Each summer The Bakken Museum celebrates the season with its 10 Best Days of The Bakken. This year’s festival, which begins tomorrow and runs through July 22, will include the 2nd Annual Green Energy Art Garden.
But wait. What’s the Bakken? For those who’ve never been, The Bakken Museums is one of Minnesota’s many unique museums. Located in a mansion along the west shore of Lake Calhoun, The Bakken Museum is dedicated to exploring the history and nature of electricity and magnetism. The museum’s namesake, Earl Bakken, a Minneapolis native and University of Minnesota graduate, helped create Medtronic in 1949, which he began by repairing electrical medical equipment. In 1957, Bakken worked with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, a U of M cardiac surgeon, to develop the first wearable, external, transistorized pacemaker. Once the business was established, Bakken was able to put his focus on collecting books, electronic devices, and other artifacts; then he was able to share his passion for the field of electonics in 1975 by creating what would become today’s Bakken Museum. Mr. Bakken retired from Medtronic in 1989 and he now lives in Hawaii, but the company he created and the museum that bears his name will continue to enrich the state of Minnesota and the world for many years to come.
With its emphasis on history, along with hands-on activities, The Bakken is a great family museum. The “10 Best Days” are a wonderful time to become aquainted with all it has to offer since admission to the museum is free. While it’s only part of the slate of activities, the Green Energy Art Garden offers visitors the chance to become a part of the art-making process: powering electronic melodies by bicycle, creating large scale sculpture, and sailing origami boats, to name only a few. Artists will be on hand to talk about their “science-inspired, eco-electric art and music.”
The Bakken Museum
Hours for July 13-22:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.