The word “museum” is derived from the nine classical Greek muses. However, the famed “Museion” of ancient Alexandria was not an actual exhibition place, but rather a library. Most scholars date the earliest museums to the 17th or 18th centuries. Other cultures, including ancient Rome, used public squares for displaying statues. Medieval church treasuries displayed sacred objects. In Japan, traditional shrines hung small paintings for good luck.
While museums are primarily places to view and study art and culture, they also house a collection of objects that have a special place in human history. Typically, the largest museums are located in the world’s largest cities, though small, rural towns and villages have their own museums as well. Museums provide a variety of educational programs to a diverse audience. These public programs may include lectures given by museum faculty or field experts, films, dance performances, or technology demonstrations. Some museums focus on the culture of the region that houses the exhibits.
In Britain, the importance of museum advocacy has become increasingly important as year-on-year cuts to public budgets threaten the future of many cultural institutions. While museum advocacy has always focused on educational and social benefits, it has become more sophisticated over the past decade. Today, museums’ contributions to society have diversified and expanded to encompass a broader range of fields. In Britain, for example, museums are now considered important community assets, bringing local communities together and boosting the economy.
Other museums play an important role in economic development. Many cities have adapted museums to revitalize post-industrial areas. A case in point is the Guggenheim Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain. It was built with $100 million from the Basque regional government. Although the museum was controversially expensive, it is clearly paying off financially for the city, and the art museum continues to attract visitors. In 2015, 1.1 million people visited the museum.
The term “museum” is also used to refer to a temporary exhibit at the Museum. Many of the museum’s programs and events are designed to complement these exhibitions. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of art, consider visiting a museum devoted to that subject. And if you’re lucky enough to live near a museum, you may even be able to visit it without much trouble. That way, your trip will be a more fun and educational experience than you’d expect.
As a result of these changes, the museum experience is changing, too. Its offerings have evolved and incorporated social and collaborative learning environments. Advances in technology have made museum collections more accessible to an ever-wider audience. Virtual reality and apps are increasingly being used by museums to share their collections online. Whether your preference is interactive virtual reality, mobile technology, or digital trails, there’s an immersive and engaging experience waiting. The future of the museum is bright!
In response to the comments received during consultation 1, the Standing Committee on the Museum Definition has formulated a new methodology for defining the museum. The new methodology aims to achieve greater transparency, open consultation, and careful consideration of all proposed changes. The committees have agreed to call the process ICOM Define. The process will last 18 months. According to the proposed schedule, the work should begin on December 10, 2020, and conclude in early May 2022. However, this schedule may be adjusted based on the circumstances.