If you can think of it, you can find it on the internet. You can buy square-shaped watermelons, learn how to play the guitar and even watch snow fall on a university campus in real-time. This also applies to many museums and the artefacts found within them.
Take a quick look online. You can find amazing projects that enable visitors – regardless of location – the ability to access the interior of buildings (Google’s Street View of cultural institutions), explore carefully curated exhibitions (Royal BC Museum’s Alien’s Among Us), and closely examine 3-dimensional renderings of objects that permanently live in climate controlled facilities (like this 18th Century gown in the V&A’s collection). The digital age allows us to access museums and their collections from the comfort of our homes, any time of the day, and for free.
So why bother visiting a museum or art gallery at all?
A museum or gallery offers visitors valuable resources and experiences that you just can’t get on the internet. In a series of blog posts I’ll be listing and explaining what I think are the reasons you should visit a museum.
Part One: Museums Cater to Multiple Intelligences
Part Two: Museums Have Experts
Part Three: Museums are an Immersive Experience
Part Four: Museums Can Encourage Social Interaction