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Museums in Columbus

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COSI Columbus
COSI, Columbus’ dynamic Center of Science and Industry, has combined science learning and fun since 1964 with 300-plus hands-on exhibits, Ohio’s largest Planetarium, Giant Screen Theater, live shows and more. And now, through a unique and unprecedented partnership with the renowned American Museum of Natural History, COSI’s offerings are only growing! Located on Columbus’ Scioto Peninsula, COSI is near the downtown core and the Ohio Statehouse. A brand new 6.5-acre park sits directly west of the museum featuring a splash pad, playground, picnic tables, swings and much more. COSI introduced the new Dinosaur Gallery – a permanent exhibit that allows guests to get up close to a full-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, 100 million-year-old fossilized amber, an 8 foot titanosaur femur cast and much more.
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Wexner Center for the Arts
The Wexner Center for the Arts is one of the nation’s premiere cultural gems--an internationally known contemporary arts center at The Ohio State University. The Center offers exhibitions, performances, films, artistic residencies and educational programs. The building, a landmark of postmodern architecture, houses galleries, performance spaces, a film video theater, a store and a cafe. From the intimate, cabaret-style concerts in our black box theater to large-scale events in or 2,500 seat Mershon Auditorium, the Wexner Center offers a wide variety of performances – dance, theater, jazz, world music, electronica and more. In the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, you can watch rarely screened movies from near and far, the latest independent features and classics from Hollywood and abroad.
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Dr. Bob's Home
International sobriety support group Alcoholics Anonymous originated at the home of Dr. Bob Smith, who founded AA in the 1930s. The haven that once welcomed suffering alcoholics now welcomes visitors, who can see exhibits dedicated to Dr. Bob's life and studies.
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Speed Art Museum
The redesigned Art Sparks at the Speed Art Museum is a new interactive gallery for all ages. 15 hands-on learning stations help adults and children connect with art and with each other. Art Sparks is open the same hours as the Museum and is free with regular admission and on Sundays. The space is divided into three sections that focus on Noticing, Making, and Talking about art. Noticing: Visitors are introduced to different ways of seeing the world around them. The exhibits and activities focus on light and color activities, pattern, and composition. Talking: Visitors are encouraged to share their perspectives about art from the collection. Exhibits help visitors develop the vocabulary to discuss art and also gain a visual familiarity with the collection.
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Akron Art Museum
Volunteers were the sole staff until 1924 when city support made it possible to hire a professional director. The Great Depression tightened finances and ended City funding, forcing the institute to again rely entirely on volunteers from 1931 to 1945. It functioned — much of that time in borrowed spaces — as an art center, offering classes and exhibiting mostly local artists. The collection was small, eclectic — containing archaeological artefacts and decorative as well as fine art — and composed entirely of gifts. In 1937 the institute moved into its first permanent home, a historic mansion. Just four years later, a disastrous fire destroyed the building and much of the collection, threatening the institute’s existence. Over the next quarter-century, the museum has continued to enrich the lives of those in Northeast Ohio and beyond through modern and contemporary art. Its nationally recognized collection was documented through the publication of collection catalogues. Three acquisitions endowments were created to ensure the collection’s future growth. A greatly enlarged general endowment provided increased, more stable funding, allowing the staff to undertake ambitious programs and exhibitions with national and even international impact. In 2007, its eighty-fifth year, the museum more than tripled in size with the opening of the new John S. and James L. Knight Building, which adjoins the 1899 building. Spanning three centuries, like the museum’s collection, together they symbolize the museum’s dual role as preserver of the past and herald of the future.
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Creation Museum
This one-of-a-kind museum brings the pages of the Bible to life casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings.
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National Museum of the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are not only the most important natural resource in the world, they represent thousands of years of history. The lakes have dramatically impacted the social, economic and political history of the North American continent. The National Museum of the Great Lakes tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artefacts, a number of powerful audiovisual displays and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits including the 617-foot iron ore freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug Ohio. The tales told here span hundreds of years, from the fur traders in the 1600s to the Underground Railroad operators in the 1800s, the rum runners in the 1900s, to the sailors on the thousand-footers sailing today. The theme of the Great Lakes as a Powerful Force runs through all of these stories and will create a lifelong interest in all who visit.
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Toledo Museum of Art
The Toledo Museum of Art's architecturally significant campus is the gem of the Glass City. Our Neoclassic, marble-clad main building is joined by a Frank Gehry-designed Center for the Visual Arts and the newest addition, the Toledo Museum of Art Glass PavilionTM. The Glass Pavilion, designed by Tokyo-based SANAA, is an architectural wonder whose interior and exterior walls are made of curved glass panels. Surrounded by green spaces, an expanding outdoor sculpture garden and the celebrated Victorian homes of Toledo's historic Old West End neighbourhood, our campus offers a visual delight for all tastes. The Toledo Museum of Art is world-renowned for its collection of Old Master paintings, decorative arts and glass. In addition, the Museum has growing collections of contemporary, Asian and African art as well as art from antiquity. The Museum is admired for both the quality and comprehensiveness of its collection, which continues to grow through the acquisition process. There is always something new to see at TMA. Free daily glass blowing demonstrations in the Glass Pavilion bring TMA's extensive glass collection to life. Learn how glass is made and how the studio glass movement, born in Toledo, changed the face of glassmaking.
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Sauder Village
But it’s not the buildings that make history come alive at this attraction; rather, it’s the knowledgeable staff, who explain and demonstrate the significance of each building and show what little slices of life were like around the turn of the last century. Sauder Village is, frankly, the most honest historical collection in our area. History there is not boringly preserved in a jar, locked away never to be seen; but neither is it pandering to the silliness or gags that some historical institutions have introduced to boost ticket sales. It’s not quite a journey back in time, but neither is Sauder Village quite of our time. It is, in some respects, a place where time just doesn’t apply. The institution was founded by Erie Sauder, who was also the entrepreneur behind Sauder Furniture, the nation’s largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture ? in fact, chances are probably decent that many will read this on a computer sitting on a Sauder desk. It was a way for Sauder to preserve some of the historic structures of the area, such as his first workshop, an old Lutheran church, a train station, and a working farm. Over the years, the village has grown exponentially. Now, beautiful, larger buildings house some of the most popular crafts, such as blacksmithing, pottery, and glassblowing. A lodge and conference center abuts the village and the popular Barn Restaurant. A hands-on children’s area is new this year.
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African-American Historical Museum
The AAAHSM (“AWESOME”) exhibits the histories of people of African descent in Allen County since 1809, and African history from earliest times to today. An Arts United affiliate, the museum houses the City’s largest public collection of African Art.
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The Henry Ford
Three must-see attractions. 250 acres of unexpected. 1 awe-inspiring experience. At The Henry Ford, discover America — the culture, inventions, people and can-do spirit — and hundreds of hands-on ways to explore it, enjoy it and be inspired by it. Prepare to be astounded by these attractions: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village and Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
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Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of artifacts, objects, and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity.
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Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art is arguably the first museum of contemporary art in the United States, collecting the "old master of tomorrow" since the inception of the Carnegie International in 1896. Today the Museum of Art is among the most popular and esteemed cultural institutions in the region, providing visitors with access to great works of art, studio art classes, and interpretive programs that inspire, provoke, and delight. Carnegie Museum of Art has collection of more than 32,000 objects features a broad spectrum of visual art, including painting and sculpture; prints and drawings; photographs; architectural casts, renderings, and models; decorative arts and design; and film, video, and digital imagery. The museum also houses the archive of over 70,000 negatives by photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris.
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Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Welcome to the world's largest institution dedicated to the African-American experience! The Wright Museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African-Americans and their African origins.
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The Detroit Institute of Arts
The DIA, among the top 10 museums in the country, offers over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times. Among the DIA's renowned works are French Impressionist, German Expressionist, American and Flemish paintings.
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Frick Art & Historical Center
Visitors will enjoy the Frick Art Museum; the Car and Carriage Museum; Clayton, the restored 19th-Century Victorian home of Henry Clay Frick; the Cafe at the Frick; the Greenhouse; and the Visitors' Center which once served as the Frick children's playhouse.
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The Children Museum of Indianapolis
Located just minutes from downtown, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features five floors of fun and interactive learning that have the power to transform the lives of children and families across the arts, world cultures, sciences, and humanities.
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Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Featured as one of the world's finest Native American and Western Art collections by True West, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is one of only two such museums east of the Mississippi. Located in White River State Park, the Eiteljorg contains traditional and contemporary pieces by such artists as T.C. Cannon, Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keefe.
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Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Discover the private estate of one of America's most iconic automotive families. The stunning architecture, the expansive lakefront gardens and grounds, the historic cars - all give a glimpse into the Ford family's life at the estate.
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21c Museum
21c Museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the very best work of living artists from all over the world. With over 9,000 square feet of exhibition space, as well as a dedicated video lounge, the museum features dynamic group and solo exhibitions, as well as permanent, commissioned installations.
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Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Experience masterpieces of art and nature that will delight your senses at one of the nation's premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has grown to become an international destination. The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection sited both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus. The permanent collection focuses on works by established and emerging sculptors from the Modern tradition to the present. Earliest works date to the second half of the 19th century with masters such as Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belluese, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Rodin. Starting with these masters, the comprehensive presentation includes sculptors from the late 19th century to the present.
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Gerald R. Ford Museum
At the core of the Museum is the permanent exhibit, which allows visitors to experience highlights from President and Mrs. Ford's lives. The exhibit teaches democratic citizenship and allows for quiet reflection. In addition to the permanent exhibits, changing temporary exhibits draw artifacts from Museums all over the country. Not all museum programming revolves around the exhibits; we also offer a wide variety of family-friendly events and lectures on a regular basis; the Museum Store sells items relating to the Ford presidency, other Presidents and First Ladies, and other souvenirs. The Ford Museum opened to the public in September 1981 and is part of the Presidential libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.
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Museum of Science & Industry
One of the largest science museums in the world, Museum of Science & Industry has both an illustrious history and a focus on the future of science and science education.
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Griffin House
Visit this preserved early 19th century home, set on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Dundas Valley. Explore the history of Enerals Griffin and other early Black settlers, and enjoy a walk along nearby trails. Griffin House host a variety of events, workshops and exhibitions throughout the year.
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Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum
Fieldcote is a cultural heritage centre with an emphasis on the collection, preservation and exhibition of local history, the promotion of fine arts and the celebration of natural heritage through beautiful landscaped gardens and walking trails. Explore ‘Stories From the Edge’, an exhibition celebrating the history of Ancaster. Set on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, with a bounty of water and resources, Ancaster has attracted humans since the retreat of the last glacier over 10,000 years ago. Using 31 stories and artifacts, one for every year the museum has been open, this exhibition offers snapshots of Ancaster’s history from the earliest human occupants to present day.
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The Field Museum
Chicago's Field Museum, one of the world's great museums of natural history was built to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Over the last 125 years, the museum's collection has grown to an astounding 24 million objects, ranging from ancient mummies to exquisite gemstones, and endangered plants to dinosaur fossils.
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Whitehern Historic House & Garden
Discover one of the finest examples of an intact historic home in Canada during a guided tour with a costumed interpreter. Three generations of the McQuesten family lived at Whitehern from 1852 until 1968. Among the last generation were six children who never married. In 1959 the three surviving members of the family bequeathed the home to the City with all its original contents. It contains elements from many time periods – Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian – dating up to 1939 when the Honourable Thomas McQuesten was Minister of Highways. Explore the heritage of Victorian ideas and possessions that influenced life at Whitehern on the eve of World War II.
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Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH)
Founded in 1914 the Art Gallery of Hamilton is the oldest and largest art museum in southwestern Ontario with a permanent collection that is recognized as one of the finest in Canada. Embracing Canadian historical, international and contemporary art, the collection consists of more than 10,000 works. You can see superb pieces by Alex Colville, Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, James Tissot, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Gustave Doré, Norval Morrisseau, Keith Haring, Edward Burtynsky, Kim Adams, or Tyler Tekatch, to name a few. Whether you’re looking for a specific artist or spending time in one of our galleries, you’re sure to find works that inspire, intrigue, challenge and engage you. The AGH is renowned for presenting outstanding exhibitions and complementary programming for visitors of all ages. There is so much to see and do! In addition to AGH Tours and AGH Talks, the Gallery offers studios for adults and kids , family activities, school programs, film programming, performances and more.
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Hamilton Military Museum
Burlington Heights, where Dundurn Castle and the Hamilton Military Museum now stand, was occupied by the British military from 1813 -1815. Built as a gate house by Sir Allan MacNab in the late 1830s atop a battery from the War of 1812, This building known as Battery Lodge, now houses The Hamilton Military Museum.
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Dundurn National Historic Site
Experience a guided tour of this 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830’s on Burlington Heights; the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813. Once home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas (1854-1856) and his family, today Dundurn Castle tells the story of the family who lived above stairs and the servants who lived and worked below stairs to support their affluent lifestyle. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is the museum’s Patron and the great, great, great granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab.
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Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology
Witness the social and mechanical life of Canada’s early industrial revolution. Housed in a 150-year-old Waterworks, this National Historic Site preserves two 70-ton steam powered water pumping engines, perhaps the oldest surviving Canadian-built engines. The historic Hamilton Waterworks is a Civil and Power Engineering Landmark. The museum offers guided tours, various permanent and changing exhibits, and features special events for the whole family
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Buffalo Lighthouse
Located at the mouth of the Buffalo River at the north entrance to Buffalo Harbor. Grounds with historic artefact displays and cell phone tour open to the public during scheduled daylight hours. Tower open on scheduled tour days posted on Facebook or by appointment, for per-person or group fees. Group tours may be scheduled at buffalolightshines@gmail.com, subject to availability on days the tower is not open for general admission. Groups tours have more time to view the panoramic Buffalo waterfront vista from the premier view atop the 1833 lighthouse.
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Buffalo Naval & Military Park
This Buffalo waterfront attraction is the largest inland park of its kind in the nation. All branches of the Armed Forces are represented in the park’s exhibits. Tour the decks and hulls of a guided-missile cruiser, destroyer and WWII submarine. Inspect uniforms and memorabilia in the museum and exhibits aboard the ships. See planes, a tank and more!
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Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum
Featuring automobiles made in Western New York including Pierce-Arrow and Thomas Flyer. Cars from 1903 to 1960s, muscle cars, etc. The museum offers a unique venue for parties, business meetings and social events. 2011 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 1927 Filling Station.
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Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt began his presidential journey here. All new state-of-the-art exhibits and a dramatic guided tour offer a museum experience unlike any other. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and emotions surrounding this pivotal moment in our nation’s history and learn how the enduring legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents affects our lives today.
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