Saturday, October 06, 2012

Museum of the Americas

If you live in the Fort Worth area or anywhere near Weatherford, Texas, and haven't visited the Museum of the Americas, you're missing a real treat. It's a small, privately owned museum in an unimpressive building. The owner explained to me tonight that some of the display casese are hand-me-downs from the Kimbell Art Museum, SMU, and othr places with larger exhibits and budgets. But the collecton offers a vibrant display of the heritage of native cultures of North and South America--textiles, artifacts, folk art. The owners want to foster an understanding of the various cultures that have shaped the Americas and the hardships the various peoples have endured. An amazing collection of arrowheads arrived jumbled in boxes--Harold Lawrence painstakingly separated researched, catalogued and arranged signage for each one. The display blew my mind the first time I saw it. There are graphics from the plains Indians, carvings for the northwestern part of the States, a miniature Mexican village, santos, retablos, and costumes from many cultures.
Tonight was the opening party for an exhibit called "The Living Maya." For me, the textiles were the most striking part--above is a Guatamalan huipil or shirt. There were carved figures, arrows, dishes, artifacts I was completely ignorant of--a room filled with color and vibrancy. And, yes, there was a Mayan calendar which ends in 2012.
The gift shop in this museum is a real treasure in itself--the most wonderful greeting cards I've ever seen, dishes, books, small treasures. I came away with several gifts--a primitive angel, a colorful tortilla warmer, and a glass decorative hanging that is just perfect for a friend.
Weatherford these days has several really interesting small restaurants--not just the usual chains. So make a day of it and go visit. It's open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, Saturday 11-4; closed Sundays, December 24-31, and the month of August. Admission is free. And it's right across the street from the Public market on the Fort Worth Highway after you cross the bridge into town

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