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Nevada Museums

Nevada Museums

Nevada museums bring history alive through reconstructions of ancient Pueblos to Columbian mammoth remains on display – some of the country’s most unusual institutions can also be found here.

The Discovery is an engaging space that bridges education and entertainment through exciting audiovisual presentations and hands-on experiences, including immersive Space Gallery tours and an exciting ECO City exhibit.

National Atomic Testing Museum

Nevada may be known for its glitter and glamour, but the National Atomic Testing Museum provides an eye-opening insight into another side of its history. This national science, history, and educational institution sheds light on America’s nuclear weapons program which took place at Nevada Test Site from 1951 through 1992.

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At this national museum, visitors can gain insight into America’s nuclear development efforts through historical artifacts, first-person narratives, environmental recreations and theatrical devices. 

Some of the more intriguing exhibits include Silo Museum showcasing Nevada Test Site images; Ground Zero Theater offers visitors a virtual nuclear explosion experience; and Silo Museum featuring exhibits that provide short films depicting various Nevada test site locations; as well as Ground Zero Theater which simulates above ground nuclear explosion.

As a national repository of unparalleled scientific collections, the museum features rare photographs, videos, artifacts and reports related to nuclear science and weapons development during an important era of American history – particularly at Nevada Test Site. 

Furthermore, this museum houses over 1,000 rare artifacts which demonstrate this history as well as weapons development at this crucial period in our country’s development.

The Museum features other noteworthy exhibits, including a replica of the Control Point used to countdown each above-ground test, as well as its Underground Testing Gallery which offers visitors a glimpse into underground testing environments. 

Educational experiences provided at the Museum help visitors better comprehend our nation’s nuclear testing program and its effects on global security and international stability.

Additionally, the museum also hosts numerous programs and events for visitors of all ages, such as its Nuclear Energy for Schools program which teaches young children about how nuclear bombs work and why they are important to national security.

The National Atomic Testing Museum is an engaging museum suitable for visitors of all ages and backgrounds, located close to Las Vegas. Here you can get an in-depth view of Nevada’s nuclear history and its impact on today’s complex world. Visiting will leave guests with new appreciation of Nevada’s nuclear legacy and enhanced knowledge to understand today’s complex environment.

Mob Museum

As its name suggests, this museum focuses on mobster and organized crime history. The aim is to give visitors an understanding of an often hidden side of history.

The Mob Museum is housed in a renovated courthouse and post office building that was purchased from the federal government for only one dollar with two conditions attached: that it be restored, and used culturally. 

Oscar Goodman envisioned and worked tirelessly towards starting this museum which officially opened on February 14, 2012 on Valentine’s Day – which marks when seven members of Bugs Moran’s gang were assassinated during an attack by one of its former defense attorneys, Arthur J. Rossio.

Renovating and modernizing this historic building cost millions, and has become an international attraction. 

It features artifacts belonging to both mob members and lawmen alike – guns, journals, ledgers and old pictures from both groups can be seen here as well as an actual brick wall from the massacre with bullet holes and bloodstains still evident from bullet impacts and blood spill. Furthermore, federal investigators and undercover FBI agents helped catch criminals during these operations.

The Mob Museum focuses on some of the most notable mobsters, such as Al Capone, Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Sam Giancana and Ben Siegel. Additionally, it works closely with families connected to the mob, helping preserve and display memorabilia that links back to them; its displays often include video interviews featuring individuals such as FBI agents Joe Pistone and Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal who battled against it.

The Mob Museum provides an exciting glimpse into Vegas history’s darker corners. Packed with artifacts and interactive activities, this museum makes an excellent stopover for families visiting Las Vegas. Be sure to allow at least an hour or so for full appreciation.

Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

On the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), lies Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art – an impressive modern museum with ancient roots. Housing four major collections showcasing classical, cultural and contemporary artworks and artifacts as well as offering numerous exhibitions and workshops throughout the year, this vibrant cultural hub has long been considered an integral part of UNLV arts program and as such makes an invaluable cultural destination.

In 1967, The Barrick Museum first opened as a natural history museum for higher education, initially connected to Desert Research Institute and science faculty of newly formed University of Nevada Las Vegas (then Nevada Southern). 

Originally intended as an educational resource, its original collections housed scientific specimens and artifacts from various cultures around the world that could serve as teaching aids; later this expanded to include more cultural objects from all around us. 

A significant donation of pre-Columbian art from Mannetta Braunstein and her husband Michael became one of its cornerstone collections which later expanded even further by expanding collections of Mesoamerican and Aridoamerican cultural artifacts which marked a turning point in history for this institution.

In 2012, The Barrick Museum underwent a dramatic transition as it joined UNLV’s College of Fine Arts and transitioned from natural history museum to full-fledged art museum. Following this change was a redesign of its galleries as well as relocation of collections in an area that would provide fresh experiences within them.

Today, the Barrick has six galleries which exhibit rotating exhibitions by local and international artists from its collection as well as selections from many world-class museums. Additionally, comfortable benches have been strategically placed throughout its main gallery space so visitors can unwind while immersing themselves in what’s on display.

Making Room, an exhibition in the West Gallery that opened in 2012 as a modern art museum, presents art collected since that date by the museum since becoming an institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Works from this collection are on view alongside conceptual and minimalist pieces that were part of West Gallery’s inaugural show “Seeing/Seen”, held during Fall 2009.

The Barrick offers numerous events and programs for visitors to enjoy, such as its popular lecture series featuring internationally-recognized speakers on topics spanning arts and humanities. Families looking for some culture in Las Vegas will appreciate this venue!

Lost City Museum

Built by Civilian Conservation Corps members, the Lost City Museum (now Nevada State Museum) is an archaeological treasure chest. Conceived as an archive for artifacts unearthed during excavation of local prehistoric archeological sites which had been submerged when Lake Mead dammed, most artifacts from these excavations remain on display today.

This museum boasts an authentic Pueblo cluster, constructed directly upon excavated archaeological site foundations and providing visitors with a rare insight into Ancestral Puebloan life in Southern Nevada from 200 AD to 1200 AD. Other highlights of the exhibit include reconstructed pit house, petroglyphs, gardens and centuries-old farm equipment as well as rotating exhibitions of contemporary Western American art.

Visitors are invited to experience the Lost City and its exhibits through self-guided tours at the Nevada State Museum. Its three galleries feature prehistoric and historic items interpreted in various ways; exhibit preparator II Denise Sins gathers visual images for each gallery from several sources such as her photo collection, University archives and the state library collection.

Experienced visitors will especially enjoy taking a guided tour through the Lost City’s reconstructed pit house for an immersive look into ancient adobe living during its construction in the 1930s – these tours can be found daily at the museum.

Visitors of the museum should definitely stop and admire its collection of prehistoric Native American basketry and pottery, offering visitors a peek into life for early residents who were highly skilled artisans. Additionally, contemporary Native American jewelry and art can also be seen here.

The museum exhibits also illustrate the ups and downs of mining towns in Moapa Valley as well as St. Thomas, which was submerged by Boulder Dam construction. There are historical photographs and artifacts related to Native American history in this region.

The Lost City Museum offers the perfect family outing. It boasts an extensive gift shop selling books about Nevada history and Native Americans as well as souvenirs. Museum association members receive a 15 percent discount. Furthermore, school field trips often visit this museum.

Museam in Nevada

Nevada boasts numerous museums that bring its history alive through exhibits that make learning about our history both entertaining and informative. From mining adventures to glittery Las Vegas, these institutions bring our history alive!

Learn all about everything from American mastodon fossils to an enormous ichthyosaur in our natural history collections.

National Atomic Testing Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum, situated a mere 1.5 miles from Las Vegas’ Strip, is a science, history and educational institution with an aim of preserving and providing public access to Nevada Test Site history. 

Their collections and activities appeal to individuals of diverse ages and knowledge backgrounds – with exhibits exploring social, political and popular cultural effects associated with nuclear weapons development in America.

This extraordinary museum explores over seventy years of nuclear testing. Discover a variety of exhibits covering everything from the Manhattan Project and underground testing environments, to nuclear explosion simulations and Control Point replicas used prior to each detonation, and even experience a Ground Zero Theater simulation of an aboveground nuclear test.

Hoover Dam Museum

Hoover Dam, a legendary American landmark, is one of Nevada’s top tourist attractions. While images of its massive size and architecture may be impressive, visiting it first-hand will provide an unforgettable experience.

Museum exhibits provide insight into the people, history, and technology behind the construction of Hoover Dam. It explores how the stock market crash of 1929 and Great Depression were the catalysts that attracted thousands of ambitious able-bodied men looking for work on what then represented one of America’s largest public works projects.

Exhibits at the museum feature photographs, relics and oral histories; there’s also an interactive display and short film screening available here. A visit to this venue serves as an ideal starting point to discover Boulder City; it was founded around its dam; tours of its powerplant are also offered here.

Nevada State Museum

Nevada State Museum, housed in Carson City’s former United States branch mint building, spans prehistoric to modern history of Nevada through exhibits, research libraries, collection storage areas and public areas. At over 70,000 square feet this facility provides ample room for display.

From reconstructed Columbian mammoths and life-sized ichthyosaur fossils from Black Rock Desert’s seas to an exhibit highlighting Nevadan people – including Native American exhibits – you will be impressed by what this museum has on display.

Visitors to Las Vegas and Nevada Test Site can see items reflecting its development as well as learn more about famous Nevada gambler, Bugsy Siegel. Furthermore, the new Nevada State Museum at Springs Preserve is twice as large than its old location at Lorenzi Park.

Las Vegas Museum of Fine Arts

LVAM features four art galleries showcasing modern and contemporary works as well as natural history artifacts and cultural artifacts from its collection. Additionally, this museum hosts various exhibits, speakers and workshops throughout the year.

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Las Vegas galleries provide immersive art experiences that transcend traditional museum visits. Experience incredible mind-bending performances at Fantasy Lab or explore virtual reality landscapes like those found at VR Lab; or marvel at Meow Wolf and sculptors Nano Lopez, Mark Kostabi Kre8 or Stephen Wolfram works.

Nevada State Railroad Museum

Train rides are an engaging way to introduce kids to railroad history. At the Nevada State Railroad Museum, our cultural resource that preserves, interprets, and operates historic railway equipment such as full-sized locomotives from Virginia & Truckee Railroad as well as an impressive selection of HO scale models can all come together in one convenient place.

Some pieces are operated throughout the year to demonstrate steam and early gasoline technology, further fulfilling our educational mission by showing photos, artifacts and memorabilia related to railroading.

Nevada State Railroad Museum not only exhibits and preserves historic train equipment, but it also hosts special events. One such memorable gathering featured five survivors who served aboard USS Nevada during World War II – making this trip all the more resonant.


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