New Ohr Museum Should Expand Coast's Cultural Base

The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum is one of the area's cultural exhibits. It's counting on the Ohr museum expansion to bring in a whole new group of tourists. "I think it's very important," museum director Robin Krohn David said. "I think any of the cultural attractions on the entire gulf coast are very important to all of us."

Just hours before the Ohr museum's groundbreaking, David looked at designs for the new pier where the Biloxi schooners will dock. They'll be on front beach, directly across from the Ohr campus, and right on the main drag for tourists. "I don't think that they're just coming here anymore for the casinos," said David. "They're coming here for the cultural attractions that are here."

Marilyn Lyons sure hopes that's true. On Thursday, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art director met with representatives from the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. They talked about exhibit partnerships. The Walter Anderson museum already has that sort of relationship with the Ohr people. Lyons expects that relationship to grow, once George Ohr's pottery moves into a new home, a bit bigger than Anderson's famous little room.

"It's a big monument to architecture. And the coast has wonderful architecture," she said. "But this is something to travel toward. And I think once they're down here, they will stay and come see us."

If Alicia and Mark Moss are like future tourists, they will visit the cultural attractions. The Pensacola couple made sure they got out and learned about the coast community. "We love to find out about the local history," Mrs. Moss said. "We love architecture. And he loves fishing. So we thought we would just check out a museum."

The Ohr unveiling could become another moment in the coast's rich history that winds up as a featured attraction on a museum wall.