On Saturday Sept. 29, 2012, the Stark Museum of Art and The W.H. Stark House will open their doors free of charge along with over 1,400 other participating venues for the eighth annual Museum Day Live! This immensely successful program, in which Stark Museum and The W.H. Stark House will emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities, encourages learning and the spread of knowledge nationwide.

At the Stark Museum, Docent Dr. Arlene Turkel will give a spotlight on “Georgia O’Keeffe and Gerald’s Tree II” at 11:00 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Visitors who bring a Museum Day Live! Ticket from Smithsonian will receive a free box of note cards.

Turkel is a Museum Docent and Professor of Liberal Arts at Lamar State College – Orange. She was selected to attend a National Endowment for the Humanities Workshop for Community College Teachers on the subject “Georgia O’Keeffe: Santa Fe, Abiquiu, and the New Mexico Landscape.” In June she participated in the study and visited sites such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the artist’s home in Abiquiu, New Mexico, and the Ghost Ranch.

“We at the Stark Museum believe it is important to participate in Museum Day Live! as a way of emphasizing how museums offer opportunities for life-long learning and enjoyment. This year we are pleased to present a gallery talk on one of the most well-known of American artists, Georgia O’Keeffe,” commented Sarah Boehme, Director.

At The W.H. Stark House, visitors that bring a Smithsonian Museum Day Live! Ticket will be given a free tour of The Stark House. The Stark House is 14,000 square-foot, three-story Victorian Style house listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission. The House stands much as it did at the turn of the 20th century, with fifteen rooms of original family furnishings, personal effects and decorative arts. Also featured are the Stark family’s impressive collections of American Brilliant Period cut glass, pressed and pattern glass, milk glass, porcelains and other 18th and 19th century decorative accessories.

“The W.H. Stark House is pleased to participate in this year’s Smithsonian Museum Day Live! by offering our visitors free tour admission. For those that have never been to The House, or have not done so recently, this is a great opportunity to tour this historic home,” said Patsy Herrington, Director of The W.H. Stark House.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket is currently available to download at www.smithsonian.com/museumday. Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! Ticket will gain free entrance for two patrons at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2012 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit www.smithsonian.com/museumday.

Inclusive by design, Museum Day Live! fulfills Smithsonian Media’s mission to make cultural education accessible to everyone. For one day only, The W.H. Stark House will grant free access to visitors who download a Museum Day Live! Ticket at www.smithsonian.com. Last year’s event drew over 350,000 museum-goers, and this year’s Museum Day Live! is expected to attract close to 400,000 participants.

Located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, the Stark Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all ages. Group tours are available by appointment. For more information call 409-886-ARTS (2787) or visit www.starkmuseum.org.

Tour entry will begin at the adjacent Carriage House which is located at 610 W. Main Avenue in Orange, Texas. Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants must be 10 years of age or older. Stairs are an essential part of the complete Stark House tour. For more information, visit www.whstarkhouse.org or call 409-883-0871.

Enjoy a spotlight on Georgia O’Keeffe’s artwork during Smithsonian Museum Day Live! on Sept. 29, 2012.