Mixx Weekend Guide: Frazier History Museum

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I need 500 words for this post and I was really thinking about just typing “This shit sucked” 167 times a la (Ziad Ahmed) to get my point across. But I’m at the end of my shift and have a little time on my hands so let me elaborate.

Frazier History Museum image courtesy of mapio.net

The Frazier History Museum has been open since May 22, 2004, right on Museum Row and can be seen from i-64 East or West. They always advertise their attractions via giant eye-catching billboard and from the looks of things they have wonderful exhibits all the time. I pass by the sign, literally, everyday on my way to one place or another but, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been inside. That is, until last weekend. Sad to say I was deeply disappointed.

First off, the parking that week (due to construction) was dismal. But we were able squeeze our car into a “do you think that’s a space? It kind of looks like a space” parking space in some micro-lot a few blocks down.

Museum Row is beautiful. Louisville has more brownstones than New York (don’t believe me click here) and the rustic feel of the buildings seem to set the scene for the adventure that awaits. As we walked through the main entrance of the museum, we were diverted to the Gift Shop since no one was taking tickets in the lobby. The gift shop is cool as hell. Bourbon inspired everything, because if you didn’t know Bourbon is Kentucky’s gift to the world. The two Gift Shop employees watched us but didn’t really speak until we approached the entrance and we were greeted “May I help you?” We already had our tickets so after heading towards the counter for processing we walked through the gift shop entrance and were met by a yuge buffalo.

(Note: We were so befuddled by this whole place we forgot to take pictures, but really there wasn’t too much to look at)

We stopped by the stuffed Buffalo center piece to read the description and the first thing I noticed was the reference to “The War” now via deductive reasoning and circumstantial evidence (The big Confederate States of America flag hung on the wall behind us) they were talking about the Civil War. But I really thought it was weird that it wasn’t spelled out. This is a History Museum right? After petting the different fur pelts on display we moved to the back of the exhibit which had a picture of Chief Twisted Hair and really not much else. We moved to the wall exhibit which had some toy soldiers and a picture, which I mistook for Ulysses S Grant. It was actually Theodore Roosevelt, and one of his rifles. So to wrap it up, we have a Civil War flag, a buffalo, a Native American from the Lewis and Clark era, a turn of the century president, and some toy soldiers. If you can explain to the me cohesiveness of these exhibits, please comment below.

The 2nd floor was under construction, preparing for oh-so-glorious Game of Thrones Hunger Games exhibit, so we took the elevator to the 3rd. This is what I came to see, the Prohibition Exhibit. We were met by a door man when we hopped off the elevator and proceeded to the direction of his finger to a dimly lit room.  It started off well, the first room had a lot of information, and some interesting pictures. The next, which was a little darker included a bar with a mannequin. By the time we reached the 3 section of the exhibit it reminded me of a haunted house more than a history museum. The mannequin of Carrie Nation, a hatchet wielding radical of the temperance movement, was more than a little creepy. But, I can deal with creepy, it’s just that the artifacts on display in that room had little to no description. There was a cool looking hatchet in a glass case with no description at all. Was this Carrie’s actual hatchet? A replica? Are we in a history museum or Ripley’s Believe it or Not?

The next section wasn’t any better, more creepy lighting, more mannequins. This time, the mannequins talk! Or at least they’re supposed to. We pressed all the buttons, and the sound either didn’t work, or was so distorted we couldn’t make out what they were saying. There were also some cool artifacts in this room but descriptions were so small that, well, i’m sure you’re starting to get the picture. The last room of the exhibit featured a mannequin of the greatest gangster of all time Al Capone. Which we just breezed past, by that time, we were kind of over it.

Louisville, KY-Frazier History Museum

The final exhibit was that of Lewis and Clark. The lighting was much better, you could see how horrible and dated it was easily. The plastic plants could be found at any dollar store, mall center pieces look better. There was a section where kids could “fish” which involved stuff animals with magnets in their mouths. As much trouble as the kid was having, i’m not if the kid had bad aim or if the magnets had lost their touch. Either way, would it kill them to put an actual fish tank? Or maybe a few real plants? And then there was the reoccurring theme, where the hell are the descriptions? There were a few furry taxidermy pieces on the way out, and I will never know if it was a woodchuck or a beaver or some other woodland creature, because once again IT LACKED A DESCRIPTION. WTF Frazier??

We made it back to the 1st floor and toured a part that we had missed, a Kentucky photo exhibit, which pretty much looked like stock Windows 10 backgrounds and we headed back through the gift shop. Wait, wait, where was the actual Bourbon Experience they had advertised? It was in the corner of the gift shop, with all the bourbon stuff. Oh.

In conclusion, #thisshitsucked. Don’t waste you’re time, or money. Frazier, you may want to think about hiring a new curator, or maybe some college students, or high school student or someone to help update your museum. It’s 2017 I expected interactive displays, up-to-date models and well, just about the opposite over everything that was showcased.  The advertisements are 100x than the actual presentations and it’s hard to believe that this museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian. I wouldn’t recommend a teacher or a tourist step foot inside.  (Unless you want some cool Bourbon gifts. But not for that, there are Distillery tours that are far more enjoyable and worth your cash.)


** I was supposed to post this about 2 months ago, but I’ve been sick as hell. So unfortunately this is just getting published. But hey, review still valid.



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