The Berman Museum of World History is one of the best of the Alabama roadside museums, especially if you like weapons and art.
Located in Anniston, Alabama, in Calhoun County, this unique museum displays over 6,000 pieces of art, arms, and armor.
It is considered to be one of the most unique museums in the state because of the arms and armor, and that is what makes it so interesting for you and your family.
This unique roadside museum sponsors multiple events throughout the year, including the following.
Family funs days, “Gallery Chats”, as well as holiday events.
Gallery Chants is special for the visitors, as it covers various subjects that are given by the staff or local historians.
The website also offers grade-level educational worksheets for teachers, which enables their students to easily engage with this unique museum events.
The history of the Berman Museum of World History all starts with Farley Berman and his wife, Germaine.
Farley Berman was born in Anniston in the year 1910, and attended the University of Alabama.
He then graduated with a law degree from Emory University, and practiced law in Atlanta Georgia.
He then joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1937, and later enlisted in the U.S Army in 1941, following the attack on Peral Harbor.
He spent most of his military service in intelligence, where he met his wife.
His future wife, Germaine, was a member of the French intelligence service, while he was stationed in North Africa.
They were married in 1945, and after the war, Mr. Berman returned home to Anniston, where he switched careers from law to a real estate developer.
The Berman Museum of World History was officially opened in 1996, with one major goal; to teach history.
This goal was made with the mind-set of teaching this history through the significance of the objects that were collected by this incredible couple.
The museum is partly funded through corporate donations, including Alabama Power and the Noble Bank and Trust.
It is also funded by private and public institutions, including Jacksonville State University.
The museum closed on November 1st of 2021 for renovations, but is expected to reopen within a few months.
The collection at the Berman Museum of World History is huge, as they acquired numerous artifacts from Europe, Asia, as well as America.
These artifacts included hundreds of bronzes, thousands of paintings, ethnographic material, as well as weapons and historical documents.
They also accumulated a huge collection of books, and this incredible couple shared their collection with others by loans to museums and galleries, as well as tours to their personal home.
Four years before the museum opened, in 1992, the Berman’s donated part of their collection to the city of Anniston.
They did this with the hope that they would establish a facility to display these artifacts, and by doing so, the public could learn about history from them.
In the early stages the museum only managed a small part of the collection, but when Farley died in 1999, the family donate the entire 6,000-piece collection.
The Berman Museum of World History exhibits contain oil paintings, jade sculptures, and bronzes by American sculptor Fredric Remington.
There are also ancient and modern weapons, photos, as well as clothing of all kinds in their collection.
The building contains two floors with two galleries on each floor.
The first floor showcases galleries called the “America West” and the “Deadly Beauty”, and the second floor holds the “Arts of Asia”, and well as a gallery dedicated to “World War I and II”.
The museum is located at 840 Museum Drive, next to the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
There are 6 Galleries at the Berman Museum of World History, and they include the following.
The first of the galleries at the Berman Museum of World History, is the “America West” Gallery.
In the America West, you and your family will discover the history of the exploration, as well as the colonization, of the America West.
You can view artifacts from the American Civil War, as well as the Spanish America War.
You can also see the collection of Remington and Russell bronze sculptures.
You can also explore the “hands-on” frontier wagon, as well as the life-size diorama of a western town and saloon.
The next gallery is “Deadly Beauty”, which contains rare as well as exotic weapons for around the world.
The pieces found in this amazing gallery include sets of medieval armor, a Czech coronation set, as well as items that personally belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.
The weapons include suits of armor and decorative presentation swords, given to an officer or politician in recognition of an achievement or deed.
There is also a large collection of concealed weaponry that arose from Mr. Berman’s interest and experience as an intelligence officer.
This includes poison arrows, a flute that shoots bullets, a tin of cough drops that conceals a tiny gun, as well as an ink pen that can shoot a .22 caliber bullet or capsule of poison gas.
Arts of Asia
The next of the galleries at the Berman Museum of World History is the “Arts of Asia”, where you can see ceramics, furniture, as well as sculptures for across the Asiatic world.
There are Icon’s form Buddhism and Hinduism that coincide with beautiful home furnishings.
You can also see Jade and Ivory items, and smell exotic spices and try-on cultural clothing, donated by the “Foo” family.
World Wars is the next gallery, and this shows the dramatic times of the 1st and 2nd world wars.
There are items owned by Mussolini, as well as Adolf Hitler’s tea service.
There is also a huge collection of machine guns, mortars, mines, as well as bazooka/rocket launchers.
You and your family can also visit a WWI trench dugout recreation, as well as the Pearl Harbor room, that tells the story of this infamous day.
This exhibit also focuses on three men from Calhoun County who were killed that day.
Danger, Deception, and Disguise
Danger, Deception, and Disguise is the next exhibit, and this explores the mysterious world of espionage.
It also pays tribute to the Germain’s, who were both spies during WWII.
This exhibit shows how those that put their lives at risk serving undercover, as well as the material and objects they used.
Women in War
The final gallery at the Berman Museum of World History is the Women in War gallery, which highlights the brave women that have served during wars.
It highlights the Revolutionary war, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, and both World Wars.
It shows the women that were nurses through the Red Cross during the early wars, and then women who were allowed to actually join the armed forces in WWII.
If you and your family have not visited the Berman Museum of World History, you are missing one of the best roadside museums in Alabama
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