From Elvis to Oprah, Morgan Freeman and John Grisham, some of America's most renowned creative minds have called Mississippi home. To discover the state's vibrant cultural heritage, travelers can embark on a journey along the Mississippi Liberty and Blues Trails, which identify historic sites across the state with specially marked signs. This article will provide an overview of some of the most popular museums in northeastern Mississippi. The route covers 25 sites, including the Civil Rights Museum, Bryant's Grocery, where Emmett Till was accused of whistling at a white woman, and the State Capitol grounds in Jackson, where 15,000 people gathered in defense of civil rights to conclude the three-week “March Against Fear” march from Memphis.
At the Memorial Courtyard, visitors can pay their respects to Martin Luther King Jr., who chose the museum as his final resting place. The King Museum and Delta Interpretation Center reflect on the life and music of the famous “King of the Blues”, along with the rich cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Museum of Art, located in a historic railroad depot from 1918, houses the state's largest art collection. It contains iconic objects such as a personalized nine-string guitar played by Big Joe Williams, a harmonica signed by harp master Charlie Musselwhite, and a display case dedicated to Big Mama Thornton, who sang the original song “Hound Dog”.LIVE: This Mississippi museum is devoted to exploring the past, present, and future of music while highlighting Mississippi's deep musical roots.
In addition to George Ohr's work, the museum presents pieces by artists and ceramists that exemplify Ohr's innovative spirit, such as Joseph Fortune Meyer, who taught Ohr how to launch a planter on nearby deer island, and Toshiko Takaezu from Hawaii, known for its closed vessels and spherical pots. The Delta Blues Museum is another popular destination for blues aficionados. It is located near the grave of Charley Patton, known as the “father of Delta Blues”. The former WROX radio station in Clarksdale is also worth visiting for its blues broadcasts in the '40s and '50s. The Mississippi Liberty and Blues Trails form the state's largest museum. The Mississippi Museum of Art offers art classes to the community since 1941 and regularly hosts lectures by renowned artists, curators, and historians.
Visitors can view exhibitions in four separate buildings and also visit a reconstruction of the late 19th century home of Pleasant Reed, an emancipated slave. Finally, visitors should not miss out on visiting The University of Mississippi Museum. It houses around 500 instruments that were used to teach Ole Miss students between 1848 and 1861. For those looking to explore Mississippi's rich cultural heritage or gain an educational experience, these museums are sure to provide an unforgettable experience. To get more information about all museums in Mississippi including their exhibitions and discount cards & passes, visit our overview page.