer, Cisco Brewers, Independent Fermentations Brewing, Castle Island Brewing Company, and more—along with a presentation on the history of beer brewing, a demonstration of home brewing techniques, and a talk and book signing with Lauren Clark, author of Crafty Bastards. Visitors can also enjoy fall-themed treats and take photos under an archway of living hops grown at Heritage.

Heritage’s focus on family-friendly activities and entertainment throughout the season includes Family Fun Fridays, which begin on Friday, June 30, and take place on Fridays through August 18, the popular two-acre Hidden Hollow™ outdoor family discovery space with a gigantic treehouse, free rides on the vintage carousel, and special programs throughout the season. Also opening, on April 13, is The Adventure Park at Heritage, which includes aerial trails in the treetops and interpretive nature trails below.

As the largest public garden in southern New England and home of the most comprehensive collection of rhododendrons and hydrangeas in the country, Heritage’s renowned gardens will be in bloom for The Rhododendron Festival (May 27-June 4) and The Hydrangea Festival (July 7-July 16). During these festivals, a number of informative workshops and walking tours of the gardens, led by horticulture experts, will be available. Special horticulture events include Hydrangea University (July 7) and The Standard Flower Show (July 11-13).

Heritage is home to gems of the automobile world that celebrate America’s love of automobiles as well as technological innovation, featuring vehicles that convey excellence in restoration and historical significance. This season’s “Collector’s Corner” features rarely seen autos on loan from private collections, includes a 1965 Cadillac with 1,700 original miles, a 1964.5 Mustang Convertible, and a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT350. The Heritage Annual Auto Show (June 10; rain date June 11) is a family-friendly event that highlights antique and classic automobiles, hot rods, custom cars, and—new this year, motorcycles—in excellent original or restored condition. Throughout the season, Behind-the-Scenes Auto Tours provide visitors with an exclusive peek at Heritage’s automobile collection in storage and inside information.

Set on 100 stunning acres of gardens, nature trails, and open spaces, Heritage Museums & Gardens is the only place where you can browse through rare works of art, fly through the trees on a zip line, and see iconic antique automobiles all in one day. Explore Hidden Hollow™, an interactive outdoor discovery area for kids of all ages. Take a ride on the vintage carousel. And find your own special spot on Cape Cod.

The 2017 season runs from April 15-October 9. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. More information is available online at heritagemuseumsandgardens.org or by calling 508-888-3300.

Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts Heritage Museums features one of the best collections of historic automobiles. This season’s “Collector’s Corner” features rarely seen autos on loan from private collections as well as behind-the-scenes tours.

Blockbuster Exhibition of Works by Andrew Wyeth Opens in June

The Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth by mounting a landmark exhibit of the artist’s works.  More than one hundred of his finest paintings and works on paper, gathered from both public museums and private collections, will be on display in the museum from June 24 through September 17, 2017.

Co-curated by the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum, Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect is the first in-depth, chronological exhibition of Wyeth’s career since the 1970’s.  It is a testament to Andrew Wyeth’s prodigious output and is also intended to provide a basis for reevaluating his career and understanding how he perceived the world around him.

Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) enjoyed enormous popular approval during his career, but was frequently chided by art critics for his conservative realism.   He was inspired by the lives, houses and personal belongings around him, particularly the German immigrants who settled in nearby Kuerner Farm, and painted innumerable portraits of them and views in and around their home and farm.  Instead of depicting nature with photographic accuracy, Wyeth used his paintings to convey emotions that were difficult to put into words.  A focus on death and loss, the use of places and objects to serve as stand-ins for people, an intense and unsentimental scrutiny of nature and often a stark lack of color characterize his work.

The museum is housed in a restored 19th-century gristmill overlooking the Brandywine River.  It features an impressive collection of American Art including works by three generations of the Wyeth family and is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Guided tours of Andrew Wyeth’s Studio, Kuerner Farm and N.C. Wyeth’s Home and Studio are offered seasonally from April through mid-November.

A series of special events will complement the exhibition including the official dedication on July 12th at the museum of the U.S. Postal Service’s pane of stamps commemorating twelve of Andrew Wyeth’s most famous works.

More information and tools to plan a visit to Greater Wilmington at VisitWilmingtonDE.com.

American Revolution Museum Opens at Yorktown

Celebrate the grand opening of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and enjoy the venue’s inaugural special exhibition AFTERWARD; check out new exhibitions at The College of William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art; take a thrilling ride on Invader, the world’s first crowd-sourced ride and Busch Garden’s first wooden roller coaster; relax with a bite to eat and something to sip at Virginia Beer Company, Williamsburg Winery and Copper Fox Distillery; dine at new restaurants including Culture Café and Revolution Golf and Grille; and stay at the renovated Williamsburg Inn, reopening in April just in time to commemorate the Inn’s 80th anniversary. These are among the highlights of visiting Williamsburg this year.

Yorktown is celebrating the grand opening of the American Revolution Museum March 23-April 4 with a patriotic salute to America’s 13 original states, a dedication ceremony on April 1, tours of expansive gallery exhibits, and military music and 18th century interpretative experiences in the newly expanded Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.

American Revolution Museum’s inaugural special exhibition is “AFTERWARD” (June 1 through November 27): When the battle ceased at Yorktown, another revolution began. Follow the incredible stories of four veterans of the Siege of Yorktown and how after the war they helped shape the America we know today.

The Liberty Celebration takes place on July 4 at the American Revolution Museum. Salute the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in military exercises and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, ding those who signed the historic document.

The College of William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art is featuring a stunning new exhibit, Botticelli and the “Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities. One of only two of Botticelli’s paintings of an isolated Venus will be on view for the first time in the United States. The show is considered the largest and most important exhibit of its type ever organized in the country and is on display only in Williamsburg and Boston.

In 2017, Griffon turns 10, Alpengeist turns 20, and the world’s first crowdsourced ride opens this spring: InvadR. A great battle will ensue in the trapper’s village of New France. Vikings will invade, forcing the trappers to defend their village. Invade new territory on the first wooden coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The 74-foot drop makes it a force to be feared and nine airtime hills wait to be conquered by bold warriors. Chart a course through the winding frontier at 48 mph and claim eternal glory for your crew. Join the charge at www.buschgardens.com/project2017.

The renovated Williamsburg Inn re-opens in April, just in time to commemorate the Inn’s 80th anniversary. The second part of its multi-phase renovation includes significant enhancements to the historic Inn’s exteriors and food and beverage offerings. The renovations include a new signature restaurant, an elegant reflection pool at the main entrance and private event spaces including an expanded Queen’s Terrace ideal for weddings and larger functions.

Additionally, the renovation coincides with the multi-million-dollar renovation of Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s award-winning Gold Course, scheduled for completion in spring 2017, as well as enhancement of the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, now managed by Trilogy Spa Holdings.

Log on to www.visitwilliamsburg.com to see more of what Greater Williamsburg has to offer and to plan your stay in 2017.

 

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