Matagorda County Museum Our Blog The Definition of a Museum

The Definition of a Museum

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Museum is an institution, in service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for education, inspiration and enjoyment. The museum is not to be confused with an art gallery, which displays and sells works of art.

A museum has the power to inspire and uplift people, to change their views, opinions and attitudes. Museums also showcase our unique cultural identity and our progress in the fields of science, technology, and culture. They help us understand ourselves and our world around us better, and give a deeper insight into our past.

Many museums in the world are known for their carefully curated collections and transcending exhibitions. The best of them can make a visit to the museum an enriching experience and challenge the ideas and beliefs of even the most skeptical visitors. Museums can make us think differently about our own culture, society, and place in the world, and they can also show us how others live in theirs.

Moreover, museums are often the economic driving forces of their cities and regions. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, for example, was built with the sole purpose of revitalizing a decaying old port district. The city’s residents initially resisted the plan, but the museum has proven to be one of the most popular attractions in the country and has contributed to a remarkable turnaround in the region.

Museums can also serve as the face of a city, creating unity among its citizens through celebrating a shared heritage. In an age of hatred and ignorance, museums can stand as symbols of peace and understanding. In some cases, museums are able to unite a nation, while others can create unity on a local level by displaying art from different places and times.

The definition of museum has been a hot topic of discussion in recent years, especially with the rise of new digital and virtual tools for the preservation of cultural heritage. The debate has led to a number of changes in the way that museums work and the way in which they present their collections.

In recent times, the idea of a museum as a non-profit, permanent institution has gained traction worldwide, making the concept more accessible to all. Museums are now able to collect and display a vast amount of data, including scientific information and digital images, which can be displayed online. They have the ability to engage with people in real time, and they can be a part of our daily lives in ways that were never before possible.

In an attempt to move away from this outdated definition, the International Council of Museums has voted in favor of a new definition at the Icom General Conference in Prague today. The new definition includes for the first time phrases such as “inclusivity”, “accessibility” and “sustainability”. It is the result of a long process of consultation and will be formally adopted at the 2022 Icom General Conference in Vienna, Austria.