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Why Should We Visit Museums?

Wong Shu Lee  

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  May 18, 2022

Today is the International Museum Day (IMD). This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” 

 

Museums have the power to transform the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas — two essential steps in building a better future. 

 

Do you know why we should visit museums? 

 

Museums make us feel good

 

A study conducted by Harris Interactive finds that people are happier when they spend money on experiences rather than material purchases. According to Leaf Van Boven, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at CU-Boulder, experiences are shown to create more happiness than material goods because they provide positive personal reinterpretations over time. 

 

That is, as we revisit the memory of our trip to the museum, we have a tendency to psychologically weed out any negative memories (should there be any). Experiences, such as visiting a museum, can also become a meaningful part of one’s identity and contribute to successful social relationships in a manner that material items cannot. So consider foregoing an outing for items that you may not need; going to the museum will make you happier in the long run. 

 

Museums make us smarter

 

There is no doubt that a primary role of museums is to engage and educate the community.  Museum exhibits inspire interest in an area of study, item, time period, or an idea – but there’s more going on in museums in regard to education than one might think. 

 

Schools rely heavily on museums to enhance their curriculum. Galleries are becoming classrooms, and not just for kids. Even the museums themselves have interesting histories to inspire and educate visitors. It becomes nearly impossible to exit a museum without having gained any information or insight during your visit. 

 

Museums inspire

 

Museums provide inspiration through personal connections with visitors, and not only on-site and through physical community outreach efforts; some even manage to connect through their social networks. These kinds of personal memories created at museums do not expire. 

 

Museums are a great way to spend time with friends and family

 

Museums provide a great excuse to spend time with friends and family in a positive way. Personal connections can be made with museums and also with family members during visits. A day at the museum often translates to a day spent with loved ones as fathers and mothers transform into tour guides, and the environment provides a shared learning experience. 


 

Don’t know what to do over the weekend? Why not take a date to a museum? 

 

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