Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill Museum Exhibits

Popular toys from the 1950s and 1960s come to life in "Toy Boom," opening Oct. 4 at the North Carolina Museum of History.


"Wildlife in North Carolina" 
Through Dec. 31

See winning photos in this annual competition that aims to encourage people to participate in nature photography and to foster greater understanding and appreciation of North Carolina’s wildlife and wild places. Free. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Raleigh. naturalsciences.org.

"One Giant Leap: North Carolina and the Space Race"
Through Jan. 5 

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this exhibit features artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom, astronaut John Young’s Apollo 16 chronograph, and a training helmet. The interactive exhibit will be featured in the museum’s lobby, and visitors can even take part in a training module to test their ability of following Mission Control’s command. Free. North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. ncmuseumofhistory.org.

"What in the World Is a Grain Mummy?"
Through Jan. 5

While researching the ancient Egyptian collection, North Carolina Museum of Art Egyptologist Caroline Rocheleau discovered through analytical observation—and confirmed using medical technologies—that an object in the museum’s collection once thought to be a falcon mummy is, in fact, a grain mummy. The mummy was at one time believed to be a fake because it did not contain bird bones. Rocheleau is curating "What in the World Is a Grain Mummy?" to present this humble bundle and its falcon-shaped coffin for the first time and to unravel the mysteries of the NCMA’s only Egyptian mummy. Free. North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. ncartmuseum.org

"Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now"
Through Jan. 12

This exhibit charts the development of contemporary Indigenous art in the United States and Canada, and examines the practices and perspectives of the most influential Native artists and their important contributions to American art. $7 adult; free for ages 7 and younger. Nasher Museum of Art, 2001 Campus Dr., Durham. nasher.duke.edu.

"Viva Viclas! The Art of the Lowrider Motorcyle"
Through Feb. 9

Viva Viclas! is a celebration and exploration of the art and culture of the lowrider motorcycle. Vicla is a slang term for a style of lowrider motorcycle customization popularized by Chicanos/Mexican-Americans and is derived from the Spanish word for bicycle—bicicleta. The exhibition features 10 custom lowrider Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 12 artworks inspired by themes in Vicla culture including heart, pride, brotherhood, respect, and pride. Free. CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St., Raleigh. camraleigh.org.

"QuiltSpeak: Uncovering Women’s Voices Through Quilts"
Through March 8
See quilts designed by women whose voices have been silenced by illiteracy, exhaustion, racial oppression and gender inequity.  Attendees will learn how to “speak quilt” through an interactive quilting glossary, become quilt sleuths to uncover what the physical qualities of quilts reveal about their makers, piece patterns together, and share stories about the quilts in their own lives. Free. North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. ncmuseumofhistory.org.

Photo courtesy of the north carolina museum of history



"R3: Raleigh Then, Raleigh Now, Raleigh Next"

Explore Raleigh’s history through 200 years of artifacts and images. The R3 timeline offers a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural landscape. Interactive kiosks provide visitors with a fun and challenging way to explore photographs from Raleigh’s past. Through an interactive activity featuring the museum's mascot, Sir Sammy the Squirrel, children can learn how trees in the City of Oaks can reveal secrets about the past. Free. City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville Rd., Raleigh. cityofraleighmuseum.org.

"Toy Boom! Toys from the 1950s and '60s"
Through Jan. 3, 2021
See toys from the 1950s and 1960s come to life and curated into unique environments, including TV westerns, space age, zany toys, creative toys, dolls, action figures and more. From an Easy Bake Oven to Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots, this exhibit examines how toys most beloved by Baby Boomers reflected the energy, ambition, and abundance of a prosperous era, all while channeling the uncertainties of the period.View a larger-than-life Twister board, a giant Lite-Brite wall, an Etch A Sketch station, working Hot Wheels racing tracks (complete with inversion loops), a “Name that Tune” game featuring TV Westerns, and digital Christmas catalog stations where visitors can digitally flip through pages to look at vintage toys. Free. North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. ncmuseumofhistory.org


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