Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is a Family Museum?

Let us first start with the definition of a museum: a large or even larger building filled with exhibition halls, both small and large galleries displaying everything from Art works to Zenith TVs. Though they are magnificent institutions, they are impersonal.  Displays are measured ever so carefully; their objective is to inform and educate with cool detachment. You would love to get a closer look, even cherish the idea of touching the artifact. But this is not allowed and for good reason . . . it is not yours to do so. The artifacts and antiquities are presented in succession leading from the past to the present for the future for perpetuity and for all human-kind. And that’s wonderful.

Now let’s define a family museum: a place(s) in your home (even your place of work), where objects of interest or significance are exhibited and preserved, and at any time can be visited, looked at and touched. Your heirlooms, keepsakes and awards offer the continuation of your family’s (and/or business) events occurring from the good- ole-days to days-gone-by to present-day events, to hold and protect for your future.  
Everyone has objects of interest. Some more than others. Regardless of what you have, if the objects are important to you, to your family, to the family’s next generation, then those objects should be preserved, protected, and put on display for everyone to see, enjoy and respect. A Family Museum may be hard to visualize, so here are some suggestions that will help you to form a mental image – to see it in one’s mind. First, let's take a look at two of the finest museums in the USA.

Art Institute, Chicago, IL
Museum of Natural History, Washington. DC



With all of their artistic, historical and scientific objects, there is much to see. However, those artifacts will not give you as much pleasure as your own heirlooms you put on display in your Family Museum.
        http://www.mnh.si.edu/                                   http://www.artic.edu/

The space in any museum cannot be compared with your space. To get a better picture, visit smaller museums that focus on a specific era in history or personal collections of an eminent person. Antique shops are great places to visualize the concept of display. The proprietors take pride in how they present collections to encourage you to take a closer look and possibly purchase the item. Smaller places mean you can be more intimate with the viewing experience because the displays are imaginative, giving you a better idea of what you are looking at. 
Your Family Museum will showcase, define, edify and entertain those who look upon the lovingly displayed pieces, becoming acquainted with your family’s history. Welcome, one and all. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my family . . .

             “For what is the present after all but the growth out of the past?”                                                                                          Walt Whitman

Note: What museums have you visited lately? Which would you recommend?

Next Post: Why a family should have a museum in their home?   

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