Mint Museum Uptown hopes to inspire DNC crowds
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CHARLOTTE -- As part of the Levine Center for the Arts, the Mint Museum Uptown is one of the places where Charlotte shows off its cultural side.
"When it opened its doors in 1936, it only had four objects of art, but today we have over 31,000 objects in our collection," said Hillary Cooper with The Mint Museum.
Those pieces are sorted into a half dozen collections which range from craft and design to American arts. Named because the first building it occupied was a former U.S. mint, the museum is living up to its reason for being.
"Our intent and our mission is to be a leading, innovative museum of international art and design," said Cooper.
One of the most striking recent additions is this 145,000 square foot building, which opened in 2010.
"It is just a magnificent work of art, in its own right," said Cooper.
The Mint Museum Uptown will host a variety of events during the DNC, exposing the venue to individuals from across the country.
"I think it will really raise our national and international profile," said Cooper. "We're very strategic in bringing shows that would be on view to Mint Museum Uptown, that would resonate with the delegates and the visitors that will be coming from all over the world."
One of those exhibits features pins worn by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright while she held that post.
"I think the community has loved coming and looking at all of her pins and learning a little bit about history in the process," said Cooper.
Those pins were carefully chosen to convey thoughts and moods, such as one worn to send a message to then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"It was the serpent pin to let Saddam Hussein know that she had heard that he had referred to her as an 'unparalleled serpent,'" said Cooper.
Another exhibit designed to appeal to the DNC crowd contains pieces from artist Thornton Dial.
"His work is extremely original," she said. "It sort of speaks to some of the more compelling challenges that we face as a nation."
The DNC coming to town provides Charlotte an opportunity to show what it has to offer to many people who have never been there. The Mint Museum will be one of those featured elements.
"When they experience the Mint Museum I think that they will walk away just being absolutely inspired and impressed with this city and what we have to offer and hopefully, they'll feel compelled to come back and visit," said Cooper.