Muses on museums

Apologies for the lack of postings recently, I have just returned from two weeks travelling around Cuba, which was a really amazing experience, a bit like going back in a time warp. Spending time in a developing country really makes you appreciate how diverse the world is and how many creature comforts we take for granted.

While there we had the opportunity to visit many, many museums. I hate museums. With a passion. They make me want to fall asleep the minute I walk through the door and look at objects in boxes with lots of accompanying text (even the ‘interactive’ exhibits don’t really do it for me and generally seem tokenistic and pointless).

Then I discovered the museum of rum. Finally, a museum that I found interesting. Objects and gadgets that you can touch and play with. Signs in Spanish that you have to translate. Free rum.

This got me thinking about ways in which museums could be made more interesting (for me, anyway):

  • providing an experience rather than just information;
  • making this a true multisensory expereince (taste, touch, smell, sound as well as pictures and text);
  • creating a puzzle to make people find out information rather than simply providing it.

I guess this is all pretty obvious stuff, and maybe museums in this country have changed since the last time I ventured into one. I will have to force myself into one for research purposes. I wonder if there is a museum of real ale in Manchester…

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Livingstone

    Of your three bullet points, I’ve seen quite a few museums which attempt these – but usually they seem to succeed better at the first two than the third. And I’d include science museums in this.

    Watching people (children and adults) at a science museum can be interesting – from my observations most dive from one multi-sensory experience to the next. Jumping from stimulus to stimulus and sparing little (if any) time for reflecting on the hows or whys.

    Meanwhile, if you find a real ale museum, let me know!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *