As host of the Travel Channel's 'Mysteries at the Museum' and 'Monumental Mysteries', Don Wildman has revealed enough secrets and page-turners from history's playbook to power ideas for Hollywood blockbusters for decades. Scandals, murders, shrunken heads -- you name it. Don unearths artifacts and clues in a way to get anyone Indiana Jonesing for more.
So where does a gumshoe who knows the ins and outs of our country's keepers of knowledge and culture suggest you go to get your own wheels turning? We asked. While Don was out globetrotting on his current adventures, he took time to share just a few of his favorite museums du jour worthy of your own exploration:
- The Mercer Museum - Doylestown, PA -- "The amazing collection of Henry Mercer, who collected artifacts representing pre-Industrial Age America. And all of it is displayed in an amazing castle in the middle of a wonderful Bucks County town. Great place to lose yourself in another time."
- American Natural History Museum - New York, NY -- "Maybe it's just because I love Theodore Roosevelt so much, this place transports me. Not only do I always learn something new about nature, I get to pay a visit to the animal dioramas. I like the taxidermy, but I'm usually admiring the incredible artistry of the painted landscapes, the care and the details in the backgrounds!"
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Boston, MA - "A staggeringly delicious interior, so remarkable, and all harboring the serious art collection of one very ambitious woman. I visited because I'd done the TV story of the famous art heist there and how they've left the empty frames on the wall. It took one minute for me to forget my mission and, instead, be swept up in the experience of this incredible, carefully-orchestrated collection."
- National Museum of African American History and Culture - Washington, DC - "Finally, a museum that will (it'll be finished in 2015, but one section is open now) tell the epic, African American story in its all-American glory -- an oppressed people finally released who go on to reshape this nation legally, culturally and spiritually. The proud and amazing story of black people in this land is finally given its rightful place on the National Mall. About time."
- Detroit Institute of the Arts - Detroit, MI - "Detroit is rising again and so is its famed museum -- which almost lost itself in the recently famous municipal bankruptcy. But the museum will stay put and hallelujah for that. It's one of the few city art museums in which the people actually own the collection -- and it's formidable. Congratulations, Detroit."
Museum Sleuth and Adventurer: Don Wildman
Follow Don Wildman on Twitter @donwildman and catch episodes of 'Mysteries at the Museum' on the Travel Channel, Thursdays 9/8c.
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