Downtown Museum and Gallery Tour, Louisville

Downtown Museum and Gallery Tour (Self Guided), Louisville

Louisville is a city famous for its quantity and diversity of museums. The biggest concentration of museums and art galleries can be found downtown. The galleries are represented by the most contemporary and talented artists and the museums exhibit their showpieces with the help of the newest technologies, which makes the visits more entertaining and educational. Visitors of any age and interest will find something interesting in the tour of Louisville's downtown museums and art galleries.
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Downtown Museum and Gallery Tour Map

Guide Name: Downtown Museum and Gallery Tour
Guide Location: USA » Louisville (See other walking tours in Louisville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Louisville Glassworks
  • Frazier International History Museum
  • Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
  • Louisville Science Center
  • Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
  • Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville Glassworks

1) Louisville Glassworks

Louisville Glassworks a multi-functional center that houses two glass galleries and workshops. Visitors can see the process of glass forming and blowing as well as purchase the beautiful glass objects made by artists.

Louisville boasts a long tradition of glass making in the US. From 1850 to 1901, at least seven different glass manufacturing factories operated in Louisville. Six were utilitarian bottle houses, and the other manufactured window and plate glass. In 1850 the first glass bottle- and jar-making firm, known as the Kentucky Glass Works was formed.

Glass making continues to this day. Louisville Glassworks boasts the largest privately owned hot glass studios in the country, and a nationally recognized glass art gallery which showcases artist from across the globe.

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00
Frazier International History Museum

2) Frazier International History Museum

The Frazier History Museum, previously known as the Frazier Historical Arms Museum and the Frazier International History Museum, is a history museum located in downtown Louisville. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Frazier documents and reinterprets stories from history using artifacts, gallery talks, and live daily interpretations by a staff of teaching artists.

Founded in 2004 as a museum of historical arms and armor, the Frazier has since expanded its focus to cover regional, national, and international history. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of toy soldiers and historic miniatures on permanent public display in the world. Other permanent exhibitions include historic arms, bourbon whiskey, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 17:00; Sundays: 12:00 - 17:00.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

3) Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (must see)

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a museum and factory combined showcasing the story of Louisville Slugger baseball bat and its place in American history. The museum exhibits include:

* History of the Bat - Inviting guests to learn about the making of the first Louisville Slugger by 17-year-old Bud Hillerich for Louisville Eclipse star Pete Browning;
* Hold a Piece of History - a game-used bat from Hall of Fame players like Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench and Andre Dawson, as well as representatives of all 30 MLB teams;
* Player's Choice - Current models of bats used by to MLB Players, as well as the latest composite bats;
* Statue Gallery - Lifelike statues of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson;
* Feel the Heat - Guests see what it's like to face a 90 MPH fastball;
* Old-Time Bat Making Demonstrations - See hand-turners use a lathe to demonstrate how bats used to be made; and
* Burn-Brander - Docents demonstrate the process of "burn branding" bats.

The tour of the Louisville Slugger bat factory consists of six stops showing how the famous bats are made. Tours typically last around 20 minutes. Though full production may not be in place on evenings, weekends and holidays, bat making still occurs on every tour and all guests receive a complimentary mini-bat at the end.

Why You Should Visit:
To experience first-hand history-in-the-making strolling through the actual factory where world-famous Louisville Slugger bats are created.

In addition to a free miniature souvenir bat at the end of the tour, you can even create a bat with your own name on it, just like the pros.
They make great gifts for all kinds of special occasions, from newborn babies to groomsmen gifts to team trophies and more. The museum store is also loaded with lots of sporty merchandise for every budget. So, be sure to swing by!

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 17:00; Sundays - 11:00 - 17:00
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Louisville Science Center

4) Louisville Science Center (must see)

Kentucky Science Center is Kentucky's largest hands-on science museum. Located in Louisville downtown, the museum operates as a non-profit organization. It was founded in 1871 as a natural history collection, and now more than half a million people visit the museum annually.

The museum is packed with exhibits for people of all ages to enjoy science and technology in a stimulating and engaging environment. The setting is both educational and entertaining with many hands-on activities that are suitable for both children and adults.

Opening Hours: Sunday - Thursday: 9:30 - 17:00; Friday - Saturday: 9:30 - 21:00
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

5) Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC) Museum is an American art museum that "connects people to Art and Creative Practice". The museum was founded in 1981 as the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation to build interest in the state’s craft heritage which quickly led to a one of a kind collection of American Folk Art from the region.

KMAC Museum’s permanent collection consists of about 300 pieces of art works mostly by local artists. The collection aims to bridge ideas of traditional folk art to the vast conversation of contemporary art. The collection largely encompasses aspects of Kentucky’s geographical and cultural context through themes of agriculture, domestic life, economy, class, religious belief, and pastimes influenced by a predominantly rural setting.

In 2001, the museum relocated to its current home, a four-story historic cast iron structure and changed its name to Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, while still focusing on contemporary Kentucky artisans. Admission to KMAC for students and children is free.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00-18:00; Sunday 10:00-17:00; Monday: closed
Muhammad Ali Center

6) Muhammad Ali Center (must see)

The Muhammad Ali Center is a non-profit museum and cultural center in Louisville, dedicated to boxer Muhammad Ali, a native of Louisville. The museum features exhibitions regarding Ali's major events and transitions in his life: the religious switch, boxing career, childhood, military draft evasion, and philanthropic work.

An orientation theater helps present Ali's life. A mock boxing ring is recreated based on his Deer Lake Training Camp. A two-level pavilion, housed within a large elliptical room, features Ali's boxing memorabilia and history. A large projector displays the film “The Greatest” onto a full-sized boxing ring. There are also booths where visitors can view clips of Ali's greatest fights on video-on-demand terminals, which also feature pre- and post-fight interviews.

Whether or not you are a boxing fan, you will likely find the exhibitions captivating and educational.

Why You Should Visit:
Great interactive museum which shows not only the life of the greatest boxer of all time, but also puts you in to perspective as to what a life in segregated America was like in the past century.

Prepare to spend a good few hours here to see everything.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30-17:00; Sunday: 12:00-17:00; Monday: closed

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