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Travel Treasures

Nov/Dec 2017 Issue

Exhibits examine the Great War at home and abroad


The “Over There” exhibit at the Evansville Museum features uniforms and other artifacts. Evansville Museum

Communities across the nation were mobilized when America was drawn into World War I a century ago, and now two of those cities are looking at their contributions to the war effort and how the conflict affected their citizens.

Though separated by 170 miles, St. Louis, Mo., and Evansville, Ind., had similar experiences with the war, and exhibits at the Jefferson Barracks Historic Site and the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science respectively are remembering those fateful days in 1917 when the U.S. entered the war.

In the Old Ordnance Room Museum at Jefferson Barracks, “Over Here: World War I from Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis and Missouri” explores the preparations that took place at the site, which was a U.S. Army post from 1826 to 1946. On display now through Dec. 3, the exhibit includes dozens of artifacts and interactive elements.

A companion exhibit, “Over There,” will open in February to highlight the actions of St. Louisans, Missourians, and Americans in the war. Located at 345 North Road, the museum is open from noon–4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free but donations are requested.

The Evansville Museum’s exhibit also focuses on repercussions of the war on citizens of Evansville. Artifacts for “Over There: Evansville and the Great War” include uniforms, historical images, and more that examine the battlefield and the home front.

“Over There,” on view now through Nov. 26, is joined by “Beauty from the Battlefield: Trench Art,” which features artworks fashioned from spent armaments and other objects by soldiers when not in combat. With art from both world wars, it’s open now until Dec. 31.

Located at 411 S.E. Riverside Drive, the museum is open from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday with extended hours to 8 p.m. on Thursday, and from noon–5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for youth 4–17 and college students with I.D.

Call the Old Ordnance Room Museum at (314) 615-8800 or visit recreation. Call the Evansville Museum at (812) 425-2406 or visit




Holiday magic will shine at Overland Park Arboretum


Lights glowing across the lake at the arboretum. Mike Ross/Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

With the twinkling of more than 2,500 candles, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will herald the holidays, guiding visitors to live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, and the scent of hot apple cider by the campfire.

Held over three consecutive Fridays and Saturdays beginning on Thanksgiving weekend, the Holiday Luminary Walk at the botanical garden in Overland Park, Kan., has become a holiday tradition over the last two decades. Spread throughout the 300-acre site, the celebration will be featured on Nov. 24–25, Dec. 1–2, and Dec. 8–9.

Adorning the trees, bridges, and buildings will be more holiday lights than ever before. And included with admission are a variety of activities for families, including visits with Santa in his Woodland Depot.

The walks will be held from 5–9 p.m. on each night of the festival, with the last entry at 8 p.m. The arboretum is located at 8909 West 179th St. Tickets are $9 in advance at area Westlake ACE Hardware stores and Hen House Markets, or online at Tickets at the gate are $10. Children 5 and under are admitted for free, and parking is free.

Call (913) 685-3604 for more details or visit

Admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy in Springfield, Ill.

The magnificent home encompasses 12,000 square feet. Doug Carr/Dana-Thomas House Foundation

IInstead of cake or balloons, there is no better way to celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday this year than to visit one of his enduring and impressive architectural treasures in Springfield, Ill. — the Dana-Thomas House.

Designed by Wright in 1902 for Susan Lawrence Dana, a forward-thinking Springfield socialite, the project was the architect’s first “blank check” commission. The magnificent home has 35 rooms in 12,000 square feet of space, which includes three main levels and 16 varying levels in all.

The best-preserved and most complete example of Wright’s early Prairie style that evokes the expansive Midwestern landscape, the house features many of the revolutionary features of the famous architect’s early work: low horizontal roofs and gently sloping gables, continuous rows of windows, wide overhanging eaves, a central fireplace, earth-tone colors, and an open floor plan. In addition, it contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture.

Located at 301 E. Lawrence Ave., the home is open for tours from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday year-round and open seasonally from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Tours last about an hour, and the last tour begins at approximately 3:45 p.m. The suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $15 for families.

Call (217) 782-6776 for more details or visit

Gateway to the Renaissance opens at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum

Casts of "The Gates of Paradise" at the museum feature intricate sculptural panels. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

A new exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., isn’t inside the doors of the museum. It is a set of doors at the museum.

Installed this summer in the lobby of the museum’s Bloch building, “The Gates of Paradise” are casts of the original doors created in the 15th-century workshop of sculptor and artist Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Baptistery in Florence, Italy. Considered the defining moment of the Italian Renaissance, the doors that took 27 years to complete are a masterpiece of Western art.

“Bloch lobby is the entry point for the museum, and ‘The Gates of Paradise’ will signal that as visitors enter the modern and ethereal Bloch Building, they will encounter not only contemporary work, but also art from all over the world and across many time periods,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO and Director of the Nelson-Atkins.

The 17-foot gilded doors consist of 10 richly decorated, sculptural panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament, including God’s creation of Adam and Eve. Surrounding the panels is an intricate framework of foliage and fruit, statuettes of prophets, and 24 busts. It took a team of engineers to meet the challenges of moving the massive 4 ½-ton doors into the museum and hoisting them into place. Located at 4525 Oak St., the museum is open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Admission is free.

Call (816) 751-1278 for details or visit

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