In our post on “Culture”, we mentioned a trip that the Dye & Eskin, Inc. team was planning to two well-known museums in the greater Washington DC area.
On February 22ND, we visited both the National Gallery of Art and the Spy Museum. Two museums, radically different from each other, but equally impactful. Not impactful because it was a day from work (well…. maybe), but because of the power of those institutions.
Since that trip, we’ve been thinking about museums – their purpose, their work, and importantly their impact on the people, like us, who visit.
Museums have an interesting history having started as places of contemplation and morphing to places for philosophical discussion. As time passed museums transitioned to something akin to places of learning (possibly universities) and then became collections of curiosities and finally buildings housing cultural material.
Overtime, though, one common goal emerged:
“The preservation and interpretation of some material aspect of society’s cultural consciousness.” It is this “cultural consciousness” that we responded to as we progressed through each institution.
Museums and galleries provide an insight into the history of mankind. They are tangible evidence of humankind and the environment. Items housed in a museum are often unique and constitute the material for study. Think about what a magical opportunity visiting a museum can be if you engage.
Museums are the keepers of history and our links to other worlds. They are vital to our ability to both interpret the past and understand our place in the future. They have the power to transform the world around us and are excellent places to learn. They catalyze wonder, interest, and curiosity.
Museums teach history not necessarily taught in school. They encourage questions and build our listening skills. They provoke our imaginations.
John Falk is the Executive Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation. Here is a summary of one of his many thoughts on the impact of museums:
“Museums…inspire awe and appreciation for the best of natural and human creation, and under the best of circumstances serve as guides to a better, more well-informed and creative future.”
We’re adding more museums to our quarterly field trips!