Charlotte, North Carolina
January 18, 2007
Since the North Carolina Museum of History is located next door to the Natural Science Museum, and I had some spare time before the 11am tour at the Capital Building, I thought I would pop in to see the History of Costume exhibit. The museum has been in existence since 1902. It was founded by Fred Olds, who traveled the country in search of objects to house in his museum. The museum was moved to its current location in 1994, where it was expanded to the modern, 170,000 square foot building you see today. The museum tells the history from some of the earliest inhabitants of North Carolina to recent inductions that make up the history of our great state.The exhibit space covers two different levels. More than 150,000 articles can be found throughout the building. Some items are on permanent display, while others are ever-changing to offer a broader glimpse into our state's history. There are exhibits to honor the original native tribes who were here before the English folks moved in and took over, the Civil War, tribute to NC sports figures, maritime history, and health and healing. When I was here there were several exhibits going on. My main interests were in the exhibit called ‘What We Wore". This exhibit covers more than 250 years of clothing throughout the history of NC. They have everything from the requisite Scarlet O’Hara hooped skirt to a 1970s polyester leisure suit. Guaranteed to make your kids fall over laughing if you actually owned one. There was also the collection of photographer Margaret Morley, whose photographs so beautifully captured the images of rural everyday life in the early 1900s in the NC Mountains. There was also the "Dala Horse," which was made by Ulrica Hydman Vallien for SWEA (Swedish Women’s Education Association) to honor the organization’s 25th anniversary. Outside you will find three bronze sculptures depicting founder Fredrick Olds; a female member of the Sauratown tribe; and Thomas Day, a freed slave who went on to be one of the most successful cabinet makers in the state. There are also a number of sculptures and gardens located on the grounds. There is quite an extensive gift shop on the premises. They offer three different spaces to host your special event or meeting, as well as Daniels Auditorium, which is a state-of-the-art audiovisual facility for large meetings. They do hold a number of workshops and events through the year. They have restrooms and are handicapped accessible. They are located in the heart of downtown Raleigh next door to the Nature Museum and only steps away from the State Capitol. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted. Some exhibits may require an admission fee.
Hours are:Tues-Sat 9 am-5 pmSun noon-5pmClosed Monday and major holidaysWebsite: www.ncmuseumofhistory.org.
From journal Welcome to a Lovely, Modern, and Historic Capital