Featured Exhibits

Forty Years In The Woods: The Botanical Drawings Of Kent Bonar

Winter 2023 to Summer 2024 

The exhibit honors the work of Kent Bonar, a scientific illustrator whose parents and grandparents instilled in him a deep love for the natural world. His dedication to learning and nature drove him to seek greater knowledge and understanding of Arkansas's flora and fauna. 

Forty Years in the Woods


Kent Bonar carried an atlas of Arkansas's flora, compiled by Dr. Edwin Smith, with him on expeditions into the state's forests and wilderness areas, and when he found a lack of visual illustrations of the native plants, proceeded to create his own. These exquisitely detailed drawings are the result of his devotion to Arkansas's natural world, as well as his gift to all of us. The exhibit also features framed specimens of some of the plants that Bonar illustrated. The Old State House Museum partnered with Theo Witsell, chief of research for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) and curator of the ANHC Herbarium, to frame the plant specimens. Witsell and Bonar worked together to select species that were either dependent, uncommon, rare or indicative of high-quality forested habitat.



Play It Loud

Play It Loud: Concerts at Barton Coliseum 

Spring 2021 to Fall 2022 

Ask anyone in Central Arkansas over 40 to tell you their Barton story and you'll no doubt get a flood of concert, rodeo, sports, and State Fair memories. Our exhibit "Play It Loud: Concerts at Barton Coliseum" is a nostalgic look back at concerts at this historic site from the 1950s to today.


More than 1,700 bands have performed on the Barton stage in its nearly 60-year history. Come relive your favorite memories with concert memorabilia, instruments, interviews, photographs, and more. Featured acts include James Taylor, Eagles, Heart, Parliament, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Brooks & Dunn, Chicago, Chuck Berry, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Elvis, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Snoop Dogg, Grand Funk Railroad, Jackson Five, Johnny Cash, KISS, Metallica, Keith Urban, Little Richard, Lynyrd Skynard, Pearl Jam, Prince, Sam & Dave, Tina Turner, Sly & Family Stone, Tim McGraw, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Usher, Willie Nelson, and ZZ Top.