Gordon Parks Museum in Fort Scott, Kansas – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , August 6th, 2018

Gordon Parks

As we travel around the country we are always interested in visiting the different museums. This week we found one that is extremely interesting. THE GORDON PARKS MUSEUM in Fort Scott, Kansas was founded in 2004. Gordon Parks, the famous photographer, filmmaker, musician and writer was born in Fort Scott in 1912. His journey with his camera took him all over the world.

He was the first African-American staff photographer for LIFE magazine for 20 years and his remarkable photographs many times were on their cover. He was the first African- American to direct a film for a major studio and his credits includes, The Learning Tree, Shaft, Leadbelly and others.

He wrote 20 books and composed music as well. He was truly a Renaissance man in every sense of the word. President Ronald Reagan presented him the National Medal of Arts Award in 1988. He lived most of his adult life in New York City.

Gordon Parks

Gordon ParksExecutive Director Jill Warford has truly done a remarkable job in creating this memorial/museum to this great man. Under her guidance this museum has turned into a national treasure. In all of our travels from coast to coast she is the most professional, friendly and articulate Director of any museum we have ever toured, and we have toured over 100 museums!

She knows the history of Gordon Parks explicitly and is a great tour guide. After the death of Gordon Parks in 2006,his personal effects were given to the Museum including awards and medals that he was given throughout his life, personal paintings, clothing, cameras and photographs, etc. They have dozens of his original photographs on display. The museum was able to obtain his ‘writing desk’.

His works can be found at the National Film Registry, the National Archives in Washington, D. C., the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C., Wichita Kansas State University as well as Kansas State University in Manhattan, Ks. If you are not familiar with him, check him out online.

The museum is open daily and is located on the campus of the Fort Scott Community College at 2108 South Horton. Their website is:  http://www.gordonparkscenter.org/ and you can call them for more details at 1.800.874.3722, Ext. 5850.

Their museum has the largest collection of his work in one place, where he was born and is now buried. Be SURE and read what he wrote about the town where he was born which is on his tombstone which he wrote 5 years before his death in 2006.

Gordon Parks“This small town into which I was born has for me, grown into the largest and most important city in the Universe. Fort Scott is not as tall or hearlded as New York, Paris or London – or other places my feet have roamed, but it is home. Surely, I remember the harsh days, the sordid bigotry and segregated schools – and indeed the graveyard for Black people, (where my beloved Mother and Father still rest beneath Kansas earth). But recently, the bitterness, that hung around for so many years seems to have asked for silence, for escape from the weariness of the ugly days past. Thankfully hatred is suddenly remaining quiet, keeping it’s mouth shut! And I’m thankful for the contentment we lost along the way. My hope now is that each of us can find What GOD put us here to find – LOVE! Let us have no more truck with the devil.”

And a BIG thanks to Director Jill Warford on doing such an outstanding job with the museum!

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Kansas Gay Travel Resources

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 28th, 2018

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumJust 17 1/2 miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri in a very small town of Diamond, population of less than 1,000, is the George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum. Carver, a black American, was born in 1864 there and died in Tuskegee, Alabama on January in 1943.

Six months later the United States Congress designated the George Washington National Monument, the first park to honor an African American scientist, educator and humanitarian AND HE WAS “FAMILY”.

In her 2015 biography, Christina Vella reviews his relationships and “suggests that Carver was bisexual and constrained by mores of this historical period.” Carver is said to have enjoyed a very intimate relationship with his male assistant Austin W. Curtis Jr, a Cornell University graduate in chemistry who taught at a North Carolina College. This companionship, as it was seen at the time, helped Carver to continue working in his later years.

Carver was best known as the inventor of peanut butter but he was also a botanist, chemist, and inventor whose work revived the last 19th and early 20th century agricultural economy of the American South. He was born the son of slaves. He never knew his parents as his father died before he was born and his mother and his siblings were kidnapped during the Civil War and he never saw them again.

At a very early age, he knew that education was the only way to go. Later in life, he said, “A man can make a lot of money however another man can steal your money away, but another man can never steal your education.”

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumAfter going from school to school, he was finally accepted at a college in Kansas only to be told upon his arrival that because he was black, that he was not welcomed. That did not deter him and he did attend a college in Iowa and got both his Bachelors and Masters degree in Agriculture. Booker T. Washington, President of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) hired him to head the Agriculture Department there. He stayed there for over 47 years until his death.

He invented over 300 uses for the peanut including peanut butter, peanut oil, peanut shampoo, salted peanuts, shredded peanuts, pecan flour, pomade, and peanut brittle, He taught methods of crop rotation, introduced several alternative cash crops for farmers that would improve the soil of areas heavily cultivated in cotton.

He was a highly sought after speaker all over the country and in England. He was given dozens of awards for his works. In 1921 he gave a captivating testimony before Congress on Agriculture. He inspired hundreds of both students as well as businessmen and farmers to understand what they could do.

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumCarver was also a gifted artist and some of his paintings and drawings are on display at the museum. He also enjoyed crocheting and a couple examples of those are also on display. Needless to say Carver had a very rough early life but he rose above it and became a truly great person.

TIME magazine called him the “Black Leonardo da Vinci” as he was such a Renaissance man. And this all started with him in the 1800’s! And people today complain about having problems! Carver MADE his life as he wanted to. Sure he had setbacks but that did not stop him. Guess the old adage, “Never, never, never, never give up” rings true.

Learn more about George Washington Carver by viewing this movie: https://www.nps.gov/gwca/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

The website for his National Monument is https://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Missouri Gay Travel Resources

The Evel Knievel Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 6th, 2018

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel MuseumSmaller cities and towns can have the most interesting and unusual Museums. We recently visited the Evel Knievel at the Historic Harley- Davidson Complex in Topeka, Kansas. Was Evel Knievel born in Topeka, Kansas? He was not. Did he ever perform in Topeka, Kansas? He did not. Apparently the closest that he ever came to Topeka was when he flew over in an airplane flying from one coast to the other.

However that did not stop the Harley-Davidson Company from opening a museum for him there in one of the most iconic and historical Harley Davidson stores around and it is in the middle of the country. The museum is connected to the store.

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel was born in 1938 and was a stuntman and performer and made dozens of ‘jumps’ with his motorcycles all around the country. He had thousands of people who would pay to watch him make these historic jumps. He broke and fractured 433 bones in his body which was list in the World Book of Records. His last successful jump was in 1977. He died in 2007 after a lot of health issues.

Evel Knievel Museum

The Museum has a huge collection of memorabilia concerning Evel including his motorcycles, helmets, his jackets and costumes, photos, newspaper clippings, posters, etc. BIG RED was his semi-truck which was converted to a living quarters with a room in the rear for his motorcycles. His custom built 1974 Cadillac Pickup is there for all to view.

You can actually sit on a motorcycle and take a ‘virtual reality ride, wearing a helmet and letting the wind blow thru you with a movie screen directly in front of you as you jump over a lot of cars. It really is quite scary but worth the experience. His great quote was, “Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it. ”

Before visiting the Evel Knievel Museum be sure and visit their website at  http://evelknievelmuseum.com/  They are located at 2047 S.W. Topeka Blvd. in Topeka, Kansas, just a few blocks from downtown Topeka. Their phone number is 785.215.6205. Their hours are Tuesday -Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM , Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM and closed on Sunday and Monday. You can email them at hello@evelknievelmuseum.org.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Kansas Gay Travel Resources

Luxembourg’s National Museum of History and Art – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 20th, 2018

Luxembourg's National Museum of History and Art

Unlike other national museums in Europe, the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg (MHNA) is small. It does, however, contain impressive fine arts of its own. Who would have ever known that Victor Hugo was a sketch artist? I didn’t – until I saw one of his sketches here.

Museum Collections. The museum has Archeology Collections which mostly composed of regional / local pieces that are found from excavations. Their Fine Arts Collections has photographic works of Edward Steichen. It also art pieces from the Middle Ages to mid-20th century. The Arts and Crafts section of the museum shows the local designs and its foreign influences. And then, there’s the Coin Cabinet, a numismatist’s place of wonder.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Masterpieces of the RijksMuseum in Amsterdam – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 6th, 2018

RijksMuseum Amsterdam - Keep Calm and Wander

When you’re in Netherlands, don’t skip in getting to know all the masterpieces inside Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Boy, until now, I can’t help but remember the goosebumps I had staring at the originals masterpieces of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters.

How much time should I spend there? I was there two hours before is closed. That’s good enough time to explore the whole museum. But if you’re really an art enthusiast, then, you need a half day to scrutinize everything.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

The Groeninge Museum in Bruges – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 18th, 2017

Groeninge Museum

At Groeninge Museum in Bruges, I’ve seen my very first Flemish paintings. That, if my memory serves me right. And these are not just your regular paintings. They’re the works of master Flemish painters, like Jan Provoost, Jan Van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch. The museum also have some works from the Renaissance which I figured out before I read their detailed descriptions.

With our further ado, I’m presenting to you some of the art pieces you’ll see inside Groeningemuseum in Bruges.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Belgium Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Author: , September 9th, 2017

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumIn our travels we always enjoy visiting all types of Museums. We were recently in Oklahoma City and visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum which houses the largest collection of Cowboy memorabilia in the country. Actually they have over 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts including the world’s most extensive collection of rodeo photographs, barbed wire, saddlery and early rodeo trophies.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumIt was established in 1955 and has involved into what it is now. The museum has more than 200,00 square feet of display space. Their collection includes of 2,000 works of western art including landscapes, portraits, still lives and sculptures by 19th and 20th Century artists with more than 200 by Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, Solo Borglum, Thurmond Restuettenhall, Robert Longhead and Charles Schreyvogel.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumThe museum has an authentic late 1800’s Western town where you can stroll the streets and look into store windows and walk into some of the furnished building. You will actually think that you are REALLY there back in the day! The town is called Prosperity Junction and is 14,000 square feet of space. There are three separate ‘Halls of Fame’ at the museum. One is for the Rodeo Hall of Fame, another for the Hall of Great Western Performers from the movies and the Hall of Great Westerners for actual people who lived through the frontier times.

There are many different galleries and one of our favorites was the American Cowboy Gallery which dealt with the life of working cowboys living and working on  their ranches. It shows how they really lived. Outside, beautifully landscaped gardens flank the Children’s Cowboy Corral and other children’s spaces.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumMore than 10 million visitors from around the world have visited the Museum to gain better understanding of the West, a region and history that permeates our national culture. It will take several hours to see and do everything at the Museum so plan your day well.

The Museum is located just to the north of downtown a few miles with plenty of free parking. Their address is 1700 Northeast 63rd St. which is just off Interstate 44. Their website is: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/ They are open Monday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday from noon to 5 PM. Before going to Oklahoma City, check out https://www.visitokc.com/ for more places to visit and things to do.

For those that are REALLY into western songs, check out this Willie Nelson song which is a song about Gay Cowboys:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u4CXlIYjyE
Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

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TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Hollywood Museum Salutes LGBTQ

Author: , July 15th, 2017

Hollywood Museum

Hollywood MuseumWe have been to the Hollywood Museum a couple of times and now they are having a special exhibit featuring the LGBTQ community.  Steve Nycklemoe is the Director and Curator of the Museum and a VERY professional and friendly guy.  We enjoyed meeting him the last time we were there and he gave a private tour of the museum for us.

The Hollywood Museum is thrilled to announce its 2017 salute to the LGBTQ community’s contributions to the entertainment industry. The fourth annual “REAL to REEL: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood” exhibit, in partnership with Los Angeles CityCouncilmember Mitch O’Farrell(CD-13) and LA Pride, is an educational, entertaining and informative retrospective of LGBTQ images in film, TV, new digital platforms – featuring costumes, props, photos, and iconic imagery all telling the story of the milestones and influence that LGBTQ characters and plot lines have had in Hollywood from early stereotypes to modern-day representations.

Hollywood MuseumAdditionally, REAL to REEL celebrates LGBTQ Icons those individuals and couples who may be openly LGBTQ or not, and who support the LGBTQ community.

The Hollywood Museum’s REAL to REEL exhibition, which coincides with the annual Christopher Street West Pride activities, offers a historic perspective spanning 100 years from silent films to today’s films, TV shows, and digital platforms.

“The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression and extraordinary significance of the LGBTQ culture and its effect and impact on the world through the medium of entertainment,” says Donelle Dadigan, Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum located in the Historic Max Factor Building.

Hollywood MuseumThe exhibit revisits monumental LGBTQ moments in history with Rev. Troy Perry, including the Black Cat riots (1967), and on display – the infamous sign that once hung at the entrance of West Hollywood’s Barney’s Beanery. Exhibit highlights include costumes from Transparent, How to Get Away with Murder, The Walking Dead, Empire, Trans America, Sordid Lives, Cruising, Orange is the New Black, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ray Donovan, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Cabaret,K-11, as well as Cyndi Lauper’s Grand Marshall Costume (Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, 2015.

Additional exhibit items include famous costumes from Hollywood’s leading designers – Mr. Blackwell, Bob Mackie,Ret Turner, Nolan Miller, Edith Head – to today’s Project Runway with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, as well as Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Scandal, Two in a Half Men, True Blood, The Good Wife, and more. This year’s exhibit also includes, LGBTQ Iconsincluding Judy Garland, Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Ramon Navarro, Rudolf Valentino, Charles Laughton, Sam Harris, Bruce Vilanch, Sherman Hemsley, Gere Jewell, Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner and many more.

The Hollywood Museum gratefully acknowledges the following ABC, Amazon Studios, BBC America, CBS, Discovery Life, Focus Features HBO, Logo, NBC, Netflix, OWN, Showtime, TLC and 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, as well as organizations serving the LGBTQ community including ONE Archives, Christopher Street West, The Lavender Effect, and The Glaad Awards, amfAR and more.

ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM IN THE HISTORIC MAX FACTOR BUILDING:

See 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spanning more than 100 years of Hollywood history! Located next to the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building houses the largest collection of entertainment memorabilia on display in the world. It is home to thousands of costumes, props, photographs, posters, celebrity automobiles and other treasures from some of the most iconic films and TV shows ever made!

See Hollywood legends – past, present, and in the making! The museum attracts thousands of fans from around the world and was recently named one of the top tourist attractions by LA Weekly and by Trip Advisor, and was voted one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm (Exhibit: Fri, June 10th – Sun, Sept 4th)

TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.

ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028 MUSEUM INFO:www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776

FOLLOW THE MUSEUM:

WEBSITE: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com   FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/TheHollywoodMuseum

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: The Ringling Museum

Author: , June 3rd, 2017

The Ringling

The RinglingWhen one thinks of the word  ‘Ringling’ most people think of the “Greatest Show on Earth” like the Circus. A trip down to Sarasota, Florida will put a new meaning to that word.  John N. Ringling of course was the founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus and with his brothers he did make it into the “Greatest Show on Earth” however there is much more to John N. Ringling than just his “Circus”. We call it ‘The Ringling in Sarasota’ and is located right on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico.

The RinglingThere are actually five main buildings at ‘The Ringling’. First is the main office complex with galleries, bookstore and is where you purchase your tickets. It also has the Center’s Education Art Library and Conservation Lab.

It also houses a very upscale dining room. The 2nd building is the Museum of Art. First stop after getting your tickets is to walk to the Museum of Art with 31 galleries filled with priceless pieces of art from Old Masters thru contemporary from throughout the world.  The exterior of the Museum is magnificent itself with statues and columns everywhere. One could easily spend a whole day just in the Museum of Art.

The RinglingThen a leisurely walk to the Gulf of Mexico to tour John and Mable’s Mansion. With 4 floors of magnificent European furniture, oil paintings, bronzes, crystal chandeliers, fine china and silver, it is breath-taking to see.  Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico with views to remember forever.

While you are there, visit the Bayfront Gardens. This is one of the most beautiful gardens that we have seen. It is as much ‘real art’ as one can witness. It is a true living treasure with plenty of statuary under the magnificent banyan trees and roses everywhere!

The RinglingAs you take another leisurely walk to the Circus Museum you will see the parade wagons, the posters, the glittering costumes and the cannon that shot performers through the air. It will surely bring back a lot of memories for you when the circus would come to town and you and your family would rush down to see it.

The 5th building is the beautiful historic Asolo Theater which is housed next to the main building. They have dramatic performances there that is a ‘must see’ for visitors.The theater has a remarkable history and you can read all about it at  https://www.ringling.org/history-historic-asolo-theater It actually dates back several hundred years and was brought over to the United States years ago and re-assembled.

The RinglingThey have two places to dine at “The Ringling”…… a very lovely sit down restaurant in the main building and an outdoor dining option close to the Museum of Art. Next time that you are in Florida, forget Mickey Mouse and visit the ‘Ringling’ instead. You won’t be sorry as this is a tremendous Museum to visit and one that you will remember forever.

The Ringling Museum is the largest museum in Florida.  They are located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. They are open daily, 10 AM -5 PM and Thursdays until 8 PM.  Their phone number is 941.359.5700 is www.ringling.org/   They have plenty of free parking.

When we visit museums and art galleries we always like to give praise to special people. At the ‘Ringling’ we want to praise Robin Findlay and Alice Murphy in the front office and to Mary Schreck who was one of the finest tour guides that we have ever encountered in all of our travels from coast to coast. She was extremely professional and informative about the Mansion.  Everyone in our group was extremely pleased with her knowledge and she answered all questions perfectly.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

West Central Florida Gay Travel Resources

Tate Modern London – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 30th, 2017

Tate Modern London - Alain

Tate Modern London is your place to go if you wanna see contemporary art. I must admit that the building’s facade itself is not of a contemporary design but a boring concrete that doesn’t scream modern. And the reason is that – it used to be a power plant and converted into an international venue of contemporary art pieces. As a friend said, “All that contemporary shit you’ve seen somewhere, they’ve all been here at Tate Modern first.” He could be right. 😉

And the best thing about being a tourist in London? The art galleries and museums are FREE! Yes, they’re free, except of course for few visiting exhibitions. I did save a lot of money as museums are exorbitantly charged anywhere in big cities around the world. I love free stuff. Therefore, I love London! 😀

Tate Modern London is your go-to gallery for contemporary art. It is Britain’s national museum of contemporary art where you see the works of big names in the art world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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