With a collection of more than one million items, the 150-year-old Michigan State University Museum (W. Circle Dr., 517/355-7474, www.museum.msu.edu, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat., 1–5 p.m. Sun., donation suggested), situated east of Beaumont Tower, has been called one of the Midwest’s best-kept secrets. In 2001, Michigan’s leading public natural and cultural history museum also became the state’s first museum to receive Smithsonian affiliate status.
Three floors of exhibits concentrate on the history of the Great Lakes region; on display are numerous tools, quilts, folk art pieces, and other archaeological artifacts. Popular stops include the fur-trader’s cabin and the life-size dinosaur dioramas.
Also on campus, at the intersection of Auditorium and Physics Roads, Kresge Art Museum (517/355-7631, www.artmuseum.msu.edu, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs., noon–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Sept.–May, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Fri., noon–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. June–July, closed on major holidays, free) houses a permanent collection that spans the centuries from the prehistoric to the contemporary. Founded in 1959, the museum contains over 7,000 works of art, from Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance illuminations.
Wide-ranging highlights include a dramatic Vision of St. Anthony of Padua by Francisco Zurburán, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, and a solid collection of art from the 1960s and 1970s, an era often overlooked by other museums.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel