International Museum Day

International Museum Day

Today is International Museum Day which is promoted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the International Museum Day theme, engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.

The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on and around 18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week.

Participation in International Museum Day is growing among museums all over the world. In 2015, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries.

While the world is full of great museums, here are some of my favorites:

This museum is fascinating on many levels beginning with its location.  It was a pickup point for taking Japanese-Americans to internment camps.  What is succeeds at, however, is telling California’s complicated history with the immigrants it simultaneously embraces and repells.

I have been to five Presidential libraries and all of them are worth visiting.  The JFK Library and its magnificent design by I.M. Pei, however, was a game changer when compared to its predecessors.

There are a lot of great art museums all over the world, but Dali is unique as is the museum that bears his name.

I call MoLAA the “little museum that could”.  It is not as fancy or big as some of its more well endowed neighbors, but it stands out because of the unique programming it offers.  It is not just an art museum but a cultural center that has everything from its famous “Murals Under the Stars” program featuring the great Mexican muralists projected on its outer wall to salsa dancing.

I have to include at least one Washington museum, and not to slight the Smithsonian, but the Newseum is always topical because it tells the story behind the story.  I also love their daily headline feature.


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