Museum of Mobile
The Museum of Mobile is great family educational destination displaying over 300 years of the history of Mobile, from its humble origins to its survival through several wars, and from its people’s contributions to the influence of Mardi Gras on city lore.
The museum is located on Royal Street in the Southern Market/Old City Hall complex, which was built from 1855 to 1857 and honored in 1973 as a National Historic Landmark. In 1997, the complex was renovated to hold the the two-story museum.
It houses fascinating exhibits and artifacts from wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, inlcuding the Colonial Wars and the Civil War. It features Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia, depicts African-American contributions to city expansion, and more. The museum also houses classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium, and a Discovery Room for children to interact with artifacts.
One of the permanent displays is a two-part exhibit called Old Ways New Days, which explores Mobile’s more than 300 years of history, from its first inhabitants (Native Americans) to its present residents, and from Mobile’s disasters (natural, economic, and otherwise) and cultural diversity to its recreation and industry.
Another permanent exhibit is the cannon of the Confederate States Ship Alabama, which is the centerpiece of a 700-square-foot exhibit gallery. The cannon, ten feet long and weighs about two and a half tons (five thousand pounds), was pulled from the wreck of the ship off the coast of France.
A third permanent fixture is the Walls and Halls exhibit, which features furniture, antique silver, artwork, and other artifacts from throughout Mobile’s history.
“Side by Side” is a current exhibit running through the August 2012. It captures the unique and picturesque sights of Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) from men with two creative, yet diverse perspectives – American Chip Cooper’s and Cuban Nestor Marti’s.
Starting in October 2012 and continuing through March 2013 will be a comic book perspective that will take a look at comic book superheroes and their representation of modern America.
Check the museum’s web site (www.museumofmobile.com) for updates on current and upcoming exhibits, as dates and displays are subject to change.
After Hours Rental Space
The museum rents out featured space for nearly any occasion:
- The Atrium: features a large statue of Marianne, the French Goddess of Liberty), a spiraling, breathtaking marble staircase guarded by a huge lion, and a black-and-white marble floor. This room is perhaps the most visually stunning in the museum, creating a spectacular setting for any event.
- Hearin-Chandler Auditorium: with austere columns, gold leaf accents, and ornate crown molding, this is the place for formal receptions, dinners, presentations, and more.
- Grand Courtyard and Caldwell Delaney Courtyard: Each private courtyard is perfect for outdoor receptions and parties under the moon, the stars, or the deep blue Alabama sky.
Browse or buy one-of-a-kind souvenirs for all occasions in The Shop in the Southern Market at the Museum of Mobile. Books, history kits, glass, pottery, and paintings by local-area artists are also featured.
The Museum of Mobile is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00. It’s located at 111 South Royal Street.