The Neon Museum

I have always had a great interest in the history of Las Vegas. In particular, the development of ‘The Strip’ and the stories of those who contributed to its highs and lows. If you are in Vegas and looking to learn about this history then pay a visit to The Neon Museum. According to their Statement of Purpose, The Neon Museum is dedicated to “collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment.” By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully see how they’ve managed to successfully achieve this goal.

There are multiple ways to experience the Museum. During the day, you can enter the neon boneyard and wander around at your own pace between 9 am and 5 pm. You do have to buy a ticket for whichever hour you’d like to enter. Then there is a guided tour option that runs for an hour. The benefit of this is that you have an interpreter. Finally, you can combine a guided tour with a light show called “Brilliant!” After some careful consideration, we decided that a guided tour would be most beneficial as you get to hear about the history as well as see the signs. I was so glad we opted for the tour because it added so much to the experience.Read More »

The Mob Museum

If you ever find yourself in Vegas needing a break from the intensity of it all, The Mob Museum (National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement) is a must. Located in Downtown Las Vegas, the building originally housed the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. Construction began in 1931 and finished in 1933. Today, the building is registered on both the Nevada and National Register of Historic Places.

It was built to accommodate federal officials who were looking for a home before the Hoover Dam opened. As the only federal judge in Nevada was based at Carson City, 400 miles from Las Vegas, judges would visit from Los Angeles and San Francisco twice a year. In 1945, Vegas finally had a full time judge. Flash forward to 1950 and the courthouse held one of the Kefauver Committee hearings. This was a special investigation into organised crime led by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. The outcome of these hearings was that the underbelly of crime in America was finally exposed, especially in places such as Las Vegas and Chicago.Read More »

National Gallery of Victoria: Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds

During a weekend getaway to Melbourne, I made sure to visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to see Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds. I was quite familiar with the works of Escher having seen examples in optical illusion puzzle books. I was particularly excited to see the work titled Ascending and descending – luckily, it was in the exhibition!

Context

Just for some context, here is a very short summary of the artist Escher and design studio nendo.

M. C. Escher (1898-1972)

A Dutch graphic artist who was inspired by his travels and nature to create iconic prints. His later works were defined by tessellations, optical illusions, and representations of infinity.

nendo

A design studio based in Tokyo founded in 2002 by Oki Sato. The word nendo is Japanese for clay. The studio is focused on simplicity, curiosity and craftsmanship.Read More »