The Twin Cities welcomed some great, family-friendly, top-notch exhibits this summer. Whether you like fine art, historic artifacts or just plain ol’ ginormous fun, there’s been something for everyone to check out. However, all good things must come to an end, so here’s a roundup of some closing exhibitions that you’ll want to catch if you can.
by Matt Prefontaine, courtesy of Science Museum
Inspired to learn more about life on the high seas during the Golden Age of Piracy? Visit the Science Museum of Minnesota and discover the Whydah, North America’s only authenticated pirate shipwreck. Originally a slave ship sunk in 1717 along the eastern coast of New England, the Whydah was discovered and unearthed 300 years later by explorer Barry Clifford. Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship displays more than 200 artifacts, including gold and silver coins, swords, pistols, cannons, and the ship’s enormous bell. Walk aboard a recreation of a pirate ship, learn some knot-tying skills, and meet members of the Whydah’s crew (package tickets available). Plus, dive into an underwater world full of mysterious creatures and experience the Omnitheater’s film Under the Sea. Exhibit closes September 3; Omnitheater film closes September 27.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents Rembrandt In America, an exhibit devoted to showcasing the works of the 17th-century Dutch master; with roughly 50 paintings, it’s the largest collection of authenticated and perceived works of the artist. Stroll the gallery to learn about the artist’s career trajectory over time and the impression he made on other artists. See rare portraits that illuminate Rembrandt’s style and learn about others that were once attributed to the master. “I hope that [visitors] will have an opportunity to see the brilliance of Rembrandt’s paintings, both technically and emotionally,” says Tom Rassieur, curator. “It’s something where you really want to stop and engage with the pictures and let Rembrandt’s psychology work on you and to have the experience of confronting great works of art.” Closes September 16.
Any time you visit the Minnesota Zoo, you can see penguins, grizzly bears, tigers, monkeys, tropical fish, flamingos, camels, and hundreds of other animal species. But for one final week, when you head to the zoo, you also get to see dinosaurs! No, they haven’t come back from the dead, but Dinosaurs!, which sets up along the zoo’s Northern Trail, showcases 15 towering animatronic dinosaurs, including Brachiaosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Troodon. Kids will get such a kick out of these prehistoric scenes (believe me, my toddler was thrilled), plus they can even view a Stegosaurus robot, which demonstrates the internal workings of the machine. Between the animals, the family farm, the Woodland Adventure play area and splash pad, and the dinosaurs? Well, you better make sure you block off a whole day for fun. Closes September 3. Also, at the zoo, they’re saying goodbye to the dolphis, Semo and Allie. From September 1-9, the zoo hosts a Dolphin Open House to accommodate all the visitors who want to say farewell to these friendly creatures.