Museum Hours: 10AM to 5PM. Open Friday - Sunday.

A Guide to the Blackhawk Museum’s Hidden Gems

1. Gas Pumps

If you’re planning to explore the Don Williams Automobile Gallery at the Blackhawk Museum, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the hidden gems that are dotted around the exhibit. Among them is a fascinating collection of antique gas pumps that are often overlooked by visitors.

These antique gas pumps, which are scattered throughout the car collection, offer a unique glimpse into the history of transportation and fueling. They represent a bygone era when gasoline was dispensed from hand-cranked pumps that required a fair amount of manual labor.

Despite their historical significance and visual appeal, these gas pumps tend to be overshadowed by the impressive cars on display. However, taking a closer look at them can provide a deeper appreciation for the evolution of transportation and the role of gasoline in shaping our world.

2. Wall of Butterflies

Tucked away near the restrooms in World of Nature is a breathtaking wall of butterflies that is often overlooked by visitors. This wall, which features a vast collection of butterflies and insects of various shapes, sizes, and colors, is a true marvel of nature. From iridescent blue Morpho butterflies to delicate Monarchs, this exhibit is a feast for the eyes and a tribute to the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

Despite its location near the restrooms, this hidden gem is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the natural world. So, make sure to take a few minutes to admire the wall of butterflies during your visit to the Blackhawk Museum. It is a hidden treasure that is sure to leave you awestruck and inspired.

3. Bianzhong of Marquis Yi – Traditional Chinese Bells

If you’re a fan of traditional Chinese culture, don’t miss the chance to visit the Into China exhibit at the Blackhawk Museum. And while you’re there, make sure to check out one of the exhibit’s hidden gems – the replica Bianzhong of Marquis Yi Traditional Chinese Bells, which is tucked away in the back corner.

These exquisite bells, which are known for their complex and melodious tones, were originally created in China during the Warring States period (475-221 BC). The replica at the Blackhawk Museum is a faithful recreation of the original Bianzhong bells, which were discovered in a tomb in Henan province in 1978 and are considered one of China’s greatest archaeological treasures.

Next to the display of the Bianzhong bells, visitors can also watch a rare video of the bells being performed live at the museum. This immersive experience allows visitors to not only appreciate the intricate beauty of the bells themselves but also to witness the magic of their sound.

The video performance is a unique and exclusive feature of the Blackhawk Museum, making it one of the few places in the world where you can experience the Bianzhong bells in action. So, if you’re interested in Chinese history and culture, be sure to take some time to explore this hidden gem during your visit. It’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss.


Blackhawk Museum Into China Bells

4. Wildlife Paintings

As you explore the first floor of the Blackhawk Museum, keep an eye out for one of its hidden gems – a series of stunning wildlife paintings that are scattered throughout the hallways.

These paintings are a beautiful addition to the museum, showcasing the beauty and diversity of wildlife from all over the world. Each painting is a work of art in its own right, depicting animals in their natural habitats with incredible detail and realism.

Despite their beauty and quality, these paintings are often overlooked by visitors who are more focused on the main attractions. However, taking a moment to appreciate them can be a rewarding experience, providing a glimpse into the world of wildlife art and the incredible talents of the artists who created them.

Whether you’re a fan of wildlife or just appreciate fine art, these paintings are definitely worth a look when visiting the Blackhawk Museum. So, take some time to explore the hallways of the first floor and discover the hidden gems that await you. You won’t be disappointed.

Painting by Eric Forlee

Blackhawk Museum Wildlife Painting

5. Golden Boot Awards

For firearms enthusiasts, the Blackhawk Museum has a hidden gem that should not be missed – a stunning array of Golden Boot Awards, which can be found in the elevator waiting room on the second floor.

The Golden Boot Awards are prestigious honors given to firearms designers, engineers, and inventors who have made significant contributions to the industry. These awards are named after the legendary firearms designer John Moses Browning, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest firearms designers in history.

The firearms on display in the Golden Boot Awards exhibit are exquisite examples of craftsmanship and design, showcasing the finest firearms ever made. From elegant pistols to powerful rifles, each firearm is a masterpiece in its own right, and a testament to the skill and artistry of the individuals who created them.

Despite their significance, these firearms are often overlooked by visitors to the museum who are not aware of their presence. However, for those who appreciate the history and artistry of firearms, this exhibit is a must-see.

Blackhawk Museum Golden Boot Award

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