Ohr museum will open soon

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The new Frank Gehry-designed Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi that will house works by George Ohr, is on track to fully open to the public Nov. 8.

I can’t wait. It was supposed to open long ago, but Hurricane Katrina set back construction and added a few million to the cost.

The museum campus, under construction at the time of Katrina, was wiped out by the storm. It is pretty much finished now according to plan, and will feature several building that will house exhibits, ceramics center and more, surrounded by Live Oak trees.

The Pleasant Reed House, which had been moved to the compound before Katrina, was totally destroyed by the hurricane. It is sad, because it was a great piece of history and now it is lost forever.

One component of the Ohr musuem campus was to have a positive spotlight on African-American history and culture. Pleasant Reed was a former slave who rose up in the post-Civil War era to prosper and build his own home in Biloxi. The home was going to be used by the museum to showcase this significant part of Biloxi’s history.

The museum has since replicated the home, which is now called the Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center. The museum also has a building that will feature African-American art exhibits.

Of course, the main focus of the museum is on George Ohr, the self-proclaimed Mad Potter of Biloxi, who carved a niche with his unique pottery that has come to be loved and respected worldwide.

I’ll report back on the grand opening when I can finally step inside the museum walls at last.


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