A New Immigrant’s Experience Visiting The James Museum

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Tampa Bay | 0 comments

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As a new immigrant living in USA, I find myself looking up many things on the internet. One of the areas that I consider I have little to knowledge is – Native American History. And what better way to learn about American history through art and artists that take me through this journey? I visited The James Museum in Tampa Bay during the 2nd phase of re-opening Florida and here’s my experience.

This post is brought in partnership with The James Museum. All opinions expressed are my own.

The James Museum

The James Museum is located in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. It is a thirty-minute drive from city of Tampa. I was accompanied by my dear friend Lucinda who had previously visited the museum. We got a warm welcome at the museum after temperature checks and signing in. We helped ourselves to some complimentary coffee at the cafeteria and chatted about how American history is taught in high school for a bit and then you learn more when you pick History as a subject in University. I was an excited kid in the museum who was looking to absorb and learn for what I wasn’t exposed to.

The James Museum
The James Museum Entryway

The James Museum creates a calming aura with its spa-like background music, high ceilings and warm wall colors. Also called as the Tom and Mary James Museum who are the co-founders and contributors to the art in this museum – I could feel the passion they share for the Native American art and culture from their collection and travels. As soon as we start our self-guided tour, we help ourselves with pamphlets on different sections of the museum.

Art and Artists

The James Museum collection is arranged in themed galleries: Early West; Native Life; Native Artists; Frontier; Wildlife; and New West. The galleries connect one to the next, much like the stories in the art relate to each other. Hundreds of paintings and sculptures are on display and each and every piece arouses a sense of awe and appreciation for the artist.

Anjali Nair at the James Museum

Instagram Takeover

During my visit, I also shared the virtual tour or sneak peak of the museum on my Instagram page which was much appreciated! You can find the Virtual tour glimpses here.

The paintings tell a story

As we slowly walked past one section after the other, I had a growing appreciation for the art form, artists and curators for bringing this to public view. Some of the paintings and sculptures makes you pause for a good few minutes to read about the story and origins of the art and artist that are now a part of history.

Anjali Nair at the James Museum

Favorite part

One of my favorite sections of the museum are the New West Gallery and Jewelry room. I don’t want to divulge much but all I can say is – every piece you lay your eyes on, you would picture it in your living room. They’re just too good!

Special Exhibition

One of the highlights of our tour was witnessing Blake Little’s black-and-white photographs of the American Gay Rodeo. The photographs tell the story of a lesser-known part of American Western culture, capturing scenes of camaraderie, identity, and sport in an expansive redefinition of what a cowboy can be.

Blake Little at James Museum - Anjali Nair
Blake Little’s Exhibition at the James Museum

Learning + Entertaining

Our tour came to an end after checking out the Gifts and book collection where you can purchase little trinkets, artefacts, gifts and art pieces to take home and mark a memory.

I loved that each city in America has museums that tell a story and transport you to an era of beauty, truth, life and lessons of fellow Americans. Touring museums is one of the best way to learn about your city, the people, the culture, the history and the nation’s stories.

Anjali Nair at James Musuem
Anjali Nair at the James Museum

About the Museum –

It is open daily 10am – 5pm and Tuesday upto 8pm. Public tours are complimentary with admission and are limited to five guests.

They have options for Self guided tour, private tour, school trip tour or  tour from home.

Tuesday admission for visitors ages 7-18 is $5 and children 6 & under are free.

Event calendar – https://jamesmuseum.org/events/

Photo Credits: @helloluci

This post is brought in partnership with The James Museum. All opinions expressed are my own.

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