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Amidst casinos and fine fishing, a new museum opens in Mississippi

On Gulf Coast, a ceramics museum that's unafraid of hurricanes Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art Identifying George Ohr Pottery History of Biloxi Beauvoir For the past eighteen years, gambling has been legal in the state of Mississippi. During that time, the Magnolia State has worked with private companies to create 29 different casino destinations, and many of them have some rather unique features. Utilizing legalized gambling establishments as a local economic development strategy remains controversial, and the town of Biloxi is trying to turn a corner by adding a rather intriguing new museum to their mix of activities. This Monday, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art opened in Biloxi, and it was in large part due to the contributions of gambling companies and a certain local persistence that casinos and art museums can peacefully coexist. The museum was supposed to open in the fall of 2005, but Hurricane Katrina had other plans, and the Frank Gehry-designed structure had to wait another five years to finally open. Visitors to the museum will find the decorative and fanciful work of George Ohr, who was described as the "mad potter of Biloxi". Ohr was a noted ceramicist from the area, and many think of him as an early modernist. All told, the museum will cost around $45 million, and despite Gehry's "starchitect" status, some remain skeptical that such an institution will become popular in an area currently distinguished by excellent fishing and massive casinos. The first link will take visitors to a New York Times article from this Tuesday on the new museum down in Biloxi. The second link leads to another piece from the Los Angeles Times which talks about the art in the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. Moving along, the third link leads to the official homepage of the museum, and visitors can learn about the building's architecture and the exhibits here. The fourth link leads to a fun guide that will help interested parties identify the work of the late George Ohr and his "mad pottery". The fifth link leads to a brief narrative history of Biloxi, courtesy of historian Edmond Boudreaux, Jr. The last link will whisk users away to the homepage of Beauvoir, which was the home of Jefferson Davis, another local landmark of note in town.
Alternate Title
Biloxi Bets Gehry-Designed Museum Can Compete With Casinos
Scout Publication
Date Issued
November 12th, 2010
Date of Scout Publication
November 12th, 2010
Date Of Record Creation
November 12th, 2010 at 8:28am
Date Of Record Release
November 12th, 2010 at 7:16pm
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