To help broaden their audience, a pair of Cartersville venues will participate in Smithsonian magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live!
On Saturday, patrons bearing Museum Day Live! tickets will receive free admission to the Georgia Museums Inc. sites — Booth Western Art Museum and Bartow History Museum. Tickets can be downloaded on the initiative’s website, www.smithsonian.com/museumdaylive, which also contains a complete list of participating venues across the nation and Museum Day Live! details, such as one ticket covers two attendees.
“We feel it’s an important endeavor to support to encourage people to visit the cultural institutions that are nearby them and to make them aware of what’s around them,” said Seth Hopkins, executive director for Georgia Museums Inc. and the Booth museum. “... Tellus [Science Museum] does not participate, because the year we did participate we were basically overrun. And we couldn’t uphold the quality of the visitor experience. It was just too many people. So we decided we would not participate at Tellus going forward.
“... The primary goal is to get people who’ve never been to museums to come and be exposed to it and see what a great cultural asset it is to the northwest Georgia area. Hopefully, they’ll come back and bring friends or buy a membership or be exposed to the great things we have going on. We usually see two to two and a half times the number of people [who visit] on a normal Saturday. [Some] Museum Days, I think, [we have seen] as much as triple.”
Located at 501 Museum Drive, the Booth is known worldwide for its extensive collection of contemporary Western art, holding the distinction of housing the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in the nation. The 120,000-square-foot museum, which became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2006, offers a variety of exhibit spaces, some of which include the Civil War gallery, Sculpture Court, a presidential gallery and the interactive children’s gallery, Sagebrush Ranch. Opened in 2003, the Booth museum welcomed its 500,000th visitor June 4.
Along with the Booth’s permanent collection, patrons also will be able to tour three temporary exhibits Saturday: “Blazing the Trail: The Cowboy Artists of America,” “Booth Photography Guild Annual Exhibition” and “Three Point Perspective: Dean, Elliott & Hagege.”
“[‘Three Point Perspective’ features] three of the brightest stars, up and coming, in our Western art field,” Hopkins said, referring to Glenn Dean, Josh Elliott and Logan Maxwell Hagege. “They’re all 40ish or younger. ... That’s pretty young as artists go. We’re featuring those three artists in an exhibit that [opened] Thursday.
“It’s 12 paintings by each of the three artists, and it’s called ‘Three Point Perspective’ because they often paint side by side on location, but their styles are different. The three of them are standing there painting the same thing, but the finished product looks very different because they each have a distinctive style. That’s a good added value [for visitors on Saturday] ... to see that show, which will only have been open a couple of days.”
In addition to viewing the Booth’s art collection Saturday, Museum Day Live! ticket holders also will be able to immerse themselves into the area’s past at the Bartow History Museum.
Formed in 1987, BHM welcomed more than 9,000 visitors in 2014 and is on track to surpass that number this year. Since December 2010, the venue’s gift shop, multi-purpose room, and permanent and temporary exhibits have been housed in the 1869 Courthouse, 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, under the Church Street bridge. Divided into six galleries, the permanent exhibits include “A Sense of Place,” “Bartow Beginnings,” “Community Champions,” “People at Work,” “The Coming War” and “Toward New Horizons.”
Serving as Bartow’s courthouse from 1869 to 1902, the museum’s two-story brick building was utilized for a variety of purposes in the 1900s, some of which included a roller skating rink, furniture store and warehouse. Sitting vacant since the 1980s, the structure was acquired by the city of Cartersville in 1995 and renovated with $1.7 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
“We have participated in Museum Day with the Smithsonian [magazine] for a number of years,” BHM Director Trey Gaines said. “It’s just a way to attract new audiences and to encourage people to come in the museum and see museums that perhaps they ordinarily wouldn’t.
“... A good number of people take advantage of the opportunity. ... [At the Bartow History Museum], they’ll see permanent exhibits on the history of Bartow County from the early 1800s up to the present.”
For more information about the BHM and its exhibits and programs, call 770-382-3818 or visit www.bartowhistorymuseum.org. Further details about the Booth can be obtained by calling 770-387-1300 or visiting www.boothmuseum.org.