If history, art and eclectic adventures are what you seek out when you travel, you'll have plenty of excuses to pull off the road in 2020.
From a retrospective celebrating 25 years of outsider art to fresh shrines devoted to everything from eyesight to motion pictures, from shoes to rodeo culture, here are museum exhibitions worth planning a trip around this year.
In early December, Macon, Georgia celebrated the reopening of the Capricorn Sound Studios, which captured the music of the Allman Brothers and other bands playing a new musical genre dubbed "Southern rock" during the 1970s.
The new Mercer Music at Capricorn now operates as a music incubator, with the Museum at Capricorn opening on Jan. 2 to tell the history of the iconic studio with artifacts, photos, recordings, album art and music-filled interactive digital kiosks. (Museum admission: $7; Studio tour: $5)
If you're headed to Fort Worth, Texas to attend the parades, shows, contest and other events that take place during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas (Jan. 17- Feb. 8, 2020) be sure to stop by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The museum will display artist Red Grooms' rollicking Ruckus Rodeo installation, a giant walk-though work that celebrates the Fort Worth rodeo with 3-D caricatures of rodeo regulars ranging from the rodeo clowns and cowboys to broncos and bulls. (Jan. 17-March 29, 2020; Admission: $16; half-price Sundays; free admission Fridays.)
The grandiose Gilded Age estate that is now the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida is an appropriate exhibition space for Walk This Way: Historic Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection. Organized by the New-York Historical Society, the 100 shoes in this exhibition are not just pretty to look at, they tell stories of culture, consumerism, power and history. (Jan. 28-May 10, 2020; Admission: $18).
In the Bronx, New York, the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden will present Kusama: Cosmic Nature, by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama from May 9 through Nov. 1, 2020. The garden-wide exhibit will include the artist's signature mirrored environments, paintings, giant polka-dotted sculptures flowers and pumpkins and site-specific sculpture. The greenhouse installation will offer visitors a chance to participate in the creative process, which means it will change over time. Tickets go on sale to the public Jan. 29. Members can buy theirs starting Jan. 15.
The 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative has an extensive list of museum exhibits around the country marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote.
Wyoming, which gave women the right to vote 50 years before the rest of the nation, kicked off its suffrage celebrations in 2019 and continues with many special exhibits statewide in 2020.
In Washington, D.C. the National Museum of American History will present "Creating Icons: How We Remember Women's Suffrage," with artifacts from 1919 and 1920 donated by the National American Women Suffrage Association, the precursor to the League of Women Voters (Opens March 6; free).
Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum collects, curates and celebrates self-taught artists and "outsider" art and presents workshops, parades and themed exhibitions filled with odd and exquisite creations. In November 2020, AVAM will mark its 25th anniversary with a retrospective show featuring work from its past 40 exhibitions. It's a great chance to bring back some work that has been in storage for years. (Admission: $15.95)
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado in April 2020, ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Among the items on display will be a collection of Olympic torches from several of the recent games, and one side of the scoreboard from Herb Brooks Arena. The arena, previously known as the Lake Placid Fieldhouse, was the venue for the 1980 Miracle On Ice, when the American hockey team upset the Soviet Union to win a gold metal.
In spring 2020, the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye will open at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. The free museum at the headquarters of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will feature a collection of more than 38,000 artifacts, books and instruments that previously were accessible only by appointment. There also will be virtual reality activities to give visitors a better appreciation for our vision.
After repeated construction delays, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is scheduled to open in Los Angeles in spring 2020. Dedicated to the history of cinema and the art of filmmaking, it will feature a collection of photographs, films, videos costumes, props and more. The spherical design of the building, designed by Renzo Piano, will stand out among the other museums along LA's so-called Museum Row, and visitors will likely enjoy the view of the Hollywood Hills from its dome-covered panoramic roof terrace.
And in late 2020, the Museum of Science, Boston will open "Arctic Adventure," a major permanent exhibition that will immerse visitors in a polar environment using state-of-the-art light projection and a real ice wall. The hands-on exhibit will allow visitors to search for polar bears and walruses using drones and GPS data. (Admission: $29 for adults, $24 for kids)