If you find yourself in “The Tall City” that is also known as Midland, TX, be sure to take a look at what the city has to offer its visitors. Located exactly between Dallas and El Paso, Midland is home to the business headquarters of the Permian Basin which is the largest oil production region in the United States. It has a population of 138,549 residents and several museums including the Museum of the Southwest.
Incorporated in September of 1965, the Museum of the Southwest showcases art, culture, archeology, and science of the region. It is located in the Midland Downtown Farmers Market and is comprised of four separate facilities. These facilities include the Historic Turner Mansion, the Lissa Noel Wagner Wing, the Marian Blakemore Planetarium, and the Fredda Turner Durham Museum.
Inside the Historic Turner Mansion you will find exhibits that tell the stories centered around the Turned family. In addition to the information provided about the history of the house, the story of Midland and the relationship the family had with the Kentucky Derby are things you will learn from visiting. If you’re looking for an interactive scrapbook of the family and a scale model of the home, venture into the mansion’s library. In the room that used to be used as a guest room, you can find information on the Turner, Durham, and Scharbauer families’ pursuits in equestrianism. You’ll also find two trophies from the Kentucky Derby that were won by the families in the years of 1959 and 1987.
The Lissa Noel Wagner Wing features five temporary exhibits unfurled across 11 galleries. Galleries on display tell the stories of historical art themes, individual artists, and different styles of art.
If space is something that sparks your interest, take a visit to the Marian Blakemore Planetarium. This planetarium offers dome shows that are projected onto a state-of-the-art, 360 degree Digistar 5 system with 3D capabilities. In other words, you’ll feel like you are floating in space right next to the planets, stars, or solar systems being explored.
The Turner Mansion also offers fun for the family in the Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum which is set to open on May 1st. This section of the museum will house educational exhibits for children of all ages. Some spaces that will be included are a Lower Sensory Gallery that provides a calming environment, a painting zone to find your inner artist, a Sea wall where you can learn more about our oceans, and more!
The Museum of the Southwest offers guided tours for big groups and grants free admission to everyone on Sunday’s thanks to Coterra Energy Inc. If you are interested in becoming a member, it is worth noting that admission is free to all members.
In 1988, the Turner Mansion was recognized as a historic place and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Unlike a lot of museums, this one is fully staffed with full and part-time positions and is governed by a board of trustees. In June of 1992 and in 2002, the museum was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
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Map from Museum of the Southwest to NetOps:
Map from Museum of the Southwest to the Ellen Noel Art Museum: