Few places in our world are more educational than museums. After all, where else could we hope to see so many pieces of actual history that tell so many stories about our ancestors? From prehistoric spears to Egyptian mummies, from ancient Greek sculptures to medieval armor, and from the first radio to the first planes used in war during WWI, museums have it all. Unfortunately, there are millions of people with direct access to museums that have never even visited one.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) created International Museum Day in 1977. The organization chooses a different theme for the day and coordinates every year. Some of the themes include globalization, indigenous peoples, bridging cultural gaps, and caring for the environment.
- There is a World Brick Museum in Maizuru City, Japan.
- In the late medieval period, parts of the Palace of Versailles were used as a museum and anybody could enter but only if he had ”correct clothes”. In this case this meant silver shoe buckles and a sword. Luckily it was possible to rent them at the entrance.
- Beside standard museums like art, science and history museums there are also less conventional ones: museum of SPAM, of PEZ candy, of potato, salami, mustard, chocolate, banana and ramen museum.
- The Oceanographic Museum in Monaco was built on a cliff, 85 meters above the sea.
- McLean, Texas has a museum dedicated to barbed wire.
- In 1989, Harrison Ford and Lucasfilm donated Indiana Jones’ fedora hat to the Smithsonian museum. In 1999 they donated the bullwhip too.
- There are more museums in the U.S. than there are Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. – Source
- The Museum of Endangered Sounds exists to allow streaming of once popular technological sounds. ie. the dial-up tone, ICQ chat tone, Windows 95 startup. – Source
- In 2016, a 91-year-old woman filled out a crossword that turned out to be $116k artwork in a German museum. – Source
- Barnum’s American Museum had crowds that would linger inside too long. To make way for new paying guests, signs saying “This Way to the Egress” were put up. Not knowing Egress was another word for Exit, people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit but ended up outside. – Source
- The camera that recorded the only known footage of the first plane strike on 9/11 is now in the Smithsonian Museum. – Source
- The largest art heist in history was completed in 1990 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, totaling 13 paintings worth $500M. To this day, all of the empty frames are still hanging, acting as placeholders until the pieces are returned. – Source
- The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is powered by solar energy. – Source
- Older U.S.A. presidential limousines are at the Henry Ford Museum, but after Sept. 11, 2001, the Secret Service adopted a policy to destroy the limos after they are taken out of service in order to protect their security secrets. – Source
- There is a photograph in the virtual museum of Canada dated from 1941 where a man in modern clothes is thought to be a time traveler and is given the name of “The time-traveling hipster”. – Source
- There is a Museum of Failed Products in Ann Arbor, containing thousands of consumer products that never took off, including gems like Clairol’s A Touch of Yoghurt shampoo and Pepsi’s AM Breakfast Cola. – Source
- The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia employs 74 cats to take care of rodents. These cats are so important that they even have their own press secretary, and there are special kitchens in the Hermitage that prepare food for them. – Source
- he Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia employs 74 cats to take care of rodents. These cats are so important that they even have their own press secretary, and there are special kitchens in the Hermitage that prepare food for them. – Source
- Museums support more than 726,000 American jobs.
- More people visited an art museum, science center, historic house or site, zoo, or aquarium in 2018 than attended a professional sporting event.
- 97% of Americans believe that museums are educational assets for their communities.
- 89% believe that museums contribute important economic benefits to their community.
- 96% would think positively of their elected officials for taking legislative action to support museums.
- 96% want to maintain or increase federal funding for museums
- The word museum comes from the Greek “mouseion,” the temples dedicated to the Muses and the arts they inspired. Around the 4th century BC, Aristotle founded a mouseion at his Lyceum school for the collection of specimens for his zoological studies.
- By nature of their offices, the Vice President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States serve as two of the 14 trustees that govern the Smithsonian Institution. This includes the National Air and Space Museum, which is one of the most visited museums in the world.