From the time we are in grade school, we visit museums. Museums are for everyone. Museums are a wonderful public gift to both entertain and teach. In elementary school we make sure all students have the opportunity to visit museums to experience the art or history that is the theme of the museum. 

 

With that said, we know all museums are not alike, of course. There is something to be learned in each museum depending again on the theme of the exhibitions. Here in the central valley of California we even have agricultural museums that show pictures of early farms and actual working farming equipment used to plant and harvest crops. 

 

There, students learn the food they eat is not generated in the grocery store but begins on the farms. Some students who live in the bigger cities may not realize the history of farming and the importance to our nation and their own families. 

 

People who are fortunate enough to travel the world usually visit museums as part of their trip while in foreign countries. As I said, each museum is different and there is a lot to be learned about the culture by visiting their museums. They reflect the people and culture of the area such as the farming museums in California. 

 

Many museums and galleries support the art world by exhibiting the work of local and sometimes famous artists from the past. Having a famous painting on view publicly gives ordinary people the opportunity to view something famous and wonderful. It not only gives the aesthetic experience of enjoying something beautiful, it teaches the history of the artist and why that artist needed to say through their art what they said. Many times, this chronicles an era of history with that artist and their times. 

 

Not all museums are filled with beautiful things. While I have personally been in awe at big and wonderful museums that were filled with historical and famous paintings and sculptures, the one that touched my soul the most was not beautiful but touched deep down the feelings it stirred. This was the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Experiencing this highly emotional visual left me in awe in a different way for several days after viewing. 

 

Contrary to what was believed in the past, museums and galleries are not necessarily for the rich and cultured. They are for everyone. There is so much to experience there that touches our own lives, visiting is an experience not soon to be forgotten. It makes our lives richer and teaches us not only things from the past but learning how to handle our own future.

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