Matagorda County Museum Our Blog What Is a Museum?

What Is a Museum?



A museum is an institution that collects, cares for and explains art and cultural heritage. Museums are open to the public and offer a wide variety of experiences for education, enjoyment and reflection. Museums work ethically, professionally and in partnership with their communities. Museums are inclusive and foster diversity. The word museum comes from the Latin for “museum” (place of collections).

While the idea of a museum may seem rather boring or snobby, there are many museums that can challenge visitors to think differently about society through their carefully curated exhibits and stunning exhibition spaces. Museums around the world, from Senegal to Japan, have mastered the art of making their museums interesting and engaging.

If you love modern art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is a must-visit. Likewise, if you prefer Renaissance paintings, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence is considered to be the best place to admire works by artists such as da Vinci and Raphael. Other notable museums include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, and the Louvre in Paris, which has the largest collection of paintings in the world, including the Mona Lisa.

Aside from the fact that they are a repository for priceless treasures, museums are also places where people come to learn and experience different cultures. This is a fundamental aspect of their role in society and can be seen as their primary mission. Museums are often the source of controversy and debate, especially in relation to issues such as censorship, funding, and the way in which they display certain objects.

The museum’s responsibilities and roles are varied, depending on its size and scope. Usually, the museum’s board of directors oversees its operation and management. A Director is appointed to manage the day-to-day operations of the museum, and curators are responsible for collecting, caring for, and interpreting the artwork in the museum’s collection. Other responsibilities include developing the museum’s educational programs, fundraising, and marketing efforts.

In order to be successful, a museum must have a well-known reputation and high levels of trust among its visitors. This is accomplished by a strong and effective communications strategy. Museums should have a clear and compelling vision of their mission and the values that they represent. A successful communication strategy should involve a combination of traditional and digital media.

The new definition of a museum was adopted by ICOM at the ICOM Extraordinary General Assembly in Prague, and it includes, for the first time ever, phrases such as inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability. It is expected to be implemented by the next ICOM General Assembly in 2022, and will be available to the public soon. ICOM Define thanks all those who participated in the consultation process for their valuable contributions and looks forward to continuing to build this important dialogue with the wider museum community. The next round of consultations will begin in early 2020. For more information about this and other activities related to the museum definition reformulation, please visit the ICOM Define space.