Anne Frank exhibition shines a light on her legacy of lessons on hope, tolerance

From the confinement of her hiding place during World War II in Amsterdam, Anne Frank learned compelling lessons about freedom that people today can discover not only in her diary but in an outstanding traveling exhibit that is visiting New Orleans this winter.

The poignant exhibition, “Anne Frank: A History for Today,” will be on display at the National World War II Museum from Jan. 20–March 25. Developed by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center USA, the exhibit relates the touching and timeless story of a 15-year-old girl who left a legacy of lessons on the perils of prejudice and discrimination, the importance of tolerance and social justice, and the blessing of hope.

The exhibition introduces visitors to the history of the two World Wars and the Holocaust from the perspective of Anne Frank and her family. The presentation contrasts personal photographs of the family, many never before seen, with images of historic events to show how the Franks and millions of other innocent people were victimized by the rise of National Socialism.

The museum opened in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and recently was designated by the U.S. Congress as the country’s official National World War II Museum. It interprets the American experience during the World War II years; celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who won WWII; and promotes the expression of these values for future generations.

The National WWII Museum recently completed the first phase of a $300 million expansion that, when complete, will create a six-acre campus of museum exhibition pavilions, an advanced format theater, USO entertainment venue, and education and research center in downtown New Orleans.

The museum is located at 945 Magazine St. The Anne Frank exhibit is free with museum admission, which is $14 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $6 for children 5–12. AAA members save $2 off adult admission and $1 off the senior rate. Museum hours are 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more details about the exhibit or the museum, visit www.nationalww2museum.org, or call (504) 527-6012.


Published Jan/Feb 2007


The exhibit features photographs, informational panels, documents and more that tell the story of how Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. AFF-AFH Basel/Amsterdam photos

New nature center focuses on flora, fauna of Arkansas River Valley

On land that was once a part of Fort Chaffee Army base in Fort Smith, the new Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center stands as a bastion of outdoor preservation and environmental enlightenment.

Located in northwest Arkansas, the $5 million facility opened last fall on 170 acres of typical Arkansas River Valley land. Focusing on the geophysical characteristics of the area, the center not only examines the importance of the Arkansas River on the region, it spotlights the nearby Ouachita and Ozark mountains and how they were formed.

In addition to representations of the mountains, the center’s exhibits include a 1,700-gallon aquarium with fish native to the Arkansas River, as well as a life-sized oak tree exhibit crawling with automated and mounted animals. In another area, children can catch models of fish with a magnetic lure, and a computer kiosk will tell them what they’ve caught.

One corner of the center is lined with windows that allow visitors to watch for wildlife attracted to feeders and a circulating stream. The rear deck overlooking Wells Lake is an excellent place to take in the view and enjoy a quiet moment outdoors. There’s even a bluebird box that’s big enough for children to get in and explore.

The lake, which is popular with anglers and picnickers, is the hub of a trails system that visitors can use to explore various habitats along the shore and surrounding forests. The trail around the lake is accessible for people with disabilities.

The center, located at 8300 Wells Lake Road, is open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday and 1–5 p.m. on Sunday. For more details, call (479) 452-3993, or visit www.rivervalley naturecenter.com.


The new center features automated and mounted animals, as well as an aquarium, hiking trails and more. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism photos

House where Audubon slept is awakened by restoration

Louisiana’s historic Oakley House where John James Audubon once stayed is open for tours following renovations that were the most extensive since it opened as a Louisiana State Park in the 1950s.

The stately mansion is on the grounds of Audubon State Historic Site, which is located north of Baton Rouge near St. Francisville. Built in 1806, the plantation home’s interior was recently renovated, including fresh paint for the dining room and bedrooms; leveled floors; and restored furniture pieces. Plans are underway for work on the exterior of Oakley House.

The tall, airy house where Audubon stayed is a splendid example of colonial architecture adapted to its climate. Oakley predates the relatively heavy details of classic revival in Southern plantation homes and claims distinction for its beautiful simplicity.

The Audubon State Historic Site, located at 11788 Louisiana Highway 965, includes a museum, two slave cabins, nature trails and a picnic pavilion. The park is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily. Guided tours begin in the museum, which features exhibits and an audio-visual presentation.

Admission is $2 for adults and free for seniors and children 12 and under. For more details, call 1-888-677-2838 or (225) 635-3739, or visit online at www.crt.state.la.us/parks.


One of the bedrooms in the beautifully restored Oakley House. Louisiana State Parks photo

Arkansas quilt exhibitions cover substance, style of early bedding

When the weather turns cold, it’s the perfect time to visit two Arkansas museums to see how pioneers and early Arkansans kept the chill at bay in style with quilts.

The Rogers Historical Museum will present some lovely examples from Jan. 23– April 28 with “Springtime in the Ozarks: Floral Quilts From the Enfield Collection.” On display will be more than two dozen quilts from the mid-1900s on loan from Charlotte Enfield. In addition to the brightly colored quilts, there will be quilting tools and patterns.

The museum is at 322 South Second St. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For details, call (479) 621-1154, or visit www.rogers arkansas.com/museum.

Also, the Old State House Museum in Little Rock will present “A Piece of My Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans” starting Feb. 2 and lasting all year. The museum’s African-American quilt collection, which dates to the late 1800s, is unique for the number of its family quilts, including quilts made by mothers and daughters, sisters, cousins and three generations from one family.

Many of the museum’s 100 quilts will be displayed in home-like settings, such as a rustic cabin and a cozy living room. And complementing the vivid patterns will be paintings by self-taught Arkansas artist LeeNora Parlor.

The museum is at 300 W. Markham St. Admission is free. Hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1–5 p.m. on Sunday. Call (501) 324-9685 for details, or visit www.oldstatehouse.com.


A portion of a quilt from the Rogers exhibit. Rogers Historical Museum photo

Walter Anderson’s “Aquatica” making a splash in Jackson, Miss.

Immerse yourself in the marine world of artist Walter Anderson at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson where more than 80 of his works are paired with animals from the museum.

The exhibit, “Jewels of the Sea: Walter Anderson’s Aquatica,” is on view through May 13 and features some of his never-before-seen works alongside aquariums, offering a unique way to experience fine art and natural science. Block prints, watercolors, drawings and pottery feature aquatic animals that live in or close to the Mississippi Sound (Gulf of Mexico). Anderson’s fish, crabs, shrimp and sea turtles are exhibited near aquariums with some of their real-life counterparts.

Anderson (1903–1965), a renowned artist from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, spent a lifetime exploring and interpreting nature. This is the first public viewing of most of the watercolors.

The exhibit also reveals the effects of Hurricane Katrina because some of the works were immersed in storm water. Some were restored but others were left in their damaged state.

The museum is located at 2148 Riverside Drive. Hours are 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturday and 1–5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for children 3–18, $4 for seniors and $5 for adults. For details, call (601) 354-7303, or visit www.msnaturalscience.org.


Some works in the exhibit were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science photo


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