Fossils and Flower Power
by Lindsey Asay – Eugene On The Cheap
Most people have heard of the Louvre, the Met and the Guggenheim. If you’re a Oregonian, then you’ve also heard of the Oregon Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA). Few of us have had the chance to visit the Guggenheim, but as Oregonians we can all remember back to that 4th grade field trip to the Lane County Historical Museum.
If you haven’t been back since the age of ten, this is your chance. Museums are a great family day out or date night alternative that is both inexpensive and educational. Open year round, the Oregon Air and Space Museum offers the kid in all of us the chance to explore various aircraft and artifacts depicting the history of aviation and space technology. Admission is only $7 for Adults, $3 for kids ages 6-17 (kids 5 and under are free).
If you prefer culture to cockpits, there is the Lane County Historical Museum. Once known as the Lane County Pioneer Museum, this local landmark opened its doors in 1951.The museum houses a variety of collections of national and local significance dating from the early 1800s to the present.
Their goal is to preserve, collect and display Lane County’s rich heritage. The current exhibit (appropriately named Tye Dye and Tofu) takes a look at how mainstream Eugene became a counterculture haven in the mid 1960′s to 70′s.
Who knows, you just may see your parents or yourself in one of the many photo’s on display! General admission is only $3 for adults, $2 for Seniors and kids under 15 are free.
The University of Oregon campus is home to not one but two..yes two..museums. The Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art both offer a variety of exhibits .
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History, located near Hayward Field, is where past meets present. Oregon’s primary repository for anthropological and paleontological collections, the museum is home to nearly 1 million ethnographic and archaeological objects and close to 100,000 fossils and biological specimens from Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and around the world. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m with free admission to the public each Wednesday.
The University’s other museum offering, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) is one of six museums in the state of Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums. Offering an impressive collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and American art on permanent display to the public. JSMA is also home to contemporary art, as well as an extensive photography collection that began in 1965. Boasting such works as Polaroid prints by Andy Warhol and chlorophyll photographs by Binh Danh, the collection is a must see. So is the exquisite reflecting pool in the Campbell Memorial Courtyard.
JSMA also hosts special exhibits as well as the Interactive Discovery Gallery for kids, on the first floor and free to the public. General Admission for Adults is $5 but if that is still to steep, there are specials to be had. Try Two-for-Tuesday (buy one regular priced admission and receive a second admission free), pay-what-you-wish every Wednesday (from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.) or free general admission to everyone the first Friday of each month!
Happy exploring and don’t forget to pick a buddy!
Oregon Air & Space Museum
90377 Boeing Drive – Eugene, Oregon 97402
Lane County Museum and Historical Society
740 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR
University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History
1680 E. 15th Ave. Eugene, OR 97403-1224
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1430 Johnson Lane Eugene, OR 97403