Best Of 2009

(tie) The Mint Museum of Art & Levine Museum of the New South

Staff Pick

Charlotte museums are stoic, grand and vulnerable — a small stand of giant Sequoias sprouting from an asphalt savanna. Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte Museum of History and the two Mints are the best bundle in the state, and together boast more high-end shows than most cities. With last year’s Andy Warhol Portfolios, Claire Leighton’s Quiet Spirit, Skillful Hand and Jiha Moon’s Turbulent Utopia, the original Mint on Randolph noses out most of her vaunted competition, but we denizens of Charlotte are the real winners. On the other hand, you won’t find a better snapshot of post-Civil War Southern society than at the Levine. Interactive exhibits, events, lectures, workshops and walking tours all come together for a comprehensive look at the city’s history and sociological evolution since 1865. Changing Places, a current exhibit that examines Charlotte’s increasingly diverse culture, allows and encourages visitors to become part of the project. And the space itself is immaculate — a great place to throw a party.

Mint Museum of Art 2730 Randolph Road 704-337-2000

Levine Museum of the New South 200 E. 7th St. 704-333-1887

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