Neon Museum to host two events showcasing sign painter's contributions to the art of signmaking
Film screening and panel discussion part of PRISM TV Times of the Signs lecture series
On Tuesday, September 16, the Neon Museum will host the panel discussion, "Unsigned Heroes: Sign Painters’ Art and Stories."
Panelists include Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, authors of the book “Sign Painters” and co-directors of Sign Painters, a documentary. The documentary and book profile sign painters young and old and feature the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States.
Mark Oatis will also serve as a panelist. Oatis is a founding member of The Letterheads, a trade organization dedicated to education and the dissemination of traditional sign methods, principles and techniques.
Vegas Vernacular co-founders Geoffrey Ellis and Bryan McCormick will serve as moderators. The Vegas Vernacular Project documented the lesser-loved commercial signage around the Las Vegas Valley over a two-year period.
The discussion will be held at the Neon Museum, 770 Las Vegas Boulevard, North. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session, begins at 6 p.m. Immediately following the panel, Levin and Macon will sign copies of their book in the La Concha lobby.
Available seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission is $12 per person. Museum members receive free admission to the program. There will be a cash bar serving wine, beer, soda and water.
Reservations are required and can be made by clicking here.
On Wednesday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m. the Neon Museum, in partnership with UNLV, will host a screening of the documentary Sign Painters. The screening is free and will be at the Barrick Museum on the campus of UNLV. For directions to the UNLV campus and parking information please visit http://www.unlv.edu/barrickmuseum/visit.
The Mid-Century Home and Designs for Living panel discussion
On Tuesday, May 20, the Neon Museum will host its next PRISM TV Times of the Signs Lecture Series event sponsored by CenturyLink, “The Mid-Century Home and Designs for Living.” Open to the public (reservations are required in advance), this public education series takes place in the famous Neon Boneyard and brings illuminating lectures, panel discussions, presentations or performances to the community.
The May 20 event was organized in partnership with the Nevada Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit agency that provides historic designation and grant support to neighborhoods, homeowners and business owners who reside in a historic area or own a historic building. The Foundation supplies much needed support to navigate the extensive process of obtaining local, state, or federal historic designations. Once designated, the Foundation also provides grant-writing support and functions as a clearinghouse for grants benefiting historic districts/homes.
Participants in the event, which will follow a panel discussion format, will be:
Cory Buckner is a practicing architect in the Los Angeles area. She has a degree in Fine Arts from Chouinard Art Institute and a master’s in architecture from UCLA. The firm, Cory Buckner, Architect, specializes in contemporary residential design and mid-century remodel and restoration projects. She was awarded the 2002 Los Angeles Preservation Award and is the author of A. Quincy Jones, published by Phaidon Press, and was a finalist for the 2003 Rome Prize. Buckner will sign copies of her book at the Neon Museum on May 20.
Dave Cornoyer, a city planner by trade, has extensively researched and restored mid-century homes and architecture, with an emphasis on the Palmer and Krisel homes in Las Vegas’ Paradise Palms neighborhood located east of the Boulevard Mall.
Courtney Mooney, historic preservation officer, City of Las Vegas, is a downtown resident and collector of mid-century design. She holds a master’s of science degree in historic preservation and bachelor’s of science degree in architecture.
Eric Strain, architect with Assemblage Studios, received his master’s in architecture from the University of Utah and has won 29 American Institute of Architects Nevada Design Excellence Awards, 6 WMR AIA Design Excellence Awards, among other honors, including the 2008 HEIDI Award for Best Residential Architect.
Heidi Swank (moderator), executive director, Nevada Preservation Foundation, received her doctorate in anthropology with an emphasis on history and language from Northwestern University in 2006. She has published and presented widely on the ties between history, place making and everyday lives. As a resident of Las Vegas’ older downtown neighborhoods, Dr. Swank has gained significant knowledge of Mid-Century resources and styles. She has spent almost 10 years researching this topic and other eras of 20th century architecture.
The event will begin with a meet-and-greet with the panelists for Neon Museum members only from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Doors open to the general public at 5:30 p.m. and the discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session, begins promptly at 6 p.m. A cash bar serving wine, beer, soda and water will be available.
Space is limited and attendees are encouraged to reserve their spot by registering HERE. Available seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission is free and museum members receive reserved section seating.
Panel Discussion Part of PRISM Times of the Signs Series Sponsored by CenturyLink
On Tuesday, April 22, the Neon Museum will host its next PRISM Times of the Signs event sponsored by CenturyLink, “Sign Design: Past, Present and Future.” Open to the public (reservations are required in advance), Times of the Signs programs take place in the famous Neon Boneyard and bring illuminating lectures, panel discussions, presentations or performances to the community.
Participants in the event, which will follow a panel discussion format, will be:
• Rick Juleen, vice president, special projects, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO)
• Jim Gietzen, design director, YESCO
• Brian Henry, owner, Brian Henry Design
• Rudy Crisostomo, former sign designer, YESCO
Helga Watkins, associate professor of art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will serve as the evening’s moderator.
The event will begin with a meet-and-greet with the panelists for Neon Museum members only from 5 to 6 p.m. Doors open to the general public at 5:30 p.m. and the discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session, begins promptly at 6 p.m. A cash bar serving wine, beer, soda and water will be available.
Space is limited and attendees are encouraged to RSVP in advance via email to
. Admission is free and museum members receive reserved section seating. For more information, call (702) 387-6366.
Free Events Part of Museum’s Ongoing Education Programming Series
Saturday, April 19, 10 a.m. to noon – Orienteering in the Boneyard. Families will enjoy using compasses to participate in a maze-version scavenger hunt in the famous Neon Boneyard. This event is appropriate for people of all ages.
Saturday, April 26, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Story Time. In partnership with the Las Vegas Library, children and their parents will enjoy hearing stories read aloud and making seasonal crafts. This event is recommended for preschool-aged children through first graders.
Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Story Time. In partnership with the Las Vegas Library, children and their parents will enjoy hearing stories read aloud and making seasonal crafts. This event is recommended for preschool-aged children through first graders.
Saturday, May 24, 2 to 4 p.m. – Drawing History in 3D. Children will learn how to draw their own 3D/anaglyph sign based on historic signs in the Neon Museum’s collection and make their own 3D-viewing glasses. This event is recommended for kindergartners through sixth graders.
Container Park Events
Join us for free famimly events at the Neon Museum/Mob Museum store, Bosses & Bulbs located at Container Park, 707 Fremont Street, third floor.
Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. - Container Park Read Aloud - The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems and Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.
Saturday, March 29, 1 p.m. - Container Park Read Aloud - Peek-a-Zoo! By Marie Torres Cimarusti, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems and A Book of Sleep by II Sung Na.
Unless otherwise noted, family drop-in events are free and open to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration for all programs is recommended and may be done by sending an email to
Neon Museum presents FREE Lecture showcasing history of La Concha's architect
In honor of African-American History Month, on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. Neon Museum Scholar in Residence Dr. Leslie Luebbers will deliver a lecture on Paul Revere Williams. Sponsors of the event are CenturyLink, the El Cortez Hotel & Casino, the American Institute of Architects and the Marjorie Barrick Museum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where the lecture will take place.
Williams, the first documented African-American fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), designed the La Concha Motel lobby. Today, that structure is hailed as a masterpiece of “Googie” roadside architectural design and serves as the Neon Museum’s visitor’s center.
Luebbers is the director of the Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) in Memphis, Tenn., as well as project director for the Paul R. Williams Project. Her responsibilities in the Paul R. Williams Project include: serving as project director for the exhibition, publications, fundraising, liaising with AIA, the Benjamin Hooks Institute, NOMA and other community organizations, as well as liaising with collaborating university departments. She also oversees the organization’s evaluation process and reports.
Born in 1894 in Los Angeles to Memphians Lila Wright Williams and Chester Stanley Williams, Paul Revere Williams was one of the most admired and successful architects of the twentieth century. Educated in the early 1900s at the Los Angeles atelier of the Beaux Arts Institute of New York, Williams went on to study architectural engineering at the University of Southern California. In addition to the La Concha Motel, his notable commissions included Roosevelt Naval Base (Long Beach, Calif.), Los Angeles County Court House, Guardian Angel Cathedral (Las Vegas), the Beverly Hills Hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue (Beverly Hills), Howard University (Washington, D.C.) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, Tenn.). He also served on the committee overseeing the Los Angeles airport design.
Williams also earned the moniker of “Architect to the Stars” by designing homes for golden-age Hollywood stars and influential business tycoons such as Tyrone Powers, Lon Chaney, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jay Paley, Barbara Stanwyck, William Paley and Frank Sinatra. His 60-year career in architecture included the creation of more than 3,000 residential, governmental and commercial buildings.
Williams retired in 1973 and, in 1974, the AIA elected him to Emeritus status. He was awarded the City Council Commendation for Artistic Contribution to Los Angeles in 1977 and died on January 23, 1980.
For more information on the Neon Museum, go to www.neonmuseum.org or call (702) 387-6366.
Stars and Stardust: Sidewalk astronomy in the Neon Museum
Celebrate 2014 at the Neon Museum with a special night of star gazing and family time at “Stars and Stardust: Sidewalk Astronomy In the Neon Boneyard,” to be held Saturday, January 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. Held in partnership with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, the program is free and appropriate for people of all ages (children must be accompanied by adults.)
The evening will begin in the dramatically illuminated Neon Boneyard before the lights are dimmed to afford a clearer view of the stars. Participants in the “Stars and Stardust” astronomy event will enjoy using a variety of telescope equipment to observe the night sky.
Holiday ornament making at the Neon Museum
We're hosting another free drop-in event for families. A special holiday ornament-making activity will take place Saturday, December 14 from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by hot chocolate and caroling by Las Vegas Academy singers from 5 to 6 p.m. In addition, that evening families are invited to experience the magical holiday lighting in the Neon Boneyard events area, from 5 to 6 p.m. This program is part of the City of Las Vegas Cultural Corridor’s “December to Remember” holiday festival.
Unless otherwise noted, family drop-in events are free and open to the public.
Join us for a free Story Time!
On Saturday, November 2, the museum will host Story Time from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in cooperation with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. The books being read will be “My Many Colored Days,” by Dr. Seuss, and “Dog’s Colorful Day,” by Emma Dodd. This program is appropriate for preschoolers through first graders accompanied by their parents or guardians.
Unless otherwise noted, family drop-in events are free and open to the public. Registration may be required for some programs.
Free family drop-in event
Join us this Saturday, October 19 for a free family drop-in event. These events are designed to extend the museum’s impact on the community by offering opportunities for families to enjoy time together in a culturally important, historic and creatively inspiring setting.
This Saturday, the museum will host The Wayfinder Experience: Orienteering at the Neon Museum, from 9 to 10:30a.m. in the Neon Boneyard. This activity is appropriate for families of all ages and will consist of basic skill instruction and introduction to orienteering, including how to use a compass, followed by a scavenger hunt (beginner level “white course”) of various sites on the Neon Museum campus.
Celebrate the Neon Museum's FIRST birthday on October 25 with AMC's The Walking Dead!
We'll be a year old in October and we want you to come celebrate with us.
This year's Boneyard Bash will be emceed by America's Got Talent finalist Murray, Celebrity Magician with live musical performances by the Phat Pack, the Clydesdale, the Swamp Gospel and the All-Togethers. DiVine Events, Slidin' Thru, and Bake My Day food trucks will be on hand delivering tasty morsels to all attendees. Official AMC’s The Walking Dead and Neon Museum memorabilia giveaways all evening! Zombies, showghouls and some of Las Vegas' most iconic signs will be on hand to delight and amaze!
Zombie attire is encouraged and welcomed; makeup artists will be on hand to zombiefy your look! Souvenir photos will be provided by Shutterbooth and sleek modern LED Décor provided by Totally MOD Event Furnishings.
VIP tickets grant you entry to the VIP Party from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and includes a hosted bar and appetizers along with access to the Neon Boneyard. A commemorative gift will be given to the first 50 guests to arrive and a special Neon Museum swag basket will be raffled off.
General admission tickets are valid from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and include two drink tickets and Bash Cash which can be used for delicious food from our amazing food trucks! Special Walking Dead swag basket will be raffled off.
Purchase your tickets at www.neonmuseum.org/boneyardbash.
July 22, 2013
For the first time, The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, and The Neon Museum are partnering to offer guests one ticket to two great museums for $30, an average savings of 30 percent. Guests now have the chance to book one daytime tour for the Neon Museum and then visit the Mob Museum with this special same-day offer. Both attractions are located in downtown Las Vegas, approximately 10 minutes apart from one another.
The Mob Museum presents an exciting and authentic view of organized crime’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world while the Neon Museum is the world’s largest collection of neon signage displayed in a two-acre Neon Boneyard featuring 150 rescued architectural landmarks from iconic Las Vegas properties ranging from the 1930s to present day.
“We have worked hard to make this collaboration a reality,” says Jonathan Ullman, executive director and chief executive officer, The Mob Museum. “In doing so, our guests will encounter two unique and entertaining perspectives on the incredible events and iconic signage that made this city famous.”
With engaging exhibits, high-tech theater presentations and more than 600 artifacts, The Mob Museum houses the largest collection of Mob and related law enforcement memorabilia under one roof. During the guided Neon Museum tour, guests will learn about the unique stories regarding the personalities who created the signs, their inspirations, where and when the signs were made and the role they played in Las Vegas’ colorful history.
“We know our Museums offer distinct yet complementary versions of Las Vegas history, so it’s a thrill to offer guests one ticket that enables them to experience both sides in one day,” concludes Danielle Kelly, executive director, The Neon Museum.
Currently, The Neon Museum offers day-time guided tours seven days a week at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. The Mob Museum is also open seven days per week, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
To purchase tickets, go to www.TheMobMuseum.org or call (702) 229-2734.
*Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts and is applicable to both Las Vegas residents and Las Vegas visitors. Tours must be experienced on the same day.
Times of the Signs: Stardust Showgirls
July 11, 2013
On Thursday, July 11, the Neon Museum will host the first of an ongoing series of community education and enrichment programs called Times of the Signs. Open to the public (reservations are required in advance), Times of the Signs programs will take place in the famous Neon Boneyard and will consist of illuminating lectures, panel discussions, presentations or performances.
The topic of the first program will be “Stardust Showgirls” a special evening commemorating the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Stardust Hotel & Casino. Opening on July 2, 1958, the Stardust was famous for its lavish French-style production show Lido de Paris, which ran until 1991 and was then replaced by Enter the Night, an updated production show with Broadway-styled theatrics.
The monumental Stardust sign is one of more than 150 neon signs preserved and viewed by thousands of visitors each year in the Neon Museum’s Neon Boneyard exhibition area.
“We look forward to bringing our collection of historic and iconic Las Vegas signage to life through our Times of the Signs series,” says Danielle Kelly, executive director, Neon Museum. “We invite the public to join us July 11 for an informative and entertaining evening in our incomparable Neon Boneyard.”
Panelists participating include former Enter the Night showgirl-turned-attorney Akee Levin; Joyce Marshall Moore, oral historian, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Lisa Gioia Acres, historian and author, College of Southern Nevada. Dr. Michael Greene, professor, Department of Social Sciences, College of Southern Nevada will moderate the evening’s discussion.
The evening will begin with a meet-and-greet with the panelists for Neon Museum members only at 6:15 p.m. The program will begin promptly at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be available in the La Concha reception area.
Night Tours Now Available!
May 24, 2013
New, colorful up-lighting has been installed throughout the Neon Boneyard, dramatically illuminating the iconic signs in the museum’s collection. While most of the signs themselves are not electrified, the new custom-designed lighting showcases them beautifully. The new lighting makes evening tours an attractive option for those who want not only to escape the heat of day, but also want to experience the signs from a dazzling new perspective.
The Neon Museum is open seven days a week. The La Concha visitors’ center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. To tour the museum’s Neon Boneyard exhibition area, all visitors are encouraged to pre-register for a guided tour. Daytime tours of the Neon Museum are $18; evening tours are $25.
Moulin Rouge Panel Discussion
May 23, 2013
On Thursday, May 23, the Neon Museum will host a special program commemorating the 58th anniversary of the opening of Las Vegas’ famed Moulin Rouge casino. The Moulin Rouge sign, designed by Betty Willis, is one of more than 150 neon signs preserved and viewed by thousands of visitors each year in the Neon Museum’s Neon Boneyard exhibition area.
On the evening of May 23, noted Las Vegas filmmaker Stan Armstrong will screen portions his latest project, the documentary titled “The Misunderstood Legend of the Las Vegas Moulin Rouge,” at the Neon Museum. Also on hand will be Claytee White,
director, Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries. Dr. Michael Green, professor of history, College of Southern Nevada, will serve as the panel moderator.
The evening will begin with a meet-and-greet with the panelists for Neon Museum members only at 5 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 6 p.m.
What follows is an excerpt from the book, “Spectacular – A History of Las Vegas Neon,” authored by Melissa Johnson, Carrie Schomig and Dorothy Wright and published by the Neon Museum, about the Moulin Rouge:
At a time when all of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip were racially segregated, the Moulin Rouge Casino opened in West Las Vegas in May 1955. In the Las Vegas Review-Journal, advertisements billed the Rouge as “the nation’s first major inter-racial hotel.”
Unlike the other casinos, black entertainers and guests could stay at Moulin Rouge. Heavyweight champion Joe Louis greeted visitors, and from the start, the club had sold-out shows that attracted A-list entertainers such as Pearl Bailey, Harry Belafonte, Tallulah Bankhead, Nat King Cole, and Sammy Davis, Jr. The Moulin Rouge’s sign featured stylized, cursive script and was designed by Western Neon’s Betty Willis. Despite the casino’s success, the Moulin Rouge shut down after only five months of operation under uncertain circumstances. After remaining shuttered for nearly fifty years, the building burned in 2003. The Moulin Rouge’s characteristically stylish neon signage, however, survived the blaze and is in the Neon Museum’s Boneyard.
Moulin Rouge sign designer Willis is best known for her iconic 1959 design for the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign in the median of South Las Vegas Boulevard. The sign has become the symbol of Las Vegas ever since its installation at the south end of the Strip, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information about this special event at the Neon Museum, go to www.neonmuseum.org or call (702) 387-6366.
Project Dinner Table
April 20, 2013
We hosted the kick-off dinner for season four of Project Dinner Table. More than 200 attendees at the community dinner series were treated to a six-course gourmet dinner with the Chefs of MGM Grand.
Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights Month
April 13, 2013
The Neon Museum partnered with the Outside Las Vegas Foundation during its Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights month events to host families and their children for a Drop-In Art event celebrating nature, community and outdoor fun for the whole family.
Women's History Month
March 30, 2013
For Women’s History Month the Neon Museum hosted a book signing by noted Las Vegas historians, Su Kim Chung (pictured left) of UNLV Libraries and Dorothy Wright (pictured right). Chung signed copies of her popular book "Las Vegas Then and Now," now in its second edition, and Wright signed copies of "Spectacular, A History of Las Vegas Neon," published by the Neon Museum.