The Neon Museum was established as a non-profit organisation in 1996 to collect and exhibit neon signs; the classic Las Vegas art form. Dedicated individuals from the private sector as well as corporate and government entities have worked tirelessly to promote the preservation of these national treasures and The Neon Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, study and exhibit neon signs and associated artifacts whilst inspiring educational and cultural enrichment for diverse members of the international community.
The museum collection boasts over 150 donated and rescued signs. The core of this collection is contained in the Neon Museum Boneyard, a rambling park approximately two acres in size. Signs featured date from the late 1930s through to the early 90s and represent motels, local businesses, and celebrated casino resorts from throughout the Las Vegas Valley. While the Boneyard is not electrified, the photogenic collection offers a glimpse into the storied past of Las Vegas and its most memorable art form.
Each of the more than 170 signs in the collection can be used to tell a unique story about who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and how it fits into the development of Las Vegas and its rich history. Changes and trends in design and technology are also illustrated in the pieces that range from the 1930s to the present day.
Most of the signs are exhibited in “The Boneyard” where they serve as inspiration to fascinated tour groups, students, historians and artists. Select pieces such as the familiar Hacienda Horse & Rider have been refurbished and installed as public art in downtown Las Vegas near the Fremont Street Experience at Third Street.
“The Boneyard”, is located just north of downtown. It is home to some of the most treasured and world-famous signs of Las Vegas – Caesars Palace, Binions, Golden Nugget, Silver Slipper, and, most recently, the Stardust. Guided tours of the Boneyard are offered twice daily, at 12 pm and 2 pm, by advance appointment only.
The Neon Museum is also restoring the » historic La Concha Motel lobby for use as its visitor’s centre, so that it can offer expanded public hours. An addition, the back of the building will include offices and other facilities. The La Concha, a swooping curvilinear structure, was designed by famed African-American architect Paul Revere Williams. The building is also listed on the City of Las Vegas Historic Register.
Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grant-funded neon sign survey are but a few of the museum’s many projects. The museum also coordinates commercial photo and film shoots and partners with other cultural institutions to produce temporary exhibits.
The Neon Museum continuously looks to the future. Several active signs throughout Las Vegas have been pledged to the museum once they’re retired. This “Living Museum” project ensures these irreplaceable artifacts will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
The Museum is devoted to preserving this aspect of Las Vegas and its design history and hopes to be a source of pride and education for the its residents, as well as to inform and inspire the national and international community with the magical neon architecture of Las Vegas. n
For more information please contact:
Tel: 702-387-NEON (6366)