National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum is one of the best museums in York. With two great halls to explore filled with famous trains from throughout history, as well as exhibition spaces, you can spend a good few hours here.
On first entry, you will see a recreated station, with several platforms giving a home to various trains, which are all decked out in authentic period decorations and ephemera. Peer into the sumptuous carriages of the royal family, and step into trains you may have used in the 70s and 80s!
Following this, there is a great hall in which you are able to get up close to dozens, and dozens of trains, many of which are famous names. You’ll be able to see the Mallard 75, and even take a seat in a Japanese bullet train.
And if this isn’t enough, there’s plenty of interactives to keep the kids happy, and more trains to see zooming past outside on the viewing platform!
Wells Fargo Museum
Tucked away in the giant Wells Fargo building in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a small, yet excellent, museum on the history of the Wells Fargo bank. With recreations of company carriages and cars that can be stepped in, a real pneumatic tube that can be used, as well as dozens of interactives, this place is a great place to take the kids.
However, the museum is also replete with interesting facts. For example, did you know that banks once had special ladies rooms because women used to keep their money underneath their skirts?
And to top it all off, unlike many museums in the U.S, it’s free! So if you have some spare time in Charlotte, this is 100% worth it!
…and they do something impossible, like turn around a lab test in an hour, have perfect galleries full of nothing but Van Gogh, Monet and Klimt paintings, no one ever has to fill out paperwork, and the conservators work in dramatically lit labs while wearing immaculate white coats. Oh, and…
York’s Chocolate Story
Most people go to York for Vikings and beautiful medieval buildings, but here I want to give you a whole new reason to go to York - CHOCOLATE!
Home to many famous chocolate and sweet companies, from Rowntrees (fruit pastilles) to Terry’s (chocolate orange), York’s Chocolate Story covers an important part of York’s history. In this one hour tour, you’ll find out about the origins of chocolate in South America, how York became a capital of chocolate, and how how experimentation resulted in famous confectioneries, such as the Aero and the Kit Kat. You’ll get a virtual experience of the chocolate making process, as well the opportunity to make your own chocolate lolly. Last but not least, the end of the experience involves a demonstration of how to make chocolate truffles and, more importantly, eat them!
This is a truly enjoyable tour, and priced well considering the cost of other attractions in York. However, while my guide was excellent, the tour is extremely scripted, which allows no room for improvisation or discussion, and a repetitive role for the tour guides themselves. On the whole though, York’s Chocolate Story is well worth a visit!
Operated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters is an absolutely fantastic museum in which to experience art and artefacts from the medieval era in Europe. Archways, statues, effigy’s, and more have all been cleverly incorporated into a building whose design is inspired by Gothic architecture. For Americans who may not have the opportunity to travel to Europe, this is your chance to be transported to a time long ago, and sense what life in those medieval cloisters might have felt like.
For all, this is more than a museum - it’s an experience!
Goodbye White Cube…And I Won’t Even Miss You
Museum of Fine Arts
What better way to show off your collection, than to recreate the environments in which they would have originally been placed? This is the strategy taken by the MFA in Boston, where they display paintings, sculpture, and furnishings alongside each other, with beautiful period inspired backdrops.
This exhibition technique brings the objects to life, and demonstrates to audiences how trends have changed in each era, and how great painting, and interior decoration, often go hand in hand.
Furthermore, the seating arrangements often recreate that of a lounge or living room atmosphere, making you feel welcome to sit and chill in these beautiful environments.
Looks like a fun exhibition!
We’re throwing it back this Thursday to our 2008 exhibition, Re-imagining Space: The Park Place Gallery Group in 1960s New York, where bright colors and sculptures filled our gallery space.