Adventures with AKRAY this week explores how the University of Iowa campus comes alive outside of the classroom much like the movie NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM . Our beautiful campus is home to a handful of museums on various topics from science to art to sports all guaranteed to amaze. I had the chance to visit the Old Capitol Museum, University of Iowa Museum of Art, and Museum of Natural History. Here’s some highlights from my visits!
Old Capitol Museum: The center of our beautiful campus and arguably one of the most recognizable images in Iowa. Although currently under construction, the building is equally beautiful inside and out. The Old Capitol Museum opened in 1976 and along with the Museum of Natural History is the oldest museum west of the Mississippi. Before the Old Capitol became a museum it was home Iowa’s first legislator which the museum currently displays.The ground floor has a rotating exhibit, which currently highlights “Hawkeyes in space: UI Physics, Past and Present” a look at the amazing work of University of Iowa physicists working to understand space.
University of Iowa Museum of Art: The University of Iowa Art Museum opened in 1969 and is one of the leading university art collections in the country. A flood in 2008 caused the evacuation of the museum and a majority of the works to be moved to the Figge Art museum in Davenport just outside of Iowa City. The third floor of the Iowa Memorial Union is home to 500 works of art from the collection. A new building is in the works but in the meantime, I would recommend a visit to the current museum in the Iowa Memorial Union.
Museum of Natural History: In your years at Iowa you are destine to have a least one class in Macbride hall. This building is home to my personal favorite museum. From the ground floors geologic history of Iowa to the Hall of Birds and Mammal Hall, this museum is packed with amazing exhibits. The Museum of Natural History opened in 1858 alongside the Old Capitol and scatters throughout the building. Iowa Hall contains a 500-million- year adventure through Iowa’s geological history and possibly more memorable a giant sloth. The Hall of Birds contains 1,000 birds and exhibits all aspects of bird life and includes a 360 view of Laysan Island. My tour ended in Mammal Hall a display of all many different animals from zebras to a rare right whale. I would highly recommend checking these museums out!
Whether you have five minutes between classes or want to take your family somewhere on campus I would recommend any of the University of Iowa Museums. For a complete list of museums and hours, please see the University of Iowa website.