Too often, I have found, people fail to take advantage of cultural treasures right in their own backyard. On Monday, January 28, I drove the Lewis Library Staff to Cartersville, Georgia for a day at the Tellus Science Museum. The Tellus Museum recently celebrated its 4th anniversary as did the Lewis Library with our taking occupency in February of 2009. In the past we have visited the Atlanta History Center; the Cyclorama; the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Center; the High Museum of Art; and the National Civil War Naval Museum. These have been cultural outings that enrich the lives of all who work in the Frank & Laura Lewis Library at LaGrange College.
Some of my favorite museums in the Southeast include the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola; the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville; the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site near Cartersville; the Andersonville National Prisoner of War Museum near Americus; the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site near Hendersonville, North Carolina; the Vanderbilt Estate near Asheville, North Carolina; the North Carolina Arboretum also near Asheville; the Brookgreen Gardens near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; and, lastly, the Bob Jones University Art Museum and Gallery in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Brookgreen Gardens located south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a real jewel that occupies over 9,000 acres. The gardens contain “the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting by American artists in the world and has the only zoo accreditted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the Carolina coast. In addition to the sculpture that is displayed in both large and small gardens, it is a pleasure to sit in this peaceful setting observing the sculpture and reading fragments of poetry etched on garden walls. Indeed, Brookgreen Gardens is one place to feed your soul!
Another of my favorite sites is the Bob Jones University Art Museum & Gallery located in Greenville, South Carolina. Surprisingly, this museum & gallery contains one of the finest collections of “Old Master” religious paintings in America and includes large canvases by artists like Rubens, Botticelli, Cranach, and van Dyck. In addition to exhibiting over 400 paintings from the 14th-18th centuries the museum also includes a collection of furniture and religious icons. A satellite location in a restored Coca Cola building at Heritage Green in Downtown Greenville features rotating exhibits. However, the gallery on the main campus of Bob Jones University should not be missed.Life is too short for each of us not to “stop and smell the roses!” What a better way to do this than spending time in a museum or garden? There are some real cultural gems all around us -- don’t miss seeing them!
**This post was authored by Loren Pinkerman.