2). Types Discussion:

What do you think is an important reason that there are several different types of museums? And/or what is/are your favorite botanical gardens/zoos/aquaria that you’ve visited?

I believe that the collection and the management of museums can be intense and overwhelming at times. With this in mind, smaller museums may be more manageable. They are able to focus and create quality exhibits in a timelier manner.

The differences in museum are due to the diversity of subject matters, philosophies, and the roles in our society. Museums are hostesses to all who enter their doors. Thus, the diversity of interest is extremely broad and is often culturally motivated. Early on, art collections initiated the museum movement. I would also add that we collect and nurture collation’s that have peaked our interests. In others words, we collect, what we ourselves like and become stewards of preserving those collections. Eventually, we find others who have similar interests in these collections. If given the opportunity: What exhibit would you create? What category would your exhibit fall under for museum types?

My favorite museums are Natural History and Science Museums. I have visited the following museums, each one impacted me in so many ways: The Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Germany, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York, Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, California, the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, California at Balboa Park, and the Milwaukee Public Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All incorporate and tell stories of how the natural world came to be: operate, evolve, as well as allowing its visitors to engage in interactive activities.

The most impressive botanical gardens were the Getty and the Huntington Museums in southern California. Each museum cannot be seen in one day. They cover a lot of ground (walking is involved). It can be exhausting for small children. Some tours tend to be long. Every school (elementary to college) will take annual trips to one of these museums, if not more. It seems that it is a right of passage, when you are a student who lives in the area.

What was America’s very first museum? I started to do some research. What came up was “The Charleston Museum” founded in 1773 in Charleston, South Carolina (charlestonmusuem.org, 2021). It was established by the Charleston Library Society and the inspiration was obtained from a British Museum. It is credited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Charleston Museum’s Mission Statement:

“To educate Charleston area residents and visitors about the natural and cultural history of the South Carolina Low-country through collections, exhibitions, preservation, conservation, research and related programming” (charlestonmusuem.org, 2021).

The Charleston Museum, Photo Charleston Museum, Art Mecca, Retrieved Jan 24, 2021 from https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g54171-d11882598-Reviews-The_Art_Mecca_of_Charleston-Charleston_South_Carolina.html


The Early Days, Charleston Museum, Retrieved Jan 24, 2021 from https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/exhibits/permanent/6/early-days


charlestonmusuem.org.(2021). Charleston Museum. Retrieved Jan 24, 2021 from https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/support-us/about-the-museum/

5 Thoughts to “2). Types Discussion”

  1. Dylan Debuse

    I was not aware of the Charleston museum, that’s really interesting. It had never occurred to me to wonder what the first American museum was. I’m glad it occurred to you, otherwise i may never have known.

    I think if given the opportunity I’d like to create an exhibit based on the various pilots of the early “skyboy” days of aviation in Alaska. I think that topic would both provide lots of insight into Alaskan history as well as be intriguing enough to bring in folks who might not normally participate.

  2. Erin Gingrich

    In response to the questions “What exhibit would you create? What category would your exhibit fall under for museum types?” As an artist I work actively on planning and developing ideas/concepts(curation) for exhibitions for both private and public spaces. Although trained in the Arts, I has often considered multi faceted perspectives to be very attractive in exhibitions and incorporation of more then one field of study to be very interesting. I would love to have connected concurrent exhibitions that could span several museums and provide a multitude of information and perspectives about a particular connecting topic. An exhibition about the fragility of the environment here in the circumpolar north would be a wonderful way to educate about the many different topics that are important to us here in the north. Quyana, Erin

  3. Tony Thompson

    Hi Barbara,

    Wow! You’ve been to an impressive amount of museums! I’ve always wanted to visit the AMNH! If I were going to create an exhibit it would probably be some sort of natural history exhibit, maybe something ecological that described how various pieces of an ecosystem interact and rely upon each other. Unrelated to natural history, another cool exhibit could be a history of science exhibit that collects for example lab tools that certain influential scientists used or influential manuscripts. I’m sure something like that exists, but I’m unaware of any specific examples.

    Update: I have just discovered the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They have several interesting exhibits including one called the “Age of Alchemy” that looks super cool. It seems like there’s a virtual tour available too!

  4. Angela Linn

    Thanks for looking into the history of museums in the U.S. Yes, the Charleston Museum was founded in 1773, but did not open to the public until 1824. Charles Wilson Peale, on the other hand, founded his Philadelphia museum in 1786 specifically to be a publicly accessible museum. This relates to our discussion in our first meet up where we considered the difference between a “repository” vs a “museum”. Current definitions of a museum require that it is open to the public – it makes me wonder how the Charleston Museum distinguished itself from a cabinet of curiosities in 1773 before it had public exhibits over 50 years later? How important is it that a “museum” be accessible to the public for whom it holds its objects in trust?

  5. Barbara Long

    Good Evening,

    Thank you, this is fascinating.

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