The word museum is of Greek origin, deriving from the Greek mouseion (the “seat of the muses”). In Roman times, the word was used to describe a university, not a museum. The word museum was first used in the early third century bce to refer to the great Museum of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I Soter. Although it was more of a university than a museum, scholars still consider this to be the earliest known museum. While ancient Rome had public squares for statues and other statuary, medieval churches held sacred objects, and traditional Japanese shrines hung small paintings to attract good fortune.
In the United States, art museums were a luxury unimaginable to most Americans until the late nineteenth century, when wealthy patrons began to replicate European models. Many historic American museums owe their design and installation to the European model. Throughout the twentieth century, many museums have been remodeled to reflect the design of European museums. Its presence in postindustrial areas has also resulted in an increase in business and jobs. The creation of a museum has been a boon for the local economy.
In addition to its educational purpose, museums are also time keepers. A stroll through a museum is like traveling through the history of human civilization. From prehistoric times to contemporary, objects are viewed from different perspectives and reveal how humans have changed over time. Some museums try to attract a broad audience, while others focus on a specific audience. The LDS Church History Museum, for example, aims to collect significant objects, while other museums have more narrowly focused missions.
The International Council of Museums has also developed a definition of a museum. It emphasizes the work of museums to benefit society. The definition of a museum is similar to that of the Museum Association. It is an organization for museum professionals. The ACA offers trainings and conferences for members to improve the quality of their institutions. In addition, the Nantong Museum in China was the first Chinese-sponsored museum in the world. You may also be interested in finding out more information about the history of China by checking out its website.
While the UNESCO definition of a museum was adopted by many governments, it is not universal. Many countries have their own definitions. For example, some countries use the term “cultural space,” while others say a museum is a place where a person can view cultural works. The ICOM also encourages members to review their ICOM Statutes and Code of Ethics. They can also help define the term “cultural heritage” if their national museum is not accredited by the Council.
There are many types of museums. Some people have limited experience with museums, while others have never visited one. The most important thing to remember is that a museum is more than just a building. It contains treasures. They have to preserve them and educate the public about them. That’s why they hire curators – people who have knowledge of the objects on display. There is a reason why the term “museum” has such a wide definition.