Best Museum: Houston Museum of Natural Science
It was hard to miss, but just in case you did, let us remind you – we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019. Across the city, there were all manner of celebratory events, but the Houston Museum of Natural Science one-upped them all by bringing one very special guest to the festivities: the moon itself.
Hanging suspended between the first and second floor of the museum’s Glassell Hall is U.K.-based artist Luke Jerram’s Moon, a crisply detailed sculpture 23 feet in diameter and created with projection mapping from images taken from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The show-stopping piece, internally illuminated with a scale of approximately 1:500,000, was but one very good reason to visit the museum this year. In addition to the museum’s wide-ranging permanent collections (covering everything from “under the sun” to “in space”), the Burke Baker Planetarium, the Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, museum-goers also got to experience new special exhibits, including the life-threatening warnings in “Death by Natural Causes,” the tennis court-size “Trains Over Texas,” and “Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries.” And for the art aficionado and child in us all, in October the museum opened "The Art of the Brick.” Named one of CNN’s “global must-see exhibitions,” “The Art of the Brick” is a display of the world’s largest Lego art collection, all created by artist Nathan Sawaya. It includes a Lego Mona Lisa, a 20-foot tall T-rex, and “Yellow,” which Little Monsters many recognize from Lady Gaga’s music video for “G.U.Y.”
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