Cool Kentucky is designed to bring the state to life in all of its many facets. It inspires thought, provides insight, and brings understanding about who we are, how we came to be, and where we can go. Those who experience it will be motivated to see Kentucky for themselves — taking in the state’s many attractions, sights, sounds, and tastes, from north to south and east to west.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is KentuckyShow!, a high-definition multimedia experience narrated by Kentucky’s own Ashley Judd.
Visitors will encounter a range of artifacts representative of Kentucky.
On display is American Pearl, the motor-less and sail-less boat with which Louisville’s Tori Murden McClure became the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1999, as well as skis and apparel from her 1989 trek to the geographic South Pole; a four-poster Boyd Bedstead designed by Henry Boyd, an African American woodworker who was born into slavery on a plantation in Kentucky in 1802 and later obtained his freedom; a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 on loan from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green; a re-issue of the 1956 Heisman Trophy* awarded to Louisville native Paul Hornung; Kentucky Colonels uniforms and shoes Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore, and Louie Dampier wore; and a tree stump in which pioneer Daniel Boone carved his name.
Each section of the exhibit is organized around a particular theme. What follows is an incomplete list of notable objects visitors will be able to find in specific sections:
- A pair of overalls actor George Clooney wore in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and a dress and tiara Miss America pageant winner Heather French Henry wore.
- A large model replica of the Louisville Water Tower
- A horseshoe worn by Secretariat.
- A section of the Belle of Louisville’s paddlewheel.
- A still from horror film director Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) and posters for John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and The Thing (1982).
- An Omega disco ball, a fiddle played by bluegrass musician Kenny Baker, and a box of rapper Jack Harlow’s Whats Poppin Louisville Popcorn.
- A map of headquarters and manufacturing facilities for AirHeads, Dippin Dots, Hot Pockets, Jif peanut butter, Post-it notes, duct tape, charcoal, and other popular products.
- Magician Lance Burton’s straitjacket and Mac King’s suit with secret pockets.
- A matchbook from Kaelin’s Restaurant, “Birthplace of the Cheeseburger”.
For more details about the exhibit, visit fraziermuseum.org/exhibits/cool-kentucky.