Bigger, Better and Brighter: The Evolution of Las Vegas Signs
NEON MUSEUM HOSTS SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE STEFAN AL
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., the Neon Museum will welcome scholar-in-residence Stefan Al, internationally known architect, author and academic specializing in contemporary urbanization. He will deliver a presentation entitled, “Bigger, Better and Brighter: The Evolution of Las Vegas Signs,” at the Marjorie Barrick Museum Auditorium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Al will discuss how the cutthroat competition between casinos, an unlikely source of architectural innovation, helped the Las Vegas Strip become the breeding ground of unprecedented sign design evolution. In the 1960s, signs transformed from a pole and a box to 20-story-tall structures encompassing miles of neon. Whereas in the 1990s, signs became replicas of iconic European monuments, including a full-size copy of the Bellagio bell tower and a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Today’s new signs include LED video screens as high as a skyscraper.
Al is a Dutch architect, urban designer and associate professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published various books about contemporary urbanization, including “Factory Towns of South China,” “Village in the City” and “Mall City,” and is currently writing a book about Las Vegas architecture, “The Strip.” His international career has included work as a practicing architect on renowned projects such as the 2,000-foot-high Canton Tower, the “Stratosphere” of Guangzhou. He has also served as an advisor to governments including Hong Kong, consulting on the development of the city’s harbor and external lighting guidelines.
Admission is free with open seating available in the Barrick Auditorium. Please visit www.unlv.edu/barrickmuseum for parking information. For more information about the lecture, call (702) 387-6366.
STARS AND STARDUST: SIDEWALK ASTRONOMY IN THE NEON BONEYARD
Join us on Saturday, Jan. 16, for our third-annual “Stars and Stardust: Sidewalk Astronomy In the Neon Boneyard” event. This event offers stargazing especially for families and is presented in partnership with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.
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 professional telescope equipment to observe the night sky. Children will also enjoy a self-paced scavenger hunt activity and making space-themed scratchboard art.
JOIN US FOR A DECEMBER TO REMEMBER!
Families will enjoy the Neon Museum’s annual “December to Remember” family holiday celebration, which will take place Saturday, Dec. 12, from 2 to 6 p.m. It begins with ornament-making in the Boneyard Park and holiday photos with Santa in the Museum’s North Gallery from 2 to 5 p.m. and is capped off by hot chocolate and caroling with the Las Vegas Academy choir in the festively illuminated Neon Museum Boneyard from 5 to 6 p.m. (Please, no extra camera equipment or tripods/monopods.)
“December to Remember” is part of the City of Las Vegas Cultural Corridor’s holiday festival. This event is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.
In addition, the Neon Museum Boneyard’s collection of more than 200 vintage neon signs will be illuminated with a special, holiday-inspired palette of lights—red, green, gold, blue and white—beginning Friday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Jan. 1. All attendees of the December to Remember event, as well as those taking night tours of the Neon Boneyard, will be able to experience the seasonal lighting. All nighttime visitors will also be able to see the electrified Riviera sign, one of the newest additions to the Neon Museum collection.
"Fabricating the Fantasy: Las Vegas Resort Interiors and the Artists Who Bring Them to Life"
Free lecture part of PRISM TV Signs of the Times lecture series
On Wednesday, November 4, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the Neon Museum will host “Fabricating the Fantasy: Las Vegas Resort Interiors and the Artists Who Bring Them to Life.” The panel discussion will trace the evolution of themed Las Vegas resort interior designs and how it relates to and is influenced by exterior casino signage and facades.
“Fabricating the Fantasy” will be moderated by Scott Dickensheets, deputy editor of Desert Companion magazine. Panelists include Mark Oatis, creative director at YESCO; Evgeni Vodenitcharov, sculptor and founder of Icon Sculpting; Robert Beckmann, painter; and Brian Henry, principal, Brian Henry Design.
With a focus on the artistic process, the panelists will address how their work contributes to the expression of resort themes, revealing their part in the fabrication of fantasy interiors, from faux finishes, murals, sculpted décor, to next-generation digital designs. Through case studies related to the Neon Museum collection, such as Caesars Palace and SLS, the panelists will address the past, present and future of this genre of art and its role in resort design in Las Vegas.
This event is free to attend but registration is required.
BARNYARD IN THE BONEYARD
Celebrate Nevada Day and Halloween!
Join us on Saturday, October 31, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Neon Museum will partner with Horses4Heroes to host “Barnyard in the Boneyard” in its North Gallery. Sponsored by American Fence Company and Current Events, Horses4Heroes will provide a petting zoo for families and children. The cost to attend this one-of-a-kind event is $5 per person for adults and children ages 2 and older; tickets may be purchased at the door.( Admission does not include entrance to the Neon Museum main Boneyard.)
Horses4Heroes will bring its miniature horses and a variety of goats to Barnyard in the Boneyard.
Founded in 2006, Las Vegas-based Horses4Heroes operates the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center, now open at Floyd Lamb Park. Horses4Heroes is the only national non-profit that owns its own horses and uses those horses to serve local service members, veterans, first responders and their families through low-cost activities, including lessons, camps, field trips and birthday parties. The organization offers free life skills workshops for veterans with PTS/MST/TBI, recovering addicts and victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Proceeds from Barnyard in the Boneyard will benefit both the Neon Museum and Horses4Heroes.
ORIENTEERING IN THE NEON BONEYARD
Join us on Sunday, October 4, 2015, for Orienteering/Wayfinding in the Boneyard! Families will learn to use compasses to navigate and locate a series of points or stations in the Neon Museum Boneyard and North Gallery.
Orienteering, originally a training exercise in land navigation for military officers in Scandinavia, is fun for families of all sizes and ages. This program is held in partnership with REI and the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. Cost to attend is $5 per person. Children 6 and under are free but they must be registered on the ticket purchase page. Tickets for the noon session may be purchased HERE. Tickets for the 1 p.m. session may be purchased HERE. Space is limited.
COSMIC COCKTAILS in the Neon Boneyard!
Join us on Friday, Sept. 18, for Cosmic Cocktails, a 21-and-over Neon Boneyard event presented in partnership with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. Cosmic Cocktails will offer guests the opportunity to stargaze the fabulous Las Vegas night sky and enjoy delicious complimentary food and libations from some of downtown’s best restaurants.
Timed from 6 to 9 p.m., the evening will allow participants to watch the desert sky transition from dusk to nightfall in the dramatically illuminated Neon Boneyard. Once the Boneyard lights are dimmed to afford a clearer view of the stars, participants will have access to a variety of telescope equipment to observe the night sky. The Neon Boneyard will be open to event guests for self-guided tours from 6:00-7:00 pm only.
Cost to attend is $75 per person. Due to the intimate nature of this event, tickets are limited and may be purchased HERE. Generously sponsored by: PublicUs, Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whisky, Rock ‘N’ Oodles and Divine Café. Sight & Sound Events will provide a DJ spinning cosmic music and Jackpot Printing provided printing services.
"Motor Court Magic: Mid-Century Architecture and the Roadside Motel"
Free lecture part of PRISM TV Signs of the Times lecture series
On Saturday, May 23, join the Neon Museum for “Motor Court Magic: Mid-Century Architecture and the Roadside Motel” from 6 to 8 p.m. This public discussion is in conjunction with a brand-new survey of historic downtown Las Vegas motor courts designed to inform the public and motel property owners of the economic and cultural value of their properties and signs. The panel will also address how motor courts originated, impacted travel and eventually evolved into resort hotels. In addition, the ways in which roadside architecture helped shape the Southwest and subsequent landscape preservation strategies will be explored. This discussion is free to attend, but does require tickets. To register, click HERE.
“Motor Court Magic” will be moderated by Urban Design Coordinator and Historic Preservation Officer Courtney Mooney, City of Las Vegas, and represents a collaboration between the Neon Museum, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Nevada Preservation Foundation and the City of Las Vegas. Panelists will include Demion Clinco, President of the Tucson Hisoric Preservation Foundation Board; Jerry Stefani, roadside historian and creator of "Then and Now - Las Vegas Motels Driving Tours;" Susanna Newbury, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Nevada, and Craig Palacios and Tina Wichmann, co-founders and principals, BUNNYFiSH studio.
"The Historic Preservation Commission is thrilled to participate in the Motor Court Magic panel discussion,” said Robert Stoldal, chairman, Historic Preservation Commission. “One of the commission's focus has been to inventory mid-century modern buildings in Las Vegas in order to promote their preservation through events like this. These motels were so important to the growth and development of Las Vegas, setting the tone for Fremont Street and the Strip. Their preservation and activation is vital to downtown's revitalization."
Adds Michelle Larime, interim executive director, Nevada Preservation Foundation: "Nevada Preservation Foundation is extremely excited to be involved with this great outreach program. Motor court motels speak to the history of Vegas and really define our city's culture on many levels. The opportunity to preserve these buildings and integrate them into future plans for downtown Las Vegas should be an essential piece in revitalizing our community and local economy."
About Demion Clinco
In addition to serving as CEO of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, Demion Clinco is CEO of Frontier Consulting Group, LLC, a firm that prepares nominations for historic preservation projects. He is also a member of the board of directors of Archaeology Southwest and, since 2010, has served as the Arizona State Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
About Susanna Newbury
Susanna Newbury received her Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale University in 2014. Her current book project, “Speculations: Art and Real Estate Development in Los Angeles,” focuses on art and architecture’s roles in mediating the city’s transformation into a global capital of culture, commerce, and finance over the 1960s and 70s. She is the author of several essays and articles on landscape, art and land use, and current photography, and a frequent contributor to X-tra Contemporary Art Quarterly.
About Craig Sean Palacios
Craig Sean Palacios, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP, is principal of BUNNYFiSH studio and is a practitioner and academic of building science. Palacios is mostly focused on transforming the small downtown Las Vegas community into a thriving global economic hub. In academia, Palacios is an architectural historian, university instructor, lecturer and writer. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the UNLV School of Architecture and Howard Hughes School of Engineering. He is a regular guest critic and lecturer in both colleges.
About Jerry Stefani
Jerry Stefani has been documenting Las Vegas’ roadside architecture since the 1980s. A mechanical engineer by trade, Stefani has used his skills in research and data analysis, and as an avid collector, in documenting the history of Las Vegas motels from the 1930s through the present day. Stefani’s “Then and Now Las Vegas Motel Driving Tours” found on his visually rich and highly informative website StefaniDrivesVegas.com, is the culmination of his exhaustive research.
About Tina Wichmann
Tina Wichmann, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP, principal, BUNNYFiSH studio, is a practitioner and entrepreneur of architecture. She has led the design and construction of many of the adaptive reuse projects in downtown Las Vegas. Wichmann gives back to the architecture community by being involved in academia. She gives guest lecturers and participates in critiques at the UNLV School of Architecture.
Tours of the Neon Boneyard will NOT be available on the evening of the panel discussion. If you are interested in a tour of the Neon Boneyard collection, please book your tour here.
RESERVE YOUR SEAT FOR THE PANEL DISCUSSION HERE!
"DRAMATIC SIGNS: BRINGING NEON TO LIFE"
Neon Museum's 1st Performance Artist Residency
Join the Neon Museum on May 9 from 10 a.m. until noon in the North Gallery for its second artist-in-residence program. Theatre director Troy Heard will present “Dramatic Signs: Bringing Neon to Life." Participants in this exciting, one-time-only workshop will be coached on using creative drama skills to invent new stories about the legendary signs housed in the Neon Museum. A playful blend of improvisation and storytelling, combined with a healthy dose of teamwork, will bring neon to life.
A Georgia native, Heard has been working in entertainment more than half his life. Locally he has directed for Cockroach Theatre, Las Vegas Little Theatre, British National Theatre of America, Super Summer Theatre and serves as creative director for Table 8 Productions. In January he was hired as producing director for the 10-year-old Onyx Theatre as part of its rebranding and revitalization. Honors include being named "Best Director" by Desert Companion magazine in 2012 and 2014, and by the Las Vegas Review-Journal for his 2012 production of "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom." Heard has an MFA in Directing from Savannah College of Art and Design and a B.S.Ed. in Theatre Education from Columbus State University.
This artist-in-residence event is designed for participants aged 10 to 12; there is no cost to attend but registration is required. Parents/guardians may stay in the Boneyard Park for the duration of the program and must provide emergency contact information via signing waiver upon check in. For more information, call (702) 387-6366. To register, click HERE.
SIGN SCIENCE TECHIE TOUR ON APRIL 26
On Sunday, April 26, explore the science and technology of electrified signs while learning how neon, incandescent, and LED lights have illuminated the world-famous Las Vegas skyline. This free program, held in conjunction with the Las Vegas Science and Technology Festival, is recommended for families with children in the third grade and older. Registration is required. Register for the 6 p.m. or 6:45 p.m. program by clicking HERE. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Due to the sequential nature of the program latecomers will NOT be admitted – thank you in advance for understanding. Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to check in.
NEON MUSEUM INAUGURATES ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM WITH citizen speak
Installation and visitor participation project to take place in Neon Museum’s North Gallery April 18-19
This April, the Neon Museum will host its first artist-in-residence, Las Vegas artist David Sanchez Burr. His work, titled citizen speak, will be built and exhibited in the Neon Museum’s North Gallery on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, before being transferred to the Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV. citizen speak will be on view in the Barrick Museum’s lobby from April 27 to May 20.
The residency, a partnership between the Neon Museum and the Barrick Museum, calls for artist-parents to create work inspired and enjoyed by their children—and, by extension, children of all ages. Both museums hope the residency becomes an annual event, with the first part of the project housed at the Neon Museum and the second part at the Barrick.
citizen speak will be an interactive work of art involving audio media, modified specifically for children. For this project, Sanchez Burr will create a portable version of his project nowhereradio, which began in 2011 as part of a personal journey to produce an artwork that would encourage meaning and interactivity with the audience as a social event and broadcast.
On April 18 and 19, families will be encouraged to visit citizen speak at the Neon Museum’s North Gallery and join in the “itinerant communal radio” experience. They will interact with the installation, which is composed of alternative and traditional radio instrumentation attached to a freestanding support system. In doing so, they will be able to play instruments, voice their thoughts and ideas and listen to the broadcast while investigating the range of transmission the piece offers. Following this installation, the piece will move to the Marjorie Barrick Museum, where select objects, as well as audio and video recordings from its Neon Museum installation, will be on view for a month. Also at the Barrick, a reception will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. for all participants in the piece.
David Sanchez Burr is a mixed-media artist, currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Born in Madrid Spain, David began his experimental sound and visual work in Richmond, Va., while studying at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has exhibited nationally at art centers and cultural spaces, including the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts in San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz Intervene:Interrupt conference on new practices, Stanford University as part of Performance Studies International, In-Light at the 1708 Gallery in Richmond and H2O Film on Water at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont. His international exhibits include the Cantocore Gallery in Guangzhou, China, and Loris Contemporary in Berlin. His work was exhibited as part of Memphis Social an Apex Art Franchise Exhibit, and had two solo exhibitions in 2013 at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda and P3Studios in Las Vegas. Along with his art practice, David’s curatorial experience includes The Wildlife Divide, a series of art events and workshops related to the high contrast between urban and natural habitats; Multiplexer Gallery Intercept Series; co-curated Tuba-Exotica digital collection; the ansurbana collaborative; and Citizen Gallery. He has received funding from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Art Production Fund and The Media Arts Project.
citizen speak will be open to public involvement at the Neon Museum North Gallery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19. There is no cost to participate. For more information, call (702) 387-6366.
Drawing History in 3D at the Neon Museum
Join us on Thursday, April 2nd!
Looking for a fun and enriching way to entertain the kids during Spring Break? On Thursday, April 2, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the Neon Museum will host a family fun event titled, “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. In addition to drawing an anaglyph 3D sign, children will fabricate their own pair of 3D glasses with which to view their sign.
This event is one of several presented by the Neon Museum’s education department. All family events at the Neon Museum 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. For all events, children must be accompanied by an adult.
This event costs $5 per person and is recommended for kindergartners through sixth graders accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. To make reservations, CLICK HERE or call (702) 387-6366.
Aladdin's March Magic flies into the Neon Museum!
Join the Genie for storytelling and magic tricks!
The Neon Museum Boneyard and Boneyard Park will provide a magical backdrop for a very special family event in March. The museum will host Aladdin’s March Magic on Saturday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is designed for preschoolers through third graders, accompanied by a parent or guardian, and the cost is $5 per person; limited space is available.
The Neon Museum genie will perform a dramatic reading of the traditional version of the Aladdin folktale in the Boneyard Park. After story time, participants will make a magic “flying carpet” with paper and markers before learning to “fly” their carpet around the park.
Next, everyone will “fly” their carpets into the Neon Boneyard in search of Aladdin’s lamp (rumored to be lost in Las Vegas). When they find the lamp, all will gather around to enjoy magic tricks performed by the Genie, before learning some magic tricks themselves. Attendees will be encouraged to take photos beside Aladdin’s lamp and, finally, will receive a magical “wish jewel” to take home, along with their magic carpets.
Reservations are recommended as space is limited. Latecomers cannot be accommodated due to the sequential nature of the program. Make your reservation by clicking here or call (702) 387-6366.
POP UP ARCHITECTURE
In February, the Neon Museum will spotlight African-American History on Boneyard Tours and host a special event for children
In honor of Black History Month, the Neon Museum will spotlight notable aspects of African-American history on tours of the Neon Boneyard throughout February. In addition, the museum is presenting a special art program on February 21 related to Paul Revere Williams, the African-American architect of the iconic La Concha Motel lobby which today serves as the museum’s visitor’s center.
Families will enjoy “Pop-Up Architecture: Paul Revere Williams in Las Vegas,” scheduled for Saturday, February 21 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. During this program, children will create a pop-up card of architect Paul Revere Williams’ iconic La Concha Motel lobby, which today serves as the Neon Museum’s visitor’s center. This event is for children in sixth grade or older, accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. All participants must have a ticket. The cost for the event is $5 per person; members are free of charge. Space is extremely limited.
Registration is required for Adults and Children 12+; tickets can be purchased HERE
Notable points of African-American history visitors will learn during the month of February include:
• Paul Revere Williams was involved in pivotal events of World War II that brought thousands of African-Americans to Las Vegas. He was hired to design the housing for workers at Basic Industries—many of whom were African-Americans recruited from Fordyce, Ark., and Tallulah, La., and Los Angeles—which manufactured titanium for war-time uses.
• Sarann Knight-Preddy owned the Moulin Rouge casino for many years and was the first African-American to receive a Nevada gaming license.
• In the days of discrimination, Foxy’s Casino at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard was one of the few places to serve black patrons.
For questions or more information, call the Neon Museum at 702-387-6366.
"Las Vegas Letters: Vernacular Inspiration in Typeface Design"
Scholar-In-Residence FREE lecture part of PRISM TV Times of the Signs series sponsored by CenturyLink
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., the Neon Museum will welcome scholar-in-residence Jesse Ragan, award-winning typography designer, for a presentation titled Las Vegas Letters: Vernacular Inspiration in Typeface Design at the Marjorie Barrick Museum Auditorium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ragan will give his professional perspective on examples of signage lettering from the Neon Museum’s collection. In addition, he will discuss the process of designing typefaces, the challenges of capturing an organic handmade appearance in digital form and the influence of vernacular lettering in his own work.
Working independently for a decade, Ragan has created custom types and lettering for brands, publications and cultural institutions. While a staff designer at Hoefler & Frere-Jones, he collaborated on the design of Gotham, Archer, Chronicle and more. In 2010 he co-founded Type@Cooper, a postgraduate certificate program at The Cooper Union, where he taught through 2014 and continues to offer occasional workshops and lectures. Ragan received his own BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001.
Admission is free, with open seating available in the Barrick Auditorium. Please visit www.unlv.edu/barrickmuseum for parking information. For more information about the lecture, call (702) 387-6366.
Stars and Stardust: Sidewalk Astronomy in the Neon Boneyard
January 24, 2015
Kick off 2015 at the Neon Museum with a special night of star gazing and family time at its second-annual “Stars and Stardust: Sidewalk Astronomy In the Neon Boneyard,” to be held Saturday January 24, 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. Children can also enjoy a self-paced solar system scavenger hunt activity and there will be complimentary hot chocolate while supplies last.
This program is part of the Neon Museum’s ongoing effort to provide enriching educational experiences to people of all ages in a culturally important setting. No registration is required.
December to Remember at the Neon Museum
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Join the Neon Museum for its second-annual “December to Remember” holiday event.
Ornament-making takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Boneyard Park followed by hot chocolate and caroling by the Las Vegas Academy choir in the Neon Museum Boneyard from 5 to 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; reservations are not required, however, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Overflow parking will be available across the street at the Reed Whipple building. “December to Remember” is part of the City of Las Vegas Cultural Corridor’s holiday festival.
THE NEON MUSEUM WILL CELEBRATE ITS SECOND BIRTHDAY WITH THE ANNUAL BONEYARD BASH
October 31, 2014
Join our Carnival Sideshow on Friday, October 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. as we celebrate our second birthday with a gaggle of sideshow oddities including stilt walkers, jugglers, midway games, tarot card readings and an appearance by the cast of Evil Dead - The Musical. There will also be food trucks, FREE beer, wine and signature cocktail (while supplies last) courtesy of Las Vegas Distillery, Banger Brewing, Big Dog’s Brewing Company, Joseph James Brewing Company, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Tenaya Creek Brewery. A cash bar will also be available. Food vendors include Senor Blues and Funnel Cake Café with birthday cupcakes supplied by Freed’s Bakery.
Following the Boneyard Bash, ticket holders can head to Velveteen Rabbit for an after party, which will include a complimentary Halloween cocktail. Every attendee is strongly encouraged to come dressed in Halloween or sideshow-inspired attire to participate in the costume contest.
Johiah, of 93.1 The Party, will serve as the emcee and Totescity will be the evening’s DJ. Souvenir photos to be provided by Shutterbooth.
Cost is $45 for general admission purchased in advance; $55 at the door; $40 for Neon Museum members. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
A percentage of the proceeds will go to benefit the Museum, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Unsigned Heroes: Sign Painters’ Art and Stories
Film screening and panel discussion part of PRISM TV Times of the Signs lecture series
On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 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 Part of PRISM TV Times of the Signs Series Sponsored by CenturyLink
On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 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.
"Sign Design: Past, Present and Future"
Panel Discussion Part of PRISM Times of the Signs Series Sponsored by CenturyLink
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 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.
2014 Education Programming Series
Saturday, March 15, 2014 10 a.m. to noon – Aladdin’s March Magic. Attendees will enjoy hearing the Aladdin story and participating in craft-making and magic-trick activities. This event is recommended for children in kindergarten through second grade.
Saturday, April 19, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 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 24,2014 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 2014 Events
Join us for free family events at the Neon Museum/Mob Museum store, Bosses & Bulbs located at Container Park, 707 Fremont Street, third floor.
Saturday, March 22, 2014 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, 2014 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.
Paul Revere Williams: The Architect in Las Vegas
Neon Museum presents FREE Lecture showcasing history of La Concha's architect
In honor of African-American History Month, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 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, 2013 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, 2013, 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, 2013, 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.
Free family drop-in event
Join us this Saturday, October 19, 2013, 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 10:30 a.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, 2013 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.
Neon Museum and Mob Museum Combo Ticket
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 a 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 guided tours seven days a week. For current tour times, and to purchase your ticket, visit www.neonmuseum.org/book-a-tour.
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.
*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.
Panel Discussion Part of PRISM TV Times of the Signs Series Sponsored by CenturyLink
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, 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
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, 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.