Many people who don’t normally visit museums have a tendency to dismiss them as boring and often wonder what the appeal is. People visit museums for a variety of reasons, some personal, some societal, and we thought it would be interesting to examine these reasons in an effort to dispel the notions of the naysayers and perhaps challenge them to change their minds and broaden their horizons. As a result, we’ve come up with our top ten reasons to visit museums, which will hopefully shed some light on the topic and garner some new believers to the museum-loving fold.
1 - Expanding Horizons:
One of the great benefits of visiting museums is that it allows you to change your perspectives and place yourself in the shoes of the artist. Like the Impressionist movement of 1872 – 1892, where artists, such as Claude Monet moved away from painting exactly what they saw to capturing their impressions of a scene, each work of art opens a doorway into the artist’s soul and allows you to explore what they felt, rather than merely observed. Every piece of art tells a unique story, and by studying them, you can experience the same emotions the work’s creator did.
2 - Lessons in Humanity:
There’s no question that museums are not only an ideal way to learn about human history, but also the cultures of different countries. By just observing art, you can glean insights into the mindset of the inhabitants of specific time periods and countries, including their beliefs, morals, cultures, and more. A great example is the work of French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin, who lived in the South Pacific for a time. When you stare at paintings by him during this period, you can learn all about the culture of Tahiti without every cracking open a history book, that’s how powerful his work is.
3 - Inspiration:
Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut and you need a breath of inspiration to refresh your psyche? It’s not a coincidence that there’s a “muse” in “museum!” A museum is a wonderful place to recharge, get inspired, and let those creative juices begin to flow again. By observing the work of other artists, museums offer ways to stimulate new ideas, resulting in the creation of more art, including music, architecture, interior designing, and creative writing.
4 - Food for Conversation:
Visiting museums can definitely help fuel your discussions at social gatherings. Whether it’s a new exhibit or a fascinating speaker, museums offer a variety of subjects to talk about, many of which transcend cultural boundaries. And these topics aren’t just limited to traditional artwork, per se. You can mention exciting innovations in science, as well as unique historical findings, little known tidbits about American Presidents, etc. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of discussion material museums can add to your repertoire!
5 - Serenity:
There are times in life when stress takes hold of you and it’s extremely difficult to decompress. Some people turn to Yoga, Pilates, meditation, etc. to cope with life’s pressures. Museums can offer a quiet alternative to relax and ward off the effects of anxiety, without the expensive gym membership! By staring silently at beautiful works of art and contemplating their meaning, you can reflect on your own life and find peace and tranquility. In some ways, there’s something very spiritual about museums, and their calming effect can be similar to that of visiting a church, synagogue, or mosque.
6 - Meeting Like Minds:
Museums offer a perfect opportunity to meet new people that share your love of art & culture. By taking in new exhibits or attending lectures with guest speakers, you’re immersing yourself in an atmosphere that will attract others who share similar interests. Some museums also host cocktail parties and food & wine events to allow you to expand your social circles with new acquaintances and potential long-term friendships. Museums can be the ideal meeting place!
7 - Tourism:
When traveling outside local cities and visiting new ones in other states, cities, or countries, museums will often have exhibits that are specific to the region they are located in. This is an interesting way for you to absorb some local color and enhance your experience with rich insights into the history of your tourist destination, all while having fun exploring your new surroundings.
8 - Supporting the Arts:
In these days of art programs being constantly slashed/eliminated from school budgets, kids need a viable alternative for exposure to the arts. After all, the children of today are going to be the leaders of tomorrow, and what kind of a world will it become if these kids grow up without experiencing the contribution the arts make to society? That’s why it’s imperative that, whether you have your own children or not, you get out there and support museums, which play a pivotal and constantly increasing role in filling this ever-growing gap between the schools and art programs.
9 - Fun Factor:
Believe it or not, museums can be fun! This is especially true when you consider all the different types of specialty museums that welcome visitors daily. There are museums that specialize in unique exhibits that appeal to different tastes. So whether it’s the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, The UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, or the International Spy Museum in DC, you’re guaranteed to have a fun time exploring your interests and discovering new adventures.
10 - Effects on Society:
Perhaps the most compelling and obvious reason for you to visit a museum is the beneficial impact on the human experience. Museums have an extremely positive effect on society, in addition to the art & culture benefits. Museums preserve the legacy of humanity, chronicling both the good and the bad, and serve to enrich the lives of countless visitors like you, making the world a more enlightened place for present and future generations.