The word “museum” has a long and respected history. The word derives from the Greek word museo, meaning “seat of the Muses.” In ancient Greece, the famous “Museum” of Alexandria was more like a university with an important library than a display venue. Some scholars date the first museums to the 17th or 18th centuries in Europe. Other early examples of museums are public squares in ancient Rome and treasuries of medieval churches. Traditionally, Japanese shrines hung small paintings on the walls of their shrines to draw good luck.
There are several definitions of the term “museum”. The International Council of Museums (ICMA) has a definition of a museum that places an emphasis on its mission and on the work it does to benefit the public. This definition is similar to the definition used by the Museum Association. In this case, a museum’s purpose is to promote public benefit through education and research.
In addition to serving educational and recreational purposes, museums also help build community and a sense of place. For instance, a local museum can provide a sense of community while providing a valuable education on local history. It also acts as a place for people to celebrate their cultural heritage. That’s a great benefit!
Many people dream of working in a museum, but not all jobs require graduate degrees. For most, it’s necessary to have a master’s degree in museum studies. However, some smaller museums can accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree. They should also have some work experience in the museum industry. Some internships may enhance their chances for admission.
Some cities have realized the value of museums in revitalizing their cities. For example, the Guggenheim Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, was constructed with $100 million from the Basque government. Although the price was controversial, the project ended up paying off financially for the city. In 2015, it hosted 1.1 million visitors.
The museum model is based on the idea that human beings collect things of value. Several early museums were modeled after their European counterparts, and they echoed European collecting habits, as well as their design and installation. In addition to being secular, museums often serve as a place to educate and engage the public.
A museum can display many different types of exhibits. One of the most famous types of museums is an art museum. The Louvre, in France, is famous for the Mona Lisa. New York City is also home to several renowned art museums. Art museums are typically eclectic, featuring works of all kinds. The British Museum has over eight million objects, but only a fraction are currently displayed.
Working in a museum requires a variety of skills. Some positions in a museum require a background in history or education. Creativity and patience are also necessary. Not every museum exhibit is meant for a general audience, and the education department is responsible for finding innovative ways to reach a wide range of audiences.