SEEING AS each year Super Museum Sunday comes hours prior to your company joining you in front of the big screen for the most anticipated football game of the year, you could almost consider this event the official Super Bowl Kickoff.
This year, 88 historic sites, houses and museums were opened for free throughout Georgia, 54 of these sites belonging to Savannah or not to far from Savannah.
From from noon to 4 p.m. Savannah opened up the gates of almost all of their historic venues making it free of charge for anyone in the city to be in attendance. These sites include, but are far from limited to, the First African Baptist Church, the Andrew Low House, the SCAD Museum of Arts, Girl Scouts First Headquarters, the Telfair Museum and even scenes as far out as The Bloody Marsh Unit on St. Simons Island and the Funk Heritage Center in Waleska, Georgia.
The Georgia Historical Society estimates that 16,000 people visited participants in 2016’s Super Museum Sunday.
This year, Harry DeLorme, Senior Curator of Education at the Telfair Museum, says that they had 3,974 people altogether to show up to their three locations, the Jepson Center, Telfair Academy, and the Owens-Thomas House.
The new Nick Cave exhibit was a particularly big hit at the Jepson Center this year. Currently working and living in Chicago, Nike Cave is an internationally-renowned artist and creator of the soundsuit, showcased during the exhibit.
A soundsuit is a sculpture which Nick says is a “full body suits constructed of materials that rattle with movement…like a coat of armor, they embellish the body while protecting the wearer from outside culture.”
“We have been looking at his work for years, were actually hoping to borrow a piece from him for our current collection,” said DeLorme. “He touches on social issues, and a lot of his work is based on personal issues. He was effected emotionally by the LA riots and his soundsuits are in a sense like body armor.”
The soundsuits, Nick Cave says, is in response to the Rodney King shooting that took place in 1992. He says that the soundsuit is used to resemble a second skin, a skin that “conceals race, gender, and class, soundsuits camouflage the body, forcing viewers to look without bias or judgment.”
Each sculpture body is based on the scale of his own body and meant to make notice of instant categorization or profiling. The constant use of a variety of materials, textiles, multimedia, and shapes can easily to the person viewing his art work reflect African culture.
Maliki Hobson, a 21-year-old from Atlanta, was in attendance and had the opportunity to witness the William Scarbrough House.
“Super Museum Sunday gives people a lot of insight depending on what museum you go to and what you already know. When you're going into a museum, you’re either going to get history or you’re going to get art, and I was fortunate enough to get at least go to two museums, the Ships of the Sea Museum and the SCAD Museum of Art.”
The Ships of the Sea Museum, one of the many sites opened yesterday, was a house once built by the principle owner of Steamship Savannah and president of the Steamship Company, William Scarbrough, which is why the historic site also goes by the name The William Scarbrough House and Garden.
The museum holds six major models of famous ships from Savannah’s history as well along with many with other monumental ships that played a larger part in history. This included The Steamship Savannah, The Anne, The Wanderer, City of Savannah, and The Titanic.
Michelle Wilson-Parish, an Art History professor at Savannah State University was out that afternoon selling Girl Scout cookies with her daughters. “I think that as an Art History teacher, the most important thing about Super Museum Sunday is how richly diverse our museum population actually is and how much contemporary and new art they can experience here as well.”
Super Museum Sunday is “an opportunity to experience the museums first person. It’s hard to imagine the size of the sound suits and how they affect you versus looking online than I person. The social part of it is important. People from all walks of life experience the museum at the same time,” she said.
Though an annual event, Super Museum Sundays enlightens those in the area about the variety of museums, sites and historic places in the city for the advantage of those either living in Savannah or just visiting.