Few brands are as iconic or as classic as that sugary sweet American beverage, Coca-Cola. Despite this, the soft drink titan, which makes its home base in Atlanta, knows that embracing change is necessary. We’ve seen this in Coca-Cola’s various ad campaigns, product releases and branding, but also in the ever-changing exhibits that find a home inside the World of Coca-Cola museum centered in downtown Atlanta.
This fascinating monument to all things Coke captures the essence and the history of the brand through permanent interactive exhibits, including a vault containing the soft drink’s top-secret recipe, a 4-D movie, more than 1,200 Coca-Cola artifacts and a soda fountain that allows guests to try more than 100 flavors. Every year, the museum also introduces a range of new, interactive exhibits to the mix.
See Howard Finster's Coca-Cola-inspired artwork — Photo courtesy of World of Coca-Cola
This Memorial Day, in conjunction with the seventh anniversary of the World of Coca-Cola’s move to Pemberton Place, the downtown attraction is introducing a series of new exhibits to the museum, all of which will be on display through 2014.
Newcomers include the short film "Moments of Happiness," which depicts people enjoying groundbreaking experiences for the first time; the launch of a new mobile app that allows visitors to tap into fun facts about Coca-Cola; and a buzzed-about art display by acclaimed folk artist and Baptist minister Howard Finster in the Pop Culture Gallery.
Finster, a cultural icon in his own right, came to fame for his vibrant folk art, which he produced by the thousands from his home in Chattooga County, Georgia. His artwork–informed by religion, Southern culture and pop culture–tends to spark an emotive response from onlookers.
His distinctive style made him a pop icon (The Talking Heads and R.E.M. both commissioned him to design album covers.) and landed him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1980s. Today, the artist’s definitive style still remains popular after his death, and people still make pilgrimages to “Paradise Garden,” Finster’s one-time home to view droves of Finster’s sculptures and paintings. In April 2013, the garden was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
A refreshing take on the bottled soft drink — Photo courtesy of World of Coca-Cola
In Howard Finster: Visions of Coca-Cola, on display at the World of Coca-Cola, attendees can view several arresting pieces from The Thomas E. Scanlin Collection, including a 13-foot-tall Coke bottle (big enough for a person to stand in!), an 8-foot-tall bottle that Finster made specifically for the 1996 Olympic Games and tools from the artist’s studio.