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  • Charlotte Museum of HistoryCharlotte Museum of History Charlotte, North Carolina
    The Charlotte Museum of History and the Hezekiah Alexander Home site sit on 8 landscaped acres that offer the visit a wonderful number of venues to enjoy and reflect on the history of this great city and state. The Hezekiah Alexander house is a 5000 square foot stone house, that is the oldest building still standing in the city and the reason the museum is located here. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1774, on the original foundation and has a log kitchen, two story springhouse and barn. The Methodist Home got the house and land in 1940, and the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution, leased it in 1949, so that they could renovated the house which was in bad shape. After some difficult situations, the museum opened in 1976 and was managed by the Mint Museum from then until 1987, and during that period, the Hezekiah Alexander Women's Auxiliary was created and began raising money for the necessary period furnishings that would fill the house. In 1987, the administrative tasks were transferred to the Parks and Recreation department of the city and then renamed the Charlotte Museum of History. In 1996, the foundation wanted to build a bigger venue to house the growing collection and after raising enough funds, built a new 36,000 square foot museum building where their relics from the 18th century to the 20th, would now be showcased in a much better environment; while the house was kept as a monument to the times past, with all the furnishings that were relevant to that era. The museum's mission is devoted to acquiring artifacts that have a regional focus, and this guides them into what to collect and preserve. Their growing collection now contains some 7000 relics and over 6000 archival materials, and very divers, that includes; toys and numerous household items from the colonial period to the late 20th century, tools, clothes, postcards, textiles and covered furnishings, documents and publications, photographs and genealogical papers. In their permanent display area they have; Settlement in the Backcounty, Charlotte's Pole to Pole Flag, Mecklenburg: Crossroads of Commerce and Solving the Rock House Mysteries. Changing exhibits include; Charlotte Stories: Our Collections, Your Treasures and Charlotte Neighborhoods. Perhaps to many, the Alexander house is the most exciting treasure to explore. The Revolutionary War house of Hezekiah is located on the grounds of the museum, and is where the old museum was. Constructed in 1774, the two story house is now the oldest structure still standing from that era, in the entire Mecklenburg County.

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  • Mint Museum of ArtMint Museum of Art Charlotte, North Carolina
    The Mint Museum of Art is found in Charlotte, North Carolina, sitting in the former home of the Charlotte Mint. The museum opened in 1936, and was the first such museum in the state and houses the collections of pre-Columbian art, historic costumes and accessories, American art, Asian art, photography, historic maps, American and European ceramics, African art, contemporary art and American decorative arts. There is another Mint Museum, for craft and design, that highlights contemporary craft works. However, you better get to the museum before October, 2010, since that is when the entire collection will be moved to its new location, uptown. The collections reflect a glorious period in the city, that continued to grow because of the wonderful community that has always supported and enjoyed the artworks. Their collection of American art contains marvelous paintings, prints, works on paper, photographs and sculpture that was created during the colonial period through the second World War. In that vein, there are three specific areas of importance; early 20th century realism, Federal portraiture and 19th century landscape paintings. During the mid 1800s, portraiture was the most prominent form of art in this country and the museum's collection has numerous portraits that were painted by the finest artists of the time. These included; Thomas Sully, John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart, who have shown us what the clothing of the period was, the natural magnificence of the country's landscapes, the rise of impressionism and more. As the 19th century progressed, the painting took on a more natural style, using landscapes to embellish one's home. The Hudson River School painters became the more prominent of these great painters, that included the likes of Sanford Gifford and Thomas Cole. When the 20th century began, a new topic of art became popular, sometimes referred to as Ashcan School, focusing more on the ordinary man and his surroundings. There are significant works in this area, with artists like; Ernest Lawson, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Everett Shinn, William Glackens and George Luks.  The museum's new home is pictured above and will have 5 galleries to showcase their fabulous paintings.

January 11, 2011