A museum is an establishment or building which houses and protects an entire collection of objects and artifacts of historical, artistic, cultural, linguistic, or physical importance. In general, most public museums exhibit these objects on temporary or permanent exhibits which can be temporary or permanent. There are two basic types of museums. The first type is the permanent museum which usually contains artifacts that have been in place for many years while the second type is the non-permanent or situational museum which may house one or few objects for a short period of time.
Permanent museums are designed to display a collection as if it were on display in a shop. These museums also focus on one or a small number of subject matters. Most often than not, permanent museums are designed to preserve historic collections and important artifacts that are part of a culture. A visitor who enters a permanent museum will be greeted by exhibits, information panels, catalogs, and guides which help him/her to understand the artifacts. A visitor to such an museum will not feel intimidated or anxious as he would if entering a retail store.
Temporary museums are designed to exhibit objects or collections for a short period of time such as a week or a month. Usually the main attractions of these institutions are the temporary exhibits which are designed to inspire, encourage, and entertain the audience. Most of these attractions are based around a theme which makes them visually appealing to the visitors. For example, a science museum is different from a botany museum in terms of both layout and content.
An object’s history can be traced back to its origins through its classification and cataloguing. A museum can further categorize objects by their shapes, sizes, genres, categories, makers, and usages. An interesting aspect of this definition is that objects can be grouped according to the fact whether they are human or animal, or something in between. This way, the museum can better decide how to display objects in order to interpret its meaning in its entirety.
A museum which exhibits objects is not a museum at all unless and until it has a permanent collection. The permanent collection refers to a single collection of artifacts that can be classified as being representative of the original culture of the country/area from which it originated. Such an institution should have a wide range of artifacts from which to choose as its collection because artifacts can be assigned to various periods in history.
One of the most common challenges of curators is making sure that the museum they manage is both up-to-date and comprehensive while at the same time remaining a dynamic and exciting environment for its users. A museum which is up-to-date will always be able to meet the expectations of its visitors and clients. It will be able to continuously impress and amaze its visitors with its collection and presentation. And a lively museum is always a pleasure to visit. That is why it is important that curators know how to properly design the museum that they are running.