Museum of Design Atlanta
One might not immediately recognize the intrinsic art in a skateboard. However, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) challenged viewers to see the artistic value of the skateboard’s design and graphic art in one of their many former imaginative exhibits.
The museum stretches the boundaries of what most people would typically consider art with exhibits on architecture, fashion, graphics, industry and many everyday items.
“The main thrust of MODA is to promote the study and celebration of all things design,” said Miller. “So they’ll have a lot of wonderfully funky things that are design oriented. It is really very innovative.”
Walking in the doors ensures a wonderfully wacky experience with past exhibits centered around handbags, bathroom design, Italian motorcycles and other unusual topics. Beginning in 2016, the museum will showcase “Make-Believe America,” with artworks used as government propaganda.
With an exhibit space of 6,500 square feet, MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted solely to design. The building itself stands out with its striking industrial lines, vaulted ceilings and versatile space.
Its location across the street from the High Museum of Art helps continue the visual arts synergy of Atlanta’s downtown.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson and Kermit cut the ribbon for the opening of the Center for Puppetry Arts in 1978. The Henson family’s partnership with the founding director of the center ensured that the bulk of the massive collection would be housed in the museum.
This fall, the museum will open another 25,000-square-foot extension to house its Global Collection and Jim Henson Collection. The new exhibits will encourage guests to rethink preconceived notions of puppetry and will highlight the puppetry art form.
The hands-on museum not only introduces guests to Kermit, Miss Piggy, Big Bird and other puppet favorites, but it also features live performances from puppet masters.
“You can enjoy live performances there that are state of the art,” said Miller. “They are very beautifully done shows that are so much fun for kids. They have an adult show, too. It is a fun, out-of-the-ordinary thing to do.”
Wayland Flowers’ Madame remains one of the most famous non-Henson Muppets in the collection. The museum shows clips of the popular puppet’s former televised show.
Other favorites include the “Pigs in Space” exhibit from “The Muppet Show” and the Skesis puppet from “The Dark Crystal” movie. The museum offers guided tours of the collection to highlight global puppetry traditions and history.
For groups looking to try their hand at puppetry, workshops teach puppet building to visitors, who can create a puppet they can eventually take home.