The Benefit of a Museum


A couple of weeks ago  i was interviewed
for a job at a museum, and one of the questions stuck with me. “What would you say is the benefit of a
museum?” This is a question I’ve asked myself quite
a bit, actually. In order to get the conversation going, here’s
my answer… A museum can be any number of things, from
a small house to a collection of buildings. It can contain artifacts, reproductions, artworks,
machinery, and even people and their stories. Any one type of museum has a type of mission,
and that could take much longer than a couple of minutes to address, but I’d like to take
on museums generally. We often go to museums to see things, to engage
with them on a level that pictures in books and websites just can’t provide. Sometimes this allows us to get a closer look
at details, but also this allows us that sublime connection
of being in the same room as an artwork or artifact. Sometimes we go to museums as detectives,
other times as pilgrims. We go to museums to be inspired. Many times i’ve wandered into a gallery
completely unaware of the subject covered, and walked out with a genuine appreciation
and interest. We go to museums to reflect on sometimes difficult
and painful moments, other times to celebrate achievements and wonders. We go to museums to connect with one another,
either through the shared experience of participants exploring the collection together or as guest
in an unfamiliar place or time. Often the objects in a gallery seem to have
a way of speaking for themselves. But what if we don’t go to museums. I mean, if we don’t have the opportunity
to visit. Is a museum any use to us? I say yes. Museums serve as conservators of history,
cultures, arts, and technologies that can preserve these objects and lessons for the
next generation. So even if you dont go to a museum yourself,
who knows, perhaps one day something of yours will end up in one.

2 thoughts on “The Benefit of a Museum

  1. Terrific video–well stated and nicely animated! I've added it to my Rev War group's FB page. We have two new museums opening soon: the Museum of the American Revolution opening in Philadelphia on April 19, and the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown opening even sooner, on March 23!

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