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BYU Museum of ArtBYU Museum of Art Provo, Utah
The Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah is definitely one of the most attended art museums in the nation, opening in 1993 after fifty years of planning, and housed in more than 10,000 square feet of space. Their first major exhibition would be about the Etruscans, the early Italian empire that existed before the Roman Empire overtook it around the 1st century BC. The museum had a wonderful collection even before the completion of its new home, housing some 17,000 artworks, but because they never had a permanent or even temporary space, they would lose over 900 pieces of art due to poor storage conditions. A 2004 survey concluded that the museum had ranked first among attendance at the university campuses nationwide, welcoming 334,774 visitors, which is quite a bit for a university or college art museum. The museum exhibits sculptures, video, photography, paintings, prints, installations and drawings, with the permanent collection housing works from numerous famous artists, that include; Norman Rockwell, Minerva Teichert, Carl Bloch, Rembrandt and Maynard Dixon. Their excellent permanent collection has been complemented by other partnerships, that include traveling exhibits and special displays that also included one which coincided with the 2002 Olympics that happened in Salt Lake City. It's marvelous collection contains over 170 works that pertain to Jesus Christ; which highlights the portrayal of Him that had changed. And while we're on the subject of our Lord, there is a special exhibition being held in the fall of 2011 that will showcase Carl Heinrich Bloch, the Lutheran Danish artist that painted Christ in various images that he created during the 19th century. The exhibit is called Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand, and it is free, if you live in the area or are heading there during that period. Their collection places special emphasis on American art from the 18th century to the present day, and includes paintings, prints, photography and sculpture, with big holdings from the Hudson River School's landscape paintings, as well as American impressionism. It contains big holdings of works by the previous mentioned artists as well as Mahonri Young and J. Alden Weir.  Some of the highlights of this excellent collection include Rembrandt etchings, Asian collection, Steed Memorial collection, drawings in the MOA collection, recent acquisitions, A. Merlin and Alice W. Steed collection, sacred subjects, Minerva Teichert: Pageants in Print, photo: western landscapes, MOA print study room, British paintings, Dr. J. Herbert Millburn collection, American Dreams: Envisioning America, American Dreams: Dream of Eden and American Dream: American Inspirations. It is a wonderful collection that is much better enjoyed in person than on the internet or in books, so be sure to stop by when you visit the area, and take some time to smell the roses.

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Monte L. Bean Science MuseumMonte L. Bean Science Museum Provo, Utah
The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum in Provo, Utah is a natural history museum that is located on the campus of the Brigham Young University that opened in 1978 and named after Monte Lafayette Bean, a self-made Seattle mogul that would fund the entire project as well as paying for the museum's building construction costs. The museum houses a magnificent collection of vascular and non vascular plants, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, with free admission. The museum had been part of the university before 1978, and called the BYU Life Sciences Museum, but did not have its own separate building. In their permanent exhibits, they have just opened the Hunting Methods of North American Predators and others include the Shasta the Liger exhibit, who had been born at the Hogle Zoo; the Whooping Crane exhibit, Pheasants and Waterfowl of the World, Insects, The Mario J. Gracchi Shell collection, The Ecosystems, Africa: A Diverse Continent, the Donald G. Fox International Wildlife collection and the Synoptic Collection of Utah's Vertebrates. They have an excellent research collection that includes; reptiles and amphibians, vascular plants, arthropod collection, lichens, birds, mollusk, fishes and mammals. Another area offers educational activities and exhibits that include live animal shows, discovery readings, nature experienceships, exhibits tours and wildlife adventures. And one more outstanding adventure will take you away from the main campus, and bring you thirty-six miles west of St. George, Utah, after the Beaver Dam Mountains and down into a natural oasis that is called the Lytle Preserve, filled with beauty and biological diversity, and one of the state's most delicate and unusual ecosystems that has been preserved just for research, study and enjoyment. The preserve contains over 600 acres along the Beaver Dam Wash drainage area, which is one of the lowest areas in the state. It is a fabulous environment to visit and wander around, expecting to see all kinds of wildlife and flora, that has been created by the unique combination of climate, elevation, geology and water. The entire museum is filled with many exciting and interesting objects that are sure to impress you and your family as you learn more about this diverse environment, both at the preserve and the museum.

February 02, 2011