Museum. I INTRODUCTION Museum, institution dedicated to helping people understand and appreciate the natural world, the history of civilizations, and the record of humanity's artistic, scientific, and technological achievements. Museums collect objects of scientific, aesthetic, or historical importance; care for them; and study, interpret, and exhibit them for the purposes of public education and the advancement of knowledge. There are museums in almost every major city in the world and in many smaller communities as well. Museums offer many benefits to their visitors, their communities, and society as a whole. As educational institutions, they offer unparalleled opportunities for selfdirected learning and exploration by people of diverse ages, interests, backgrounds, and abilities. They are public gathering places where visitors can be entertained, inspired, and introduced to new ideas. Museums enrich local cultural life and make communities more appealing places to live and to visit. For society as a whole, museums provide valuable intangible benefits as sources of national, regional, and local identity. They have the singular capacity to reflect both continuity and change, to preserve and protect cultural and natural heritage while vividly illustrating the progression of the human imagination and the natural world. This article provides an overview of the different types of museums and explains how they acquire, care for, and exhibit their collections. It also discusses educational programs at museums and profiles museum staff and professional organizations. Other sections of the article trace the history of museums and outline the major trends and challenges facing museums today. Finally, the article describes major museums in countries throughout the world. II TYPES OF MUSEUMS The major types of museums are art, history, natural history, and science. In certain museums, these disciplines may be combined. Within these categories there are also many specialized museums emphasizing particular topics or types of collections, such as museums of local history, music, the cultural heritage of native peoples, or maritime history. In the United States, there are approximately 8,300 museums of all types, with history museums being the most common type. Canada has about 1,400 museums. In the late 1990s there were, annually, more than 800 million visits to U.S. museums and more than 25 million visits to Canadian museums. The following sections describe the different types of museums and highlight major museums of these types in the United States and Canada. For information on museums in other countries, see the Museums of the World section of this article. A Art Museums Art museums reflect artistic accomplishment, both historic and contemporary. Through exhibitions and educational programs, art museums enhance visitors' understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of art. They contain many kinds of artworks, including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, ceramics and glass, metalwork, and furniture. Art museums represent diverse cultural traditions from all parts of the world. One collection might contain Egyptian statuary, funerary objects, and jewelry; another might contain sculpture, masks, and utilitarian objects from Africa; and another might contain pottery, textiles, beadwork, and basketry from native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Some art museums have comprehensive collections that span many styles and periods. Outstanding museums of this type include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the Louvre in Paris, France; the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia; the National Gallery in London, England; and the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy. Many art museums, however, specialize in works of certain periods or types. For example, the Tate Gallery in London is known for its collection of international modern art and its collection of British art from 1500 to the present. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City houses one of the world's finest collections of 20th-century American art. Some museums are devoted to a single artist, allowing visitors to follow changes in an artist's style throughout his or her career. Examples include the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which houses the world's largest collection of works by American painter Georgia O'Keeffe, and the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which has a collection of several thousand works of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Among the many outstanding art museums in the United States, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, founded in 1870, ranks as one of the largest and most important. Its comprehensive holdings span 5,000 years and number in the millions. Among its renowned collections are those devoted to American decorative arts, costumes, medieval art, Islamic art, arms and armor, and Egyptian art. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in Massachusetts, founded in 1870, also has long enjoyed a reputation for excellence and is especially well known for its Asian art, classical art, American art, and decorative arts. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Pennsylvania, is an encyclopedic art museum with excellent collections of European painting and American painting and decorative arts. In the Midwest, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world's leading art museums, with wide-ranging collections dating from the 14th century to the present and an acclaimed assemblage of works by impressionist and post-impressionist artists. The Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, is also a world-famous museum and boasts a major Asian art collection. Among modern art museums in the United States, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City has an unequaled collection representing every school of art from the late 19th through the 20th century. The museum was the first to collect examples in diverse media such as photography, film, video, and design. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is as renowned for its architecture as for its masterpieces of modern and contemporary art. Other notable modern art museums include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is one of the nation's largest and most prominent art museums. Opened in 1941, it has a comprehensive collection of European and American painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and graphic arts from the late Middle Ages to the present. The Smithsonian Institution contains the national collections of the United States. The Smithsonian's art museums include the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum (formerly the National Museum of American Art), and National Portrait Gallery, all in Washington, D.C., and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. The largest art museum in Canada is the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. An internationally recognized institution, the gallery holds the most extensive collection of historical and contemporary Canadian art in existence. It also has strong collections of Inuit art, Western European and 20th-century American art, and Asian art. Its photography and media-arts collections are among the finest in the world. In Montréal, Québec, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a comprehensive collection of arts and crafts, particularly those of Canada. The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto houses British, European, American, and Canadian art, as well as a large collection of sculptures by British artist Henry Moore. The Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has the world's largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. The Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia, has large collections of European and Canadian painting and sculpture. For information on art museums in other countries, see the Museums of the World section of this article. B History Museums History museums are dedicated to promoting a greater appreciation and knowledge of history and its importance to understanding the present and anticipating the future. They range from historic sites and small historic house museums to large, encyclopedic institutions such as the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Many cities and states have historical societies that operate museums or historic sites. History museums usually collect a wide range of objects, including fine art, furniture, clothing, documents, and other materials. Some history museums encompass the art or natural history of a region as well as its cultural history. The most common type of history museum is the historic house. Historic house museums are residences or properties of historical interest that have been restored and opened to the public. Furnishings are chosen to reflect the period during which the most notable owners of the house were in residence. Historic houses in the United States include the birthplaces and homes of presidents, such as Mount Vernon and Monticello, the Virginia homes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, respectively; the residences or workplaces of prominent Americans, such as the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in North Carolina and the Edison National Historic Site in New Jersey; and homes of local historical significance. The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save historic houses around the country and owns 20 historic properties. The National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior has responsibility for a number of historic sites and house museums. Outdoor museums, where history is presented in the context of a community, are another popular type of history museum. They are also called historic villages or living history museums. The world's largest outdoor history museum is Colonial Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. Costumed staff role-play townspeople and historical figures, and hundreds of restored and reconstructed buildings--such as homes, taverns, and craft shops--allow visitors to experience life in an 18thcentury colonial village. Another historic village, Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, recreates life in a typical New England community of the 1830s. The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village is a large indoor-outdoor complex in Dearborn, Michigan, consisting of a museum of history and technology and some 100 historic structures from the 17th to the 20th century. Other notable outdoor history museums in United States include Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a reconstruction of the Pilgrim colony as it appeared in 1627; Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana, which recreates a 19th-century central Indiana rural settlement; and Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a restoration of an 18th-century Moravian community. Many history museums are devoted to particular themes, periods, or groups of people. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, one of the nation's most visited museums, has the largest collection in the world of historic aircraft and spacecraft. The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, chronicles the nation's textile industry from colonial times to the present. The U.S. Army Women's Museum in Fort Lee, Virginia, represents women who have served in the United States Army since the American Revolution (1775-1783). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., vividly relates the horrors of the Holocaust. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City uses a historic house setting to tell about American immigrants' experiences. Some museums explore the history of particular ethnic or cultural groups. Examples of museums that explore the ethnic American experience include the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan; the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California; and the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, California. Major museums dedicated to the histories and cultures of Native Americans include the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and the Plains Indian Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. The passage of laws regarding the repatriation of sacred and funerary objects, human remains, and other culturally significant objects has led many traditional museums to carefully evaluate their collections of Native American objects and to forge new working relationships with native peoples. (For more information, see the Repatriation and Restitution of Objects subsection in the Trends and Challenges section of this article.) General anthropology museums trace the history of human civilization and human cultures, including art, language, religion, technology, and social structure. They often include exhibits on human evolution and archaeological displays of human fossils and ancient human tools or artifacts. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has one of the finest records of human cultural history in the Western Hemisphere, housing an outstanding collection of historic and prehistoric artifacts. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque has permanent exhibitions on human evolution and peoples of the Southwest. Archaeology and anthropology exhibitions and collections are found not only in history museums but also in natural history, art, and specialized museums. Notable among Canadian museums of history is the Canadian Museum of Civilization (formerly the National Museum of Man) in Hull, Québec, which features a First Peoples Hall devoted to the cultural, historical, and artistic accomplishments of Canadian aboriginal peoples. The Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, combines cultural history, ethnology, military history, mineralogy, and art collections. The Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, British Columbia, displays aboriginal art from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, on the waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia, includes an exhibition on the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, many of whose victims are buried in the city. The Nova Scotia Museum is a decentralized system of 25 museums, including historic buildings, vessels, living history sites, and specialized museums. For information on history museums in other countries, see the Museums of the World section of this article. C Natural History Museums Natural history museums are devoted to sharing knowledge about the natural world in all its aspects. Many natural history museums were originally established as centers of scientific research, with collections that accumulated from research expeditions and fieldwork. Today, most major natural history museums combine scientific research with a strong emphasis on public education. Collections and exhibitions in natural history museums generally focus on nature and culture. Dinosaurs, gems and minerals, native cultures, and ancient cultures are always popular exhibits at natural history museums. Other topics of interest include biodiversity, ecology, plants, human biology and evolution, meteorites, ocean life, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, mollusks, and vertebrate evolution. The world's leading natural history museums are major scientific research institutions with important collections of specimens and artifacts related to the natural world and the place of humans in it. The American Museum of Natural History in New York City contains some 32 million specimens, ranging from microscopic organisms to the world's largest cut gem, the Brazilian Princess Topaz. It has the largest and most diverse array of vertebrate fossils in the world. The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is the largest research museum in the United States and has an encyclopedic collection of specimens and artifacts. The museum's Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals houses one of the world's finest collections of rare and priceless gems, including the Hope Diamond and the Star of Asia sapphire. The hall also features a collection of Moon rocks, Mars rocks, meteorites, and some of the oldest known Earth rocks. The vast collections of the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, include Sue, the world's largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil. Other highlights are exhibitions about ancient Egypt, the islands of the South Pacific, and Africa. Another well-known natural history museum is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which has an outstanding fossil collection of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life. In Canada, the Canadian Museum of Nature (formerly the National Museum of Natural Sciences) in Ottawa serves as the country's national museum of natural history and is an important center of scientific research. Its collections comprise more than 10 million items spanning four billion years of history. The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto is a major research institution with comprehensive collections in the earth and life sciences and archaeology. Environmental education is a major emphasis of many natural history museums and nature centers. The Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska, educates the public about the natural environment of its region through programs and exhibitions such as Darkened Waters, which explores the impact of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the worldwide oil spill problem. The Chula Vista Nature Center near San Diego, California, focuses on the biodiversity of the coastal wetlands area in which it is located. The Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans is an urban nature preserve that includes hardwood forest and freshwater wetlands habitats. For information on natural history museums in other countries, see the Museums of the World section of this article. D Science Museums Science museums and science-technology centers are dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science and scientific achievements. Using interactive exhibition techniques and participatory experiences, they stimulate curiosity and allow people to learn at their own pace while exploring the principles, concepts, and implications of science and technology. Common exhibits teach visitors about computers, robots, machines, the human body and senses, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Often science museums include aquariums, planetariums, small zoos, and botanical gardens. Laser-light shows and large-format IMAX movies are popular attractions at many science museums. Some have children's areas that offer activities and experiments geared to particular age groups. Science museums are active environments with hands-on exhibitions and activities that encourage learning by doing. For example, working models of amusement park rides become an intriguing introduction to physics in an exhibit at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois. At the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, visitors learn about levers by varying the length of a giant lever as they try to lift a 250-kg (550-lb) weight off the floor. Microscopes and take-apart models invite people to learn about human and animal vision in an exhibit at the Museum of Ophthalmology in San Francisco, California. The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, explores the science behind sports in its Sports Challenge exhibit, which features interactive and virtual reality games. Among major science museums in the United States, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California, is known as a pioneer in the development of innovative exhibits. It has more than 650 interactive exhibits in the areas of science, art, and human perception. Other leading museums are the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois, with more than 2,000 exhibits, including a full-scale replica of a coalmine and the world's first streamlined, diesel-electric, articulated train; Boston's Museum of Science, with interactive exhibits on physics, archaeology, electricity, light, and other topics; and the Rose Center for Earth and Space, a science center within the American Museum of Natural History that teaches visitors about the origin of the universe, space, stars, and the evolution of Earth. In Canada, major science museums include the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, which has exhibits on energy, communications, locomotives, and Canada's involvement in space programs; and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, which features exhibits on the mind, computers, and the human body. For information on science museums in other countries, see the Museums of the World section of this article. E Other Museums Many museums challenge traditional categories. These include sports museums and halls of fame, music museums, and children's museums. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, has artifacts from celebrated players throughout the history of the game, an annual exhibition saluting the World Series champions, and an exhibition on fabled ballparks. Collections and programs at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, preserve the history of the sport. A leading museum about music is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. It explores the past, present, and future of rock music through interactive exhibits and an extensive collection of artifacts. The Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington, also salutes rock and popular music in interactive and interpretive exhibits. In Kansas City, Missouri, the American Jazz Museum celebrates jazz and its greatest performers. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, documents the important contributions of country music to American culture with interactive exhibits and a large collection of artifacts, recordings, and films. Children's museums add a lively dimension to the museum community. Aimed at children and families, they focus on participatory learning. In Massachusetts, the Boston Children's Museum is known for its innovative exhibits, educational materials, and community programs. In Indiana, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis has exhibitions on many topics in science, history, and natural history. The oldest children's museum in the United States is the Brooklyn Children's Museum in New York City. It offers innovative programs to serve the needs of the urban community in which it is located. III MUSEUM COLLECTIONS At the heart of almost every museum is its collection, which provides the intellectual content for its educational mission. A museum's distinctive mission is to collect and preserve objects, record information about them, study them, and make them available to the public for educational purposes. These objects are valuable sources of knowledge and understanding about humanity and the natural world. The number of objects in museums' collections varies greatly. An art museum might have 2,000 artworks, while a natural history museum might have more than 20 million specimens and artifacts. Although each museum keeps a record of how many objects are in its collection, the number does not by itself indicate the collection's quality or significance. Each museum's collection has a particular focus. A history museum, for example, can be comprehensive, documenting the history and culture of an entire nation, or it can be more specific, showing the experience of a particular cultural group within that nation or the heritage of a community or a region. Some museums, such as science-technology museums, nature centers, and children's museums, do not rely principally on collections for their educational programs and exhibitions. A How Museums Collect Most museums add objects to their collections through gifts and bequests (objects given to museums upon a person's death), primarily from individuals. Museums actively develop relationships with potential donors to stimulate their interest in giving to the collection. People may decide to donate objects out of generosity, because they want to share what they have collected with the public. They may want to be sure that their collections or objects are safely preserved for future generations. Or they may seek the prestige of giving to a museum. In the United States and United Kingdom, people who donate objects to museums receive tax benefits. Some museums have dedicated budgets for acquiring new objects. Museums use these funds to purchase objects from collectors, dealers, or at public auction. Only larger museums can hope to be successful in competing in the marketplace for objects with great artistic, historical, or scientific importance. In some cases, museums directly acquire objects or artifacts through archaeological fieldwork sponsored by the museum or conducted by its staff. Museums also lend objects to other museums for educational, exhibition, or research purposes, either short-term or long-term. Since physical space limits the portion of a museum's collection that can be on view, this arrangement is an opportunity to bring objects out of storage and broaden public access to them. It also permits the borrowing museum to supplement its own collection or present a well-rounded exhibition. Museums can build high-quality collections only by establishing and following clear acquisition policies and plans. These policies selectively limit the categories of objects, relate collecting activity to the museum's stated mission, and provide for realistic and manageable growth. A museum will revise these policies and plans periodically to strengthen areas of the collection or begin collecting in related areas. Sometimes museums permanently remove an object or objects in their collection, an act known as deaccessioning. Professional ethics and practices govern the circumstances under which an object may be sold, exchanged, or otherwise removed, because museums are a form of public trust. Individual museums develop their own policies based on these ethical guidelines. Art museums have especially stringent ethical requirements governing deaccessioning. In the United States, for example, the code of ethics of the Association of Art Museum Directors specifies that proceeds from the sale of a work of art must be used only to replenish a museum's collection. B Documenting the Collection Recording and maintaining complete and accurate information about every work of art, historical artifact, or scientific specimen in a collection is an essential museum function. Complete documentation captures and preserves an object's history, and it is the basis for research and exhibition development. Documentation also provides a record of legal title to museum objects and a means of monitoring the physical condition of collections. Museums usually manage information about their collections in electronic databases. Each object is identified by a unique number, called an accession number, which is given to an object upon acquisition. An object's permanent record includes basic facts about its acquisition, including the donor or other source and the year it was acquired. The object record also contains information on the artist or maker, provenance (ownership history), creation date or time period, description of the object, purchase price, measurements, identifying marks, condition, and related publications. Correspondence, clippings, and legal documents may also be included. Documentation is kept up to date by a museum's registrar or collections manager and curators. In addition to publishing printed catalogs of their collections, a growing number of museums make selected images and information from their collections available on their Internet sites. When doing so, museums must consider intellectual property issues, such as whether they have the rights to display a digital image of an artwork or object online. Museums are always seeking to improve documentation standards and practices to streamline information sharing among museums and to facilitate access to collections by scholars, researchers, and the public. C Conservation of Collections The care and maintenance of cultural property--a term used to describe significant objects like those in museum collections--is a major obligation of museums. Activities that preserve museum objects for the future are known collectively as conservation. Professionals who perform these activities are known as conservators. Conservators periodically examine objects, document their condition, and, if necessary, treat and repair them. They distinguish between two treatment approaches: stablization and restoration. An object may be stabilized to maintain its integrity and minimize deterioration, or it may be restored to a previous state. During restoration, conservators may add materials that are not original to the object. Recommended practices call for restoration techniques and materials that are visible and reversible and that preserve the characteristics of the object. Conservation requires specialized skills, facilities, and equipment that vary according to the type of object--paintings, textiles, photographs, sculpture, film or video, and so forth. A painting conservator understands how to clean the surface of an oil painting whose surface has darkened or yellowed with age. A textile conservator can attach a lining and support layer to a fragile, historic embroidery work to strengthen it for display. Electronic media formats such as CD-ROM, which may be used to store digital photography or other works, degrade over a period of decades and must eventually be transferred to new disks or formats. Conservators also establish preventive care measures, which provide optimum conditions to protect collections over time. All objects change over time because of physical or chemical deterioration and damage. Temperature, relative humidity, light, pollutants, and handling are the primary threats to museum objects of all kinds. Temperature and humidity levels must remain constant and moderate, avoiding excessively warm or moist conditions and fluctuations that can accelerate deterioration and encourage mold growth and insect activity. Exposure to ultraviolet light from daylight and sources such as fluorescent lamps must be controlled. Exhibition and storage areas must be pest-proof and free of indoor pollutants. Museums must provide adequate security, including protection against fire, theft, vandalism, and accident. Museums always insure collection objects while in transit, and many insure their permanent collections as well. When an object is handled or moved, even only a few steps, museum staff must observe accepted standards for the care and handling of objects with historic, aesthetic, or scientific value. Due to space constraints, museums usually can display only a small portion of their collections at one time. The rest must be stored using suitable equipment and materials under proper environmental conditions. Museum objects often require specially designed containers, drawers, shelves, or racks. Large objects such as aircraft or automobiles require specially designed facilities. D Using Collections for Research Museum collections offer cultural and scientific treasures for researchers, scholars, and specialists. The research use of a collection is an important aspect of a museum's responsibility to expand knowledge and increase understanding. The research carried out in museums varies among disciplines and among museums. Many natural history museums, for example, are major centers of research in the natural sciences, and their research collections are made available to scientists. Major museums also employ their own scholars and scientists who conduct research both in the field and in the museum. Like university scholars, museum scholars present their findings through academic publications, but they also give public lectures and contribute to museum exhibitions. Research activity in art museums and history museums often centers on the collections and exhibitions. Some museums have on-site resource centers and libraries that are available to a variety of users, including academic researchers, teachers, students, and the public. These facilities provide access to collection information, library and archival materials, and educational materials on the museum's collections and exhibitions. In addition, many museums provide electronic access to collection information through the Internet, making images and information about museum objects available on their Web sites for educational use. IV EXHIBITIONS An exhibition, or exhibit, is a display that incorporates objects and information to explain concepts, stimulate understanding, relate experiences, invite participation, prompt reflection, or inspire wonder. Exhibitions are the primary way a museum communicates with the public. The guiding philosophy behind museum exhibitions calls for an inviting, accessible, and comfortable environment designed to evoke feelings and inspire learning by visitors of a variety of ages, interests, and backgrounds. A good exhibition creates an atmosphere of enjoyment, participation, and curiosity that encourages visitors to seek further information on the topics presented. Among the characteristics of an effective exhibition are positive audience response; suitable choice of subject and content; clear, coherent, and engaging information; logical flow of exhibit sequences; appropriate conservation and security measures; design and layout that suit the theme, subject matter, collection, and audience; and attention to human comfort, safety, and accessibility. A Permanent and Temporary Exhibitions Permanent exhibitions are primarily based on a museum's collection and are on view indefinitely. Temporary or changing exhibitions deal with other topics related to a museum's educational mission and goals. They augment the permanent exhibitions and may include materials from the core collection as well as objects borrowed from other sources. Some temporary exhibitions are traveling exhibitions assembled and circulated by a museum, a group of museums, or a nonprofit organization. These exhibitions bring museum collections to a wider audience. They are also economical, because several museums can share the considerable preparation costs. Temporary exhibitions may last from several months to a year or more, depending on the subject matter, the goals of the exhibition, and the museum's needs. B Online Exhibitions Online exhibitions extend a museum beyond its physical walls and invite virtual visitors to explore images and text at their own pace. These exhibitions range from digital images of a museum's works to three-dimensional, interactive tours of a museum's galleries with audio and video. The World Wide Web site of the National Gallery of Art, for example, provides images of thousands of its paintings, sculpture, decorative artworks, and works on paper. It also offers interactive virtual tours of past temporary exhibits, such as a 1998-1999 exhibition on Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, that allow visitors to "walk through" the exhibition space as it originally appeared. C Exhibition Design Most exhibitions are developed by a team of professionals. A curator or content specialist does extensive research on the topic of the exhibition. An exhibit designer plans the physical presentation and oversees production of the exhibition components. An educator determines the best way to communicate information to the audience. An evaluation specialist may incorporate research about visitor behavior and interests. An exhibition may require model building, acquisition of historical images, or sound or film production. Some museums invite a representative of a group with a special interest or expertise in the exhibition content to join the exhibition team. Developing an exhibition may take several years from concept to opening. Objects on exhibit are accompanied by multimedia materials that enhance the visitor's experience and the overall educational goals of the exhibition. Central to these materials is a brief, accurate, and easy-to-read narrative, presented in wall text, object labels, and audiovisual media such as videos and CD-ROMs. The content is written, edited, and produced by museum professionals who are experts in the subject matter and knowledgeable about communicating with visitors. Museums often provide different levels of information--from basic background to more complex details--to suit diverse learning styles and educational levels. Museum publications, from brochures and booklets to gallery guides and exhibition catalogs, provide further documentation and disseminate the research conducted for an exhibition. When interactive media are incorporated effectively into exhibition design, they stimulate visitor involvement, elicit an active response to objects or concepts, and facilitate learning. A touch screen computer system, for example, can allow a visitor to select information according to individual interests. Interactive electronic maps, computer-based quizzes that test visitors' knowledge, and programs that allow visitors to simulate a rocket launch or aircraft landing are other engaging exhibit features that make use of computer technology. Many museums offer audio tours of exhibitions using handheld listening devices. Some audio tours consist of a single standardized commentary; others allow visitors to customize their experience by choosing to hear commentary on only those objects they want to learn more about. D Blockbuster Exhibitions Large, special exhibitions popularly known as blockbusters have been regular crowd-pleasing attractions since the 1970s. A museum uses this term to refer to an exhibition that draws huge numbers of visitors and significant media attention. A blockbuster can be a traveling exhibition, or it can be on view in just one museum. Although they are complex and expensive to produce, blockbusters offer possibilities for imaginative programming, attracting new members and visitors, and generating revenue for the museum. An enormously popular 1976-1979 traveling exhibition, Treasures of Tutankhamun, is generally considered the first blockbuster exhibition. It recreated the 1922 discovery of the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharoah Tutankhamun and featured fabulous artifacts from the tomb, including the boy-king's solid gold funeral mask. Some blockbuster exhibitions are rare opportunities to see an artist's work, such as the 1995-1996 exhibition on Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, put on jointly at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis at The Hague, The Netherlands. Other popular exhibitions focus on cultural phenomenon. Star Wars: The Magic of Myth originated at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in 1997 and traveled to other museums throughout the world. It examined the mythology underlying the Star Wars film trilogy and featured models, costumes, props, and artwork from the films. V EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS The educational responsibility of a museum permeates all of its activities. Museums are agents of historical, aesthetic, and scientific literacy. Through their collections, exhibitions, public and school programs, publications, public relations activities, scholarly activities, and other programs, museums stimulate a spontaneous, individualized form of learning and a lifelong educational process. Some learning in museums takes place in almost imperceptible ways, as visitors experience new ideas, view beautiful or unfamiliar objects, or are exposed to cultural values and experiences different from their own. Most museums offer programs and activities for a range of audiences, including adults, children, families, school groups, and teachers. A museum's educational programs may be held at the museum or at another location in the community, such as a neighborhood center or library. Programs for the public may consist of lectures and panel discussions by museum staff or other experts; films or film series; performances of music, dance, or theater; group tours led by staff or trained volunteers; formal classes for adults or children; and art, craft, or technology demonstrations. Many museums offer family-oriented programs such as weekend festivals, hands-on workshops, and special tours. Schools are important partners in education with museums. Museums offer field trips for school groups, and they also provide educational materials and workshops that help teachers use museum collections and exhibitions as curriculum resources. Museum educators work with classroom teachers and school administrators to develop appropriate programs and materials based on curriculum needs. Museums today also make extensive use of the Internet, offering educational activities and teacher resources on their Web sites. VI MUSEUM STAFF AND ORGANIZATION The size of a museum's staff varies widely depending on the size and scope of the museum. A small local history museum might have an all-volunteer staff or a single staff member, whereas a large natural history museum might employ several hundred people. In the United States, museums employ more than 150,000 full-time and part-time paid staff. About 377,000 volunteers work in U.S. museums. Canadian museums have nearly 25,000 full-time and part-time employees, along with more than 55,000 volunteers. The museum director is its chief executive officer and provides the conceptual leadership for the museum and its staff. The director must have the management experience and skills necessary to administer a complex institution. He or she also acts as the chief fundraiser for the institution. The director often has specialized knowledge of the museum's discipline. The director usually reports to a board of trustees, a group of people composed of private citizens, community leaders, public officials, and others. Board members are either elected or appointed depending on the museum's bylaws. The board of trustees establishes the museum's mission, or purpose; expresses the guiding principles for how the mission will be carried out; and ensures that the museum has the financial resources to do its job. Museum board members also have responsibility for the stewardship of the museum's financial assets, including its collections. In some countries, museums are organized and managed by the national or regional government rather than by a board of trustees. In addition to the director, museums have staffs of professionals whose responsibilities vary according to the size and discipline of the institution. Generally the staff is divided into three categories: collections, public programs, and administration. Staff involved with the collections include curators, exhibit designers, registrars, and conservators. Curators oversee all or part of a museum's collection, conduct scholarly research, and develop the content for exhibitions. Exhibit designers plan the presentation of exhibits and manage the physical production of the exhibit. Registrars receive new acquisitions, classify them, record information about them, and maintain a complete catalog of the museum's holdings. Conservators have responsibility for the physical condition of museum objects. It is their duty to assess climatic, lighting, and display conditions; to make recommendations for restoring objects or stabilizing their condition; and to evaluate the fitness of objects to travel on intermuseum loan. Many other jobs in museums are related to collections and exhibitions. For more information, see the Museum Collections section of this article. Staff involved with public and school programs organize lectures, film series, and performances; curriculum-related activities for school field trips and classroom lessons; teacher workshops; and collaborative programs with community organizations. Many museums use unpaid volunteers to assist with educational programs. Docents (pronounced DOH-sents) are trained volunteers who lead guided tours. Administrative staff members work in the areas of public relations, visitor services, fundraising, retail operations, publishing, security, business management, human resources, and information management. Large museums often maintain libraries or archives for research and for the documentation of the collections. The museum librarian orders, acquires, and processes materials for the use of the staff and outside researchers and, if library staff and space allow, for the public. Many museum activities, especially exhibitions and related programs, are a collaborative effort of all staff. Qualifications for museum positions vary, but most museum professionals have advanced education and specialized training in their fields. A curator of art, for example, usually has a master's degree or a Ph.D. in a specific area of art history. A museum educator's academic background might combine a specific discipline, such as art history, history, or science, with additional study and training in education or museum education. Some universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe offer specialized training for museum careers. Undergraduate, graduate, and certificate-based programs may focus on curatorship, museum management, conservation, exhibition, museum education, and other areas. Most programs require students to complete an internship at a museum to obtain on-the-job experience. It is increasingly common for staff to enter the museum workforce from other fields, including education, nonprofit social service organizations, and business. Many museums professionals regularly attend workshops, seminars, and lectures as part of their ongoing career development. The study of how museums are designed, organized, and managed is called museology. VII PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS Like professionals in other fields, museum workers around the world have organized professional associations to share information, provide continuing education, establish standards and policies relating to museum work, and advocate for museums. These associations provide guidance to their members on professional practices in all facets of museum work, such as fundraising, censorship, copyright and trademark, accommodating disabled visitors, and exhibiting objects borrowed from other museums or from private individuals. Many associations hold annual or semiannual conferences for their members. Museum associations operate at regional, national, and international levels. The International Council of Museums (ICOM), based in Paris, France, serves museums and museum professionals worldwide. Founded in 1946, it publishes a variety of documents, guidelines, and policy statements related to museums, including a general code of ethics. It also holds an international conference, called a General Assembly, every three years. ICOM's main organizational units are its national committees, which represent more than 100 countries, and its international committees, which are professional groups on topics of special interest to the museum community. The organization maintains formal relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and advises the United Nations' Economic and Social Council on museum issues. ICOM strives to educate the public about the role of museums in society, and it actively promotes the interests of the world's museums. For example, ICOM successfully lobbied the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to create a new top-level Internet domain name, .museum, reserved exclusively for museums. It also created International Museum Day, held on May 18 of each year since 1977. The American Association of Museums (AAM), founded in 1906, represents the interests of the museum community in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it advocates for the needs and interests of the profession, promotes professional excellence, and contributes to the advancement and improvement of museums. It holds an annual meeting where members discuss current issues and exchange ideas. AAM also publishes books and periodicals and sponsors workshops and seminars for museum professionals. AAM accredits museums that meet the highest professional standards in their programs and operations. Museum News, AAM's bimonthly magazine, publishes articles about timely issues in the museum field. In Canada, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) has a similar mission as an advocate and resource for Canadian museums and museum professionals. It holds an annual meeting, issues publications, and offers professional education opportunities. Founded in 1947, CMA has its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Smaller professional organizations serve museums at the state, regional, and local levels. There are also professional associations for science, art, and history museums and associations for specialized museums such as African-American and Native American museums, maritime museums, living history and agricultural museums, and youth museums. VIII TRENDS AND CHALLENGES A Funding Museums are nonprofit cultural institutions that differ in their sources of financial support. Funding may come from private sources, a college or university, governments, or a combination of these sources. In some countries, the government is the only source of funding for museums. In others, the financial underpinnings of museums are a complex blend of private and public funding and earned revenue. Private funding for museums may come from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Some museums also receive income from investments, endowments, or trusts. Public funding may come from municipal, regional, state, and national governments. In the United States, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency, awards grants to museums of all types and sizes. Museums generate earned revenue through a number of their own activities. These include sales of publications, reproductions, and other items in museum gift shops and by mail order through catalogs and the Internet; museum restaurants; and travel programs and special events. Most but not all museums also earn revenue by charging admission fees. Other museums oppose such fees on the grounds that cultural and educational opportunities should be kept free. As a compromise, some museums have a voluntary contribution policy or charge admission only to special exhibitions. Museums faced financial challenges during the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring them to seek creative solutions. Government funding in many nations was reduced or remained stagnant. In countries like the United States, where private support is a vital part of the funding of museums, there was strong competition for limited dollars. Some museums curtailed hours and eliminated programs, while most sought to generate greater revenues from museum activities. Through the 1990s, however, many museums enjoyed the benefits of a healthy economy in which endowments and contributions generally increased. B Attracting Visitors Museums enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s, driven by a strong global economy and rising public demand for high-quality cultural and educational activities to fill leisure time. As a result, museums have become more market-driven. Museum administrators are listening to their visitors and potential visitors in focus groups and marketing studies designed to guide planning. Their goals are twofold: to attract more visitors and to generate income that ensures the museum's financial stability. In pursuit of these goals, many museums have expanded their physical facilities and programs and refocused their missions to emphasize public access. They have augmented their collections, developed Web sites with rich content, entered the realm of electronic commerce, and sometimes reorganized and expanded their staffs. Attracting a more ethnically and culturally diverse population was a concern through the last several decades of the 20th century, and that effort continues. Museums are also trying to build their appeal to families and young adults. Critics of this entrepreneurial approach to museum management warn that pursuing success in the marketplace may compromise museums' missions and lower their standards. Others argue, however, that the viability of museums depends on their fiscal strength and their ability to appeal to many different people and interests. C Ownership of Museum Objects One of the most controversial issues in the museum community today is the question of who rightfully owns the objects in museum collections. Museums' collections are under growing scrutiny because of concerns that they possess artifacts and artworks that were, at some point, plundered from archaeological sites or ancient temples, taken from indigenous peoples without their permission, stolen or confiscated by the German Nazi regime before and during World War II (1939-1945), or otherwise acquired unlawfully. Some countries and peoples have demanded the repatriation, or return, of works they consider national treasures or important to their cultural heritage. One of the longest-running disputes over cultural property centers on the Elgin Marbles, a collection of magnificent sculptures and friezes that once adorned the Parthenon, a Greek temple built in the 5th century BC and the most famous building of the Acropolis of Athens. The Elgin Marbles also contain important sculptures from the Propylaea and the Erechtheum, two other principle buildings of the Athenian Acropolis. The marbles were acquired in the early 1800s by British diplomat Thomas Bruce, seventh earl of Elgin, by agreement with the Ottoman Empire, which then ruled Greece. The British government purchased the pieces in 1816 and placed them in the British Museum, where they have remained. The Greek government has repeatedly requested the return of the marbles, but the British government has so far refused, arguing they were legally acquired. The debate over cultural property encompasses not only museums' current collections, but also their ongoing acquisitions of objects. Critics contend that the constant demand by museums for new objects encourages the looting or destruction of archaeological sites and ancient monuments--often in developing nations--and supports an expanding illicit trade in cultural property. Codes of ethics established by the museum profession strongly encourage museums to investigate the provenance (ownership history) of the objects it buys or receives as gifts and to make certain these objects were legally acquired. C1 International Conventions Governing Cultural Property Illicit trade in cultural property remains one of the most prevalent types of international crime. Pillagers continue to loot archaeological sites and sell the materials on the international antiquities market. To combat the problem, international organizations have developed protocols that encourage cooperation between governments in halting the flow of stolen goods. The 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, or Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property affirms respect for the cultural heritage of all nations and provides terms for returning cultural property determined to have been stolen. Countries whose cultural heritage is jeopardized by rampant pillaging may call on other countries that are parties to the UNESCO convention to restrict imports, exports, and commerce in specific kinds of archaeological or ethnological artifacts. For example, the United States government responded to widespread pillaging and destruction of monuments and sites in Cambodia by restricting the import of stone archaeological materials from the Khmer kingdoms that originated between the 6th and the 16th centuries. As of 2001, 91 countries were parties to the UNESCO convention, including the United States and Canada. However, a significant number of countries, both developed and developing, have not ratified the agreement. The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict is the main international agreement for protecting museums' collections during wartime. The convention calls on countries to safeguard cultural property during armed conflict, mark certain important buildings and monuments with a special protective emblem, and create special military units responsible for the protection of cultural property. As of 2001, 99 countries were parties to the Hague convention. Related protocols adopted by The Hague in 1954 and 1999 prohibit the export of cultural property from occupied territories, require the return of any such property, forbid the taking of cultural property as war reparations, and define violations punishable by criminal sanctions. In support of these agreements, the International Council of Museums advises museums to abstain from purchasing or acquiring cultural objects from any country occupied by a foreign power. National and international law enforcement agencies that maintain databases of stolen cultural property include the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, and Scotland Yard and the National Criminal Intelligence Service in the United Kingdom. The Art Loss Register is the largest privately maintained database of stolen art and artifacts. The International Council of Museums, a nongovernmental organization, maintains the "Red List," a list of categories of African archaeological objects particularly at risk from looting. C2 Human Remains and Sacred Objects of Indigenous Peoples In the past, museums regularly acquired materials of indigenous cultures and used them for scientific and educational purposes. The acquisitions often included human skeletal remains and sacred funerary objects removed from burial sites. However, many indigenous peoples considered themselves the rightful owners of these materials. Moreover, these materials--which often had great spiritual or ceremonial significance--prevented tribal groups from conducting rituals and passing on traditions. By the end of the 20th century, the relationship between museums and native peoples had undergone important changes. Together they began addressing the complex issues surrounding the repatriation of artifacts in museum collections to their tribal origins. Museums today must balance their roles as stewards of their collections and agents of public education with their obligation to protect the cultural heritage of native peoples. Museums with collections of objects from indigenous cultures typically establish policies and ethical guidelines for managing them. Practical solutions include negotiating the return of cultural materials or agreeing to share responsibility for them. In many cases, conversations and negotiations around repatriation have led to greater mutual understanding and stronger relationships between museums and indigenous groups. In the United States, the movement to return Native American artifacts and human skeletal remains to their tribal origins led to the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990. NAGPRA required federal museums and museums that receive federal funding of any kind to inventory their collections of skeletal remains, funerary objects, and sacred objects and to work with Native American groups to identify, when possible, the geographic and cultural affiliation of each item. On request by a tribe or tribal organization, the museum must repatriate items if their cultural affiliation has been established, unless the museum can prove the objects were obtained with the voluntary consent of individuals in the tribe who had the right to give them away. NAGPRA also provides regulations for determining the ownership of human remains and artifacts excavated intentionally or discovered inadvertently on tribal lands. Even before NAGPRA, U.S. museums were reexamining their policies on collecting Native American materials. Since 1984, for example, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History has repatriated the remains of 3,300 individuals to Native American groups from a collection that originally numbered 18,000 remains. Through its active repatriation program, the museum has also returned more than 600 groups of artifacts. For some kinds of materials, museums and tribal groups may decide on solutions other than repatriation. Under an agreement with the American Museum of Natural History signed in 2000, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon have access to the famous Willamette Meteorite for religious, historical, and cultural purposes, but the meteorite remains in the museum for scientific and educational use. The meteorite, which the Grand Ronde call "Tomanowos," is the largest ever found in the United States, weighing more than 14 metric tons. It has great spiritual significance for the Grand Ronde, descendants of the Clackamas tribe. C3 Nazi-Era Stolen Art Beginning in 1933, and continuing through World War II (1939-1945), the government of Nazi Germany engaged in massive unlawful looting and confiscation of art objects and other cultural property in Europe. Millions of objects were forcibly taken from their owners, who included Holocaust victims, museums and galleries, and religious and educational institutions. After World War II ended, hundreds of thousands of artworks were preserved and returned to their owners by the U.S. military's Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section, but others were sold on the international art market. Eventually, some of these illegally confiscated works presumably entered museum collections by gift or bequest. The Soviet Union also engaged in widespread looting in Germany following World War II. Seeking revenge for Germany's destruction of his country, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sent his "Trophy Brigade" into the Soviet-occupied sector of Germany and removed an estimated 3.5 million items--including 200,000 paintings--from museums, libraries, churches, archives, and private collections. Some objects ended up in Russian museums. Among the most valuable objects taken were French impressionist paintings, some of which were exhibited for the first time by the State Hermitage Museum in 1995, and the gold and silver objects excavated in the 19th century from the ancient city of Troy (located in present-day northwestern Turkey) by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, now in the possession of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Both Germany and Turkey have claimed ownership of the Trojan treasures, but Russia has rejected requests for their return. A complex worldwide effort is underway to identify works of art in museum collections that have gaps in their ownership records during the Nazi era and to conduct further research about their provenance. Museum organizations, such as the American Association of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors, have issued policy statements and guidelines outlining the steps museums can take to address the issue of World War II-era stolen art. Many art museums have begun the process of reviewing their collections records, and some museums have posted the results of their provenance research on their Web sites. D Theft and Vandalism Theft from a museum collection can be the work of an outsider or a museum employee. The thieves may have a variety of motivations. Some art thefts involve ransom demands, while others are committed for the purpose of quickly selling the object or artwork. High-profile thefts involve well-known works that would be easily recognized on the open art market. An example is the unsolved theft of paintings worth $200 million, including works by Dutch masters Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1990. In such cases, the works are often stored until the statute of limitations preventing their sale expires, or they are stolen by people who want the works for their own enjoyment. Museums guard against theft with sophisticated security measures that protect the building and the collections. Museum security also protects equipment, information, staff, and visitors from fire, theft, or accident. Common practices involve electronic security systems, video surveillance, physical barriers, and administrative precautions. Museums in the developing world often have fewer security measures and thus remain more vulnerable to thefts by traffickers in the illicit international antiquities market. Museum objects can be vulnerable to vandalism even under the most careful security. Public artworks--murals, mosaics, sculpture, and other works displayed outside of a museum setting, and often outdoors--are also vulnerable to vandalism. Some well-publicized cases of vandalism in art museums in the 1990s include damage to paintings by Pablo Picasso and Barnett Newman in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; to Rembrandt masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands; and to a painting in the controversial exhibition Sensation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City. Alarms that detect a person's physical proximity to an object can alert security personnel to potential theft or vandalism. Vandals may be difficult to detect among museum visitors, so personnel training is another key deterrent. E Intellectual Property Museums have always been mindful of the importance of copyright and trademark matters, which relate to a broad range of situations in just about every area of museum operations. A museum might reproduce an image of a painting protected by copyright on a T-shirt, an engagement calendar, or a coffee mug. A manufacturer might obtain a license to reproduce the museum's trademarked name and logo on a line of furniture. An exhibition catalog may contain text and images that are reprinted from other, copyrighted sources. A museum will also hold the copyright on its own creative products, including catalogs. Educational videos and Web sites also involve copyright and trademark considerations. The chief challenge for a museum is the potential for unauthorized reproduction, alteration, and distribution of its intellectual property. Intellectual property issues for museums are particularly complex in the digital age. The Internet, while allowing greater public access to museums' collections, also provides easier opportunities for illegal reproduction or use of images and text published on museum Web sites. As both owners of copyrighted works and users of the copyrighted works of others, museums must carefully apply the doctrine of fair use, which balances the copyright owner's interests with the public's interests. Museums must decide how to balance the goals of providing public access, guarding their own economic interests, protecting the interests of other copyright owners, and maintaining the integrity of their collections. F Virtual Museums and the Internet The brick-and-mortar museum that exists in the real world is unlikely to become obsolete, but "visiting" museums in cyberspace is now a common pastime. Thousands of museums have Web sites, and more are added daily. The Internet offers museums the potential to increase their visibility, share their collections with millions of people around the world, and increase their revenue. Some museum Web sites offer searchable databases of their collections that provide detailed information on each object, such as the artist, creation date, dimensions, style or medium, exhibition history, ownership history, and in some cases critical commentary. Many museums, especially art museums, have made digitized images of selected works available on their Web sites for research and public enjoyment. The Web site of the Louvre, for example, offers hundreds of images from its collections of paintings, prints, sculptures, and antiquities. It also offers "virtual reality images" that provide 360-degree views of its major galleries. Besides offering access to collections, Web sites of major museums often offer special online exhibits that make use of audio, video, and animation or that recreate an exhibit shown in the physical museum. Some have online stores where visitors can purchase posters, prints, books, toys, clothing, jewelry, and other merchandise. Sites may offer educational materials for students and resources or lesson plans for teachers. Most sites also provide visitor information such as hours, directions, floor plans, current and upcoming exhibitions, and institutional history. Other site features may include a calendar of events, news releases, listings of museum jobs, and fundraising. IX HISTORY OF MUSEUMS Museums stem from the age-old human desires to preserve cultural identity; gain social, political, and economic status; and pursue knowledge. The word museum--first used in English in the 17th century--derives from the Greek mouseion, meaning "seat of the Muses." In ancient Greece, mouseions were temples or sacred places dedicated to the nine goddesses of the fine arts and sciences, which later became repositories for the gifts and offerings of devotees. Although museums are primarily Western in origin, the concept behind museums has long been evident in other cultures. In the Cross River region of West Africa, for instance, certain masks were given to a tribal elder or other responsible person for safekeeping. As early as the mid-16th century BC in China, treasured objects were often deposited in temples and tombs, and the ruling class had treasured collections. In ancient India, paintings were installed in galleries called chitrashalas for the education and enjoyment of the public. A The First Museums The earliest museums resembled today's libraries and scholarly institutes and were established as sources of inspiration and enlightenment. At his capital city of Tall al 'Am?rinah in Egypt, Pharoah Akhenaton (ruler from about 1353 to 1335 BC) erected a large library in which he stored the many gifts and tributes that allied rulers and subject peoples had given him. The term mouseion was first applied to a state-supported research institute in Alexandria, Egypt, founded by King Ptolemy I early in the 3rd century BC to foster scientific studies. The Museum of Alexandria, as it is now known, was dedicated primarily to learning and attracted the finest scholars in science, philosophy, literature, and art. The community included apartments, a dining hall, lecture hall, cloister, botanical garden, zoological park, and astronomical observatory. Objects such as surgical and astronomical instruments, animal hides, elephant tusks, statues, and portrait busts were also housed there and used for teaching. The famous library of Alexandria was part of the museum and contained a huge collection of manuscripts from the Greek world. The museum and most of its library were destroyed about AD 270 during civil disturbances. In ancient Greece, art objects remained part of the public wealth and were seen and enjoyed not just by scholars but by the entire populace. Greek temples displayed votive offerings, statues, and paintings, which when displayed as a collection were known as pinakotheke (picture gallery). In the 5th century BC, the Prophylae, a hall in a building on the Acropolis in Athens, contained a collection of paintings that was available to the public. When the empire of Alexander the Great crumbled, the motivations for acquiring objects of art and history began to change. The interest in Greek civilization created a desire for its art. As a result, the ruined, neglected, or abandoned cities and shrines of the classical age were widely looted. The Romans displayed these paintings and sculptures in public places, or they were acquired by wealthy and powerful citizens for display in their private homes. When, in turn, the Roman Empire fell, the Vandals, the Goths, and other newcomers to the Mediterranean shores looted its treasures. In the Middle Ages, Christianity was the focal point for collecting. Cathedrals, churches, and monasteries became repositories for religious relics, jewels, precious metals, rare manuscripts, and fabrics. Beginning in the 7th century, spoils of the Crusades augmented these collections, as well as private collections. Collecting in the Islamic world and Asia followed similar patterns. Before AD 1000 royal collections of art objects were preserved in palaces and temples in China and Japan. Of particular note is the still functioning Sh?s? in (Sh?s? House) at T?dai-ji (T?dai Temple) in the city of Nara, Japan, housing several thousand works of art and religious artifacts. Created in the 8th century, it may be the oldest museum in the world. B The Renaissance Many of the famous European museums of today trace their beginnings to the rich private collections that developed during the Renaissance. During the 14th century in Italy, the rise of commerce created a new class of wealthy merchants who amassed large collections of sculpture, paintings, and the art of antiquity. The nobilities and the dignitaries of the church also began to collect on a large scale. In Rome the initiative in founding collections was taken by Popes Paul II, Julius II, Leo X, Clement VII, Pius V, Sixtus V, and Clement XIV. In Florence, the wealthy Medici family assembled an unrivaled collection of antique Roman and contemporary Italian sculptures, manuscripts, tapestries, paintings, bronzes, and gems as well as objects of scientific and technological interest. The Medicis displayed large pictures of mythological and religious subjects in a long narrow corridor called a galleria. By the end of the 16th century, the galleria was invariably part of the residences of Italian princes. Today the term gallery means a place where works of art are hung or arranged for viewing. In England, collecting began with Charles I, who reigned from 1625 to 1649. In 1623, as prince of Wales, Charles visited Spain and was impressed by the collections he saw in the court of Philip IV. As king, Charles purchased several fine art collections on the Continent (mainland Europe) and began amassing paintings by Hans Holbein, Albrecht Dürer, Annibale Carracci, Correggio, Anthony van Dyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Titian. He also sent agents to the Continent to buy and obtain antiquities, his emissaries carrying with them the slogan, "transplant Old Greece in England." During the English Civil War of 1642 to 1649, Parliament sold the royal collections, and interest in the arts generally languished under Oliver Cromwell, who became head of the government in 1653. Charles II, who reigned from 1660 to 1685, undertook to rebuild the royal collection, but unfortunately more than 700 masterpieces were destroyed in the fire at Whitehall Palace in 1698. The French royal collections were begun in earnest during the reign of Francis I (1515-1547). Francis's son Henry II, king from 1547 to 1559, married Catherine de Médicis, a Florentine noblewoman and the daughter of Prince Lorenzo. She was largely responsible for bringing the fruits of the Italian Renaissance to France. The royal collections were housed in the palace at Fontainebleau and were open only to members of the court. These collections were greatly enlarged by Louis XIII (reigned 1610-1643) and Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715) and by their ministers, Cardinal Richelieu, Cardinal Mazarin, and Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Colbert is said to have acquired, in the span of ten years, more than 600 paintings and thousands of drawings. By the end of his reign, Louis XIV owned more than 1,500 paintings by French, Italian, and Flemish old masters, thousands of drawings, and a fine collection of ancient Greek marbles and bronzes. Parts of the collection were transferred to the Grande Galerie in the Louvre for occasional and selective public inspection, while the rest was kept at the king's private residence at the Palace of Versailles. Eventually Louis XV (reigned 1715-1774) brought some of these paintings back to Paris to the Luxembourg Palace, where the public could view them on two days of the week. In 16th-century Spain, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V began gathering the masterpieces that are now housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. His son Philip II prided himself on having rescued numerous religious images by ordering their transportation to Spain from the iconoclastic Netherlands, where Protestants had revolted against the Roman Catholic Church. In the 17th century, Philip IV continued to add magnificent Italian works to the Spanish royal collections with the help of his viceroys in Italy. C The 17th Century In the households of wealthy collectors, small art objects or nature collections were often arranged in a cabinet (Italian gabinetto; German Kabinett). Originally the term cabinet of curiosities referred to a piece of furniture where small valuables were stored for safekeeping. The term later came to designate a small room or small private museum where such things were kept. Although these arrangements were often haphazard, they nevertheless represented the first efforts to chronicle the full spectrum of human achievement and the natural world. These cabinets began in the 16th century but came into their own in the 17th century, when the burgeoning interest in science expanded the realm of interests and opportunities for collectors. With the discovery of the Americas and newly opened trade routes to Asia, rare tropical birds and animals, plants, rocks, and insects rapidly found their way into the eclectic and encyclopedic cabinets. Collectors often organized their holdings according to classification systems, presaging the collection management practices of today's museums. One of the best-known collections of the 17th century belonged to British naturalist John Tradescant the Elder and his son, John Tradescant the Younger. The elder served as gardener to King Charles I and was succeeded in that post by his son. Both of the Tradescants traveled widely and amassed a large collection of rarities, ranging from botanical specimens to preserved animals to gems and minerals. They allowed members of the public, for a fee, to view their magnificent collection at their home, which become widely known as "The Ark." After the younger Tradescant's death in 1662, the collection passed to antiquarian Elias Ashmole, who eventually gave it to the University of Oxford. In 1683 the university established the Ashmolean Museum (now the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology), with the Tradescant collection as its foundation. The Ashmolean was the first public natural history museum in the world and marked the first English use of the word museum. Some of the early cabinets of curiosity did not survive in their entirety but were lost or dispersed. They include the early 17th-century collection in Prague of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, which included European paintings, objects from Egypt and India, and musical, scientific, and other instruments; Landgrave Wilhelm IV's 16th-century collection of clocks and scientific apparatus in Kassel (in modern-day Germany); and the early 15th-century collection of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, which included, among other curiosities, the Gospel According to John written in microscopic letters on a piece of parchment the size of a silver coin. D The 18th Century The 18th century saw the beginnings of the public museum in Europe and, at the close of the century, the establishment of the first museums in the New World. The growth of mercantilism, the decline of the court patronage system, and the rise of a new affluent class led to the emergence of a more sophisticated style of living and greater interest in the arts. At the same time, the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century stimulated public fascination with the marvels of science and technology. The new "public" museums, however, were generally inaccessible to all but the aristocracy. In 1737 the Medicis bequeathed their collection to Florence, paving the way for the Uffizi Gallery to be opened to the public. In 1756 the first museum in the Vatican Museum complex, the Museo Sacro, was opened in Rome. It was difficult to gain entrance to either of these museums, and the collections were not arranged in any systematic order. In 1781, in Vienna, the Belvedere Palace of the Habsburg monarchs opened with an outstanding collection of art. The paintings were divided into two groups, northern and southern European artists, but they were not arranged by period. In 1793 the French Republic opened the Louvre with its fabulous art treasures collected by the French royalty. It was accessible to the public on three days of one "decade" (the 10-day unit had replaced the week in the republican calendar). The Conservatoire de Musée National (National Museum Conservatory) was charged with organizing the Louvre as a national public museum and the centerpiece of a planned national museum system. As Napoleon I conquered the great cities of Europe, confiscating art objects as he went, the collections grew and the organizational task became more and more complicated. After Napoleon was defeated in 1815, many of the treasures he had amassed were gradually returned to their owners. His plan was never fully realized, but his concept of a museum as an agent of nationalistic fervor had a profound influence throughout Europe. In Spain, the idea of a public museum began to take shape under kings Charles III and Charles IV and gained momentum during French control of the country. A royal decree issued in 1809 by the "intruder king" Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, proclaimed that artworks from all the palaces and public buildings should be brought together in a museum of paintings in Madrid. The task of founding and opening the Prado in Madrid was left to the legitimate Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, in the early 19th century (see Museo del Prado). In England, Sir Hans Sloane, a London physician and naturalist, amassed thousands of specimens of natural history during the early 18th century. By 1735 his collection numbered nearly 70,000 items and included books, archaeological objects, mathematical instruments, precious stones and minerals, cameos, seals, tropical plants, and antique coins and medals. In his will he left his collection to the city of London, in return for a token payment to his heirs, with the understanding that it be made a public museum. Sloane's collections were the basis for the British Museum, founded in 1753. At the time of its opening, however, prospective visitors had to apply in writing for admission. Even by 1800 it was possible to have to wait two weeks for an admission ticket; visitors, in small groups were limited to stays of two hours. Americans, anxious to follow the lead of "enlightened" Europe, had begun to establish museums even before the American Revolution. As early as 1750, Harvard College in the colony of Massachusetts had been collecting unusual objects for its Repository of Curiosities. The first official museum in the New World was founded by the Library Society of Charles Town (now Charleston) in South Carolina in 1773. Its purpose was to collect material related to the natural history of that southern colony. The Charleston Museum today is the United States' oldest continuously existing museum. An early contributor to the public museum movement in the United States was Charles Willson Peale, an artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries known for his portraits of Revolutionary War figures. In 1786 Peale turned a wing of his Philadelphia home into an exhibition hall and invited his fellow citizens to view his paintings and his collection of animal and mineral specimens. Peale kept meticulous accession and catalog records of his objects and was more than a century ahead of his time in presenting his natural history specimens in simulated natural habitats. When the collection outgrew the Peale home, it was moved to Philosophical Hall and later to the State House, now known as Independence Hall. Peale's museum, known as the Philadelphia Museum or Peale's American Museum, thrived there until 1827; it then moved and eventually closed in 1854 due to financial difficulties. Peale's son, portrait artist Rembrandt Peale, opened his own public museum, the Peale Museum, in Baltimore in 1814. It displayed not only art but also animal specimens, coins, and other curiosities. The Peale Museum building was the first structure in the United States specifically designed to serve as a museum. E The 19th Century The concept of the public museum began to flourish in the 19th century. In Western Europe, beginning in the mid-1800s, nearly every nation formed an encyclopedic national museum of art, science, or natural history on a grand scale. In Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada, started in 1842, began collecting natural history specimens that would form the basis of National Museum of Canada (later renamed the National Museum of Natural Sciences and now called the Canadian Museum of Nature); and in 1880 the government launched the National Gallery of Canada. A burst of museum-making in the United States in the last half of the century gave rise to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (1842); the Smithsonian Institution (1846) in Washington, D.C.; the American Museum of Natural History (1869) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1870) in New York City; the Museum of Fine Arts (1870) in Boston, Massachusetts; the Pennsylvania Museum (1877) in Philadelphia, now the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Field Museum (1893) in Chicago, Illinois. The first historic-house museum, Hasbrouck House in Newburgh, New Jersey, opened to the public in 1850. The house served as the headquarters for American general George Washington in 1782 and 1783, during the American Revolution. A dominant force in the change that permeated European and American institutions was the popular success of the world expositions, which spawned important museums, revolutionized exhibition techniques, and signaled a new trend in public participation. The profits from the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, were used to acquire land on which to build museums, including the South Kensington Museum of Industrial Art (later the Victoria and Albert Museum). Cultural exhibits were included in the Paris Exhibition of 1867, and the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 presented an exhibit on mammal and fish resources developed by the Smithsonian Institution. In 1881 the exhibit formed the nucleus of the Smithsonian's new National Museum. The introduction of a complete electric-lighting system, as first demonstrated to the public in the Paris Electrical Exhibition of 1881, advanced museum displays and made possible a stagelike setting for exhibits. In Chicago, the Field Museum resulted from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The dramatic growth in the number and scope of museums during the 19th century stimulated active discussion about their role in society. This discussion persisted through the 20th century, as changes in museums continued to parallel global political, economic, and social changes. F The 20th Century After World War I (1914-1918), museums in the United States, Great Britain, France, and northern Europe began to shape more and more of their programs to satisfy the increasing need for public education. However, political changes retarded the development of many central, southern, and eastern European museums. World War II (1939-1945) devastated many museums, both physically and philosophically. It was not until after the war that the museums of Europe were able to free themselves from the monolithic state supervisory structure and begin to develop into cultural institutions vital to their own communities. Museums were not immune from late 20th-century politics. Chinese museums felt their first repression in the 1960s, when they stagnated or even closed as they were forced to serve a political mission during the Cultural Revolution. In post-Communist Eastern Europe, museums have experienced the benefits of increased scholarly independence while struggling to survive in a free-market economy. Museums have also felt the physical impact of political conflict. During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, museums and archaeological sites throughout Iraq and Kuwait suffered serious damage. Many museums and historic structures in Croatia were severely damaged or destroyed in 1992 and 1993 in the war between the Croats and the Serbs (see Wars of Yugoslav Succession). During the last half of the 20th century, museums throughout the world grew tremendously in number and in diversity. Europe, for example, now has four museums for every one that existed in 1950. In the United States, the bicentennial celebration in 1976 rekindled interest in local and regional history, and there was an explosion of small museums devoted to this topic. In other parts of the world, museums were in earlier stages of development. Everywhere, however, new types of institutions joined the more traditional art, history, and natural history museums. Museums that focused more on concepts and ideas than on collections of objects--such as children's museums, science-technology centers, art centers, and outdoor history museums--became popular throughout the world. In the United States in particular, the social activism of the 1960s led museums to reexamine the effectiveness of their public service. To combat the perception that they were ivory towers designed for the enjoyment and participation of the privileged few, they reached out to new audiences through special programs, often held outside the museum in community centers, schools, or other nontraditional venues. Large special exhibitions, termed blockbusters, appealed to a general audience, and museums began to adopt marketing techniques to promote their many offerings. Museums also expanded the range of topics they addressed to include significant contemporary social issues and controversial historical questions. During the late 20th century museums continued to assess the limits to collections growth. Natural history museums faced a particular dilemma as the number of endangered plant and animal species increased and the need for museums to preserve and care for examples of these species grew more urgent. Art museums found it difficult to compete for major works of art in the art market, as prices rose beyond the means of most museums. Meanwhile, advances in preservation technology dramatically improved the care of collections. A major collections-related issue among the world's museums became the repatriation of sacred and funerary objects, human remains, and other culturally significant objects, as well as the restitution of objects stolen from their owners by the government of Nazi Germany before and during World War II. At the beginning of the 21st century, museums throughout the world enjoy unquestioned popularity and public respect. Millions of people visit museums each year to see, enjoy, participate in, and learn from their collections, exhibitions, and programs. Millions more visit museums' Web sites on the Internet, which has allowed museums to expand beyond their physical walls and reach out to vast audiences. Museums continue to be challenged by the diversity--ethnic, economic, educational, and generational--of the public they serve. They are responding by striving to be accessible cultural and educational centers that engage the public as part of their traditional missions to collect, preserve, and interpret the world's heritage. X MUSEUMS OF THE WORLD Almost every country and most cities have museums. This section highlights significant museums outside of the United States and Canada. Major museums in those countries are described in the Types of Museums section of this article. A Africa Museums in Africa focus on protecting, preserving, and promoting the continent's cultural heritage. In recent years African museums have collaborated on development of professional practices that help combat the illicit traffic in cultural property, a major concern of museums on the continent. A1 North Africa In North Africa, the Bardo National Museum (founded 1888) outside of Tunis, Tunisia, has artifacts from every period of the country's history, including a well-known Roman mosaic collection. The Egyptian Museum (1858) in Cairo, Egypt, has an unsurpassed collection of Egyptian antiquities. Among the artifacts are pharaohs' mummies discovered on the site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes as well as artifacts from royal tombs, including objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun, discovered in 1922. A2 West Africa In West Africa, Nigeria's National Museum in Lagos has masks, ancient terracotta figures, and a top collection of the famous bronze sculptures and ivory carvings produced by the Kingdom of Benin, which flourished from the 15th to the 17th century. The bronzes are regarded as among the finest achievements of African art. (Many Benin masterpieces were seized by the British army in 1897 and are held in museums abroad, despite Nigerian government requests for their return.) The Republic of Niger's National Museum is in Niamey. Ghana's museums include the National Museum in Accra, with its collections of African art and archaeology, the Museum of Science and Technology, also in Accra, and several regional museums and historic sites. The National Museum in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is located in Abidjan, the largest city. A3 East Africa The oldest museum in East Africa is the Uganda Museum in Kampala. Established in 1908, it has a distinctive collection of African musical instruments. Kenya's museums emphasize wildlife and prehistoric archaeology. The National Museums of Kenya, headquartered in Nairobi, is the governing agency for a network of regional museums. The National Museum of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam contains important excavated material from the archaeological site at Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, where many remains of early humans have been found. Its collection includes the 1.8-million-year-old skull of Australopithecus boisei (originally named Zinjanthropus boisei), an early human fossil discovered in 1959 by British-Kenyan paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. A4 Southern Africa In Southern Africa, the National Museum of Namibia, in Windhoek, has collections in cultural and contemporary history, anthropology, archaeology, and natural history. South Africa's national museums include the South African Cultural History Museum and the South African National Gallery, both in Cape Town. Exhibitions at Museum Afrika in Johannesburg explore life under apartheid as well as black Africans' contributions to South Africa. The Mayibuye Centre at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town documents the history of apartheid, resistance, social life, and culture in South Africa. B Asia B1 India and Pakistan India's older museums, established by the British as natural history museums in the 19th century, in time acquired comprehensive collections. The Indian Museum in Kolkata (Calcutta) is the oldest and largest of its kind in the region, encompassing art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and industry. The National Museum in New Delhi has collections of Central Asian paintings, sculpture, coins, and manuscripts. Collections of Indian textiles can be seen in the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmad?b ?d and the Crafts Museum in New Delhi, which also has outstanding examples of Indian folk art from all over the country. Pakistan's museums include the Lahore Museum, the country's largest; the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi, noted for its archaeological material from the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa sites in the Indus Valley; and the National Museum of Science and Technology, a participatory science center in Lahore. B2 East Asia China has an extensive system of national, regional, and provincial museums. In Beijing, the Palace Museum, located within the Forbidden City, is the largest and most complete group of palace buildings in China. It contains a collection of nearly one million historic and cultural artifacts. The Shanghai Museum, a major museum of ancient Chinese art, is best known for its collections of bronze, ceramics, paintings, and calligraphy. Near Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, thousands of life-sized, terra cotta warrior figures have been excavated on the site of the burial chamber of China's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi (Ch'in Shih-huang-ti), who died in 210 BC. The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, located on the site, is a popular tourist attraction. Other major Chinese museums include the Museum of Chinese History, the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, and the Chinese Military Museum, all in Beijing. Hong Kong's museums include the Museum of History and the Museum of Art. In Taiwan, the National Palace Museum in Taipei has one of the world's greatest collections of Chinese art and objects, with holdings dating back to 3000 BC. Highlights of its collection include jade ornaments from Neolithic cultures, bronzes from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, ceramics and rare books from the Song Dynasty, and paintings and calligraphy from the Tang, Sung, and Yuan dynasties. The oldest and largest museum in Japan is the Tokyo National Museum. Founded in 1871, it has what is considered the finest collection of Japanese art in the world and a representative collection of Asian art and archaeology. The Science Museum of Tokyo has interactive educational exhibits. The heritage of the city and its precursor, Edo, are preserved in the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Many national, regional, and local museums preserve and interpret Japanese culture, including the National Museum of Ethnology in ? saka and the National Museum of Japanese History in Sakura. The Ky?to Costume Museum traces fashions from the pre-Nara era in the 6th and 7th centuries to the Meiji period beginning in the 1860s. Modern and contemporary art are displayed in a number of museums, including the National Museum of Modern Art and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Exhibiting art outdoors is also popular in Japan; the Hakone Open-Air Museum and the Sapporo Art Park on the island of Hokkaid? are two examples. The National Museum of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, has a collection of archaeological materials. The National Folklore Museum, also in Seoul, focuses on traditional and popular arts. South Korea has several outdoor cultural heritage museums, including the Korean Folk Village. B3 Southeast Asia In Singapore, the government's National Heritage Board administers the Singapore Art Museum, housed in a colonial building once known as the Raffles Museum, a museum of Asian cultures, and a museum devoted to Singapore history. The Singapore Science Center is a well-known interactive museum of science and technology. The two major museums in the Philippines are both in Manila. The National Museum of the Philippines has collections in anthropology, botany, geology, zoology, and art. The Museum of Arts and Sciences has collections documenting the natural history, ethnography, and art of the Philippines. Indonesia's National Museum in Jakarta houses treasures from the 19th-century courts of Indonesia as well as historical, archaeological, and ethnographic collections. Museums in Thailand include the National Museum, a history museum, and the Science Museum, both in Bangkok. In Vietnam, the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi traces the evolution of Vietnamese architecture, sculpture, drawing, and fine arts. The Army Museum, also in Hanoi, includes weaponry and aircraft from the Vietnam War. C Australia and New Zealand C1 Australia Australia has a variety of museums that reflect its unique natural history, its Aboriginal heritage, and its art. The nation's first museum, the Australian Museum (1827) in Sydney, is devoted to the natural history of the Australian continent and has a collection of materials related to Aboriginal Australians. The Queensland Museum in Brisbane also focuses on the natural history and ethnology of the Australian region. Museum Victoria in Melbourne is a complex including the Melbourne Museum, a cultural and natural history museum; Scienceworks, a science and technology museum; and the Immigration Museum and Hellenic Antiquities Museum. History museums in Australia include the Old Melbourne Gaol in Melbourne, the first permanent prison complex in Australia; the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, which focuses on colonial exploration, ships and shipwrecks, and Australian naval services; and the Museum of Sydney, which portrays life in early Australia. The National Museum of Australia in Canberra, which opened in 2001, interprets the complex origins of the continent and nation. Outstanding art museums are found throughout Australia. The Australian National Gallery in Canberra is the home of the national art collection. The emphasis is on Australian and Aboriginal art, with additional material from Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne includes European and Australian paintings and drawings, decorative arts, sculpture, Asian art, antiquities, and primitive art. Other important art museums are located in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide. C2 New Zealand New Zealand's museums have strong collections that show the country's rich natural and artistic heritage. The Auckland Museum, or Te Papa Whakahiku, was founded in 1852, only 12 years after the first large European migration to New Zealand. Its collections of Maori and Pacific Islands art and treasures are among the finest in the world. The museum building also serves as a war memorial honoring fallen New Zealand soldiers. Auckland's other museums include the Auckland City Art Gallery, with a collection of contemporary art; the Museum of Transport, Technology, and Social History; and the National Maritime Museum. In Wellington, the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, explores the nation's cultural identity and natural environment. The Waikato Museum of Art and History, Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, on the Waikato River near Hamilton, focuses on New Zealand and Waikato region art, the cultural history of the Tainui Maori group, and Australasian art, sculpture, and ceramics. In Christchurch, the Canterbury Museum is a major regional museum with diverse archaeological and ethnological collections. The Robert MacDougall Art Gallery in Christchurch has a comprehensive collection of 19th- and 20th-century New Zealand art. D Europe Although Europe is the birthplace of the museum movement and its museums are the inheritors of so much of the cultural wealth of the Western world, the European public museum is only a little older than such institutions in other parts of the globe. The range of museum types and sizes varies as it does elsewhere, from large encyclopedic art and natural history museums to participatory science centers to outdoor museums. D1 Science and Natural History Museums Britain's national museum of life and earth sciences--with a collection of nearly 70 million specimens--is the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, which is known for its innovative exhibits and educational programs. The National Museum of Science and Industry explains the history and development of science, technology, medicine, and industry. This museum incorporates the Science Museum in London, the National Railway Museum in York, and the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television in Bradford. In Munich, Germany, the Deutsches Museum is a major museum of natural sciences, technology, and industry. It pioneered participatory interpretation techniques that have influenced contemporary museums of all types. The Technisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, also emphasizes visitor participation, with exhibits on transportation, maritime history, industrial history, and science. Other museums with a hands-on approach to science include the City of Arts and Science in Valencia, Spain; newMetropolis science and technology center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the Evoluon Museum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands; the Museum of Science and Industry in Mannheim, Germany; and the Teknorama National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. France's national museum of science, technology, and industry, the City of Science and Industry in Paris, is one of the world's largest and most-visited science museums, featuring the latest in exhibit design and technology. Another important science museum is the Polytechnical Museum in Moscow, Russia, which shows the history and contemporary achievements of Russian science and technology. Created in 1872, it was the first museum in Russia established for the purpose of education. D2 History and Anthropology Museums The most encyclopedic of the European museums is the British Museum in London. Founded in 1753, it contains world-famous antiquities, prints, drawings, coins, and medals that chronicle Western civilization. Among the museum's many treasures are the Rosetta Stone, which enabled the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the Elgin Marbles, a set of sculptures that once decorated the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. (Both treasures are at the center of cultural-property disputes. Egypt has requested the return of the Rosetta Stone, and Greece is seeking the repatriation of the marbles.) The museum's central courtyard, the Great Court, houses an education center, galleries, temporary exhibition space, and facilities for visitors. The principal French museum for exhibiting worldwide cultures is the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Man) in the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. Founded in 1939, its imaginative exhibits encompass all phases of anthropology, ethnology, and prehistory. The Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, Hungary, traces the geographic and ethnographic history of Hungary through a collection of artifacts dating from early Paleolithic times through the 10th century AD. The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities) in Leiden, The Netherlands, has a comprehensive collection with material from ancient Egypt, the Near East, the classical world, and the early Netherlands. The State Historical-Cultural Museum in Moscow, Russia, documents Russian social, economic, and political history and has one of the world's richest collections of textiles and costumes. History museums in Germany include the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt, which depicts the history of Jews in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present and focuses on Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto. The German Historical Museum in Berlin depicts political, social, and economic history from the 9th century to the present. Also in Berlin, the Topography of Terror historic site documents the district that served as the administrative headquarters for the Nazi regime. Outdoor history museums in Europe began in 1891 with the Skansen Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, today the oldest continuously existing museum of its kind. Skansen has more than 100 buildings that date from medieval times to the 20th century. Among the many outdoor museums in Denmark is the Frilandsmuseet, a collection of houses, shops, and wind and water mills in a 36-hectare (90-acre) rural park outside Copenhagen. The Netherlands has the National Zuiderzee Museum, which preserves the cultures of settlements surrounding the former Zuider Zee, a region of coastal land reclaimed from the North Sea. In Telford, Shropshire, England, an area that is considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum explores the engineering and artistic endeavor that launched the modern era. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, explores how the sea has shaped British identity. It collection of ships, ship models, instruments, and other objects of maritime interest is the largest of its kind in the world. The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, founded in 1683, is one of the oldest public museums in the world. It has collections of international importance, especially in antiquities and Eastern art. European heritage is also on display in many castles, churches, and historic homes. The historic preservation movement, especially in France and Britain, has contributed to the European interest in saving and interpreting the past through structures of historic or aesthetic interest. Many of these buildings have become museums of local or regional history. In Europe, as in the United States, many museums have specialized collections or focus on particular themes. For example, the Vasa Museum in Stockholm preserves and interprets maritime history through a fully restored 17th-century Swedish warship. The Hungarian National Agricultural Museum in Budapest features exhibits about farming and rural life. Many European archaeological sites, especially those of classical Greece and Rome, have become museums. The Iráklion Archaeological Museum, for example, displays objects discovered at Knossos and other important sites in Crete. The National Archaeological Museum in Athens has a rich collection representing all of the cultures that flourished in Greece. A new Acropolis Museum in Athens, planned for a 2004 opening, will interpret the history of the Acropolis from ancient times to the present. Visitors can now see archaeological treasures from the Acropolis in the current Acropolis Museum, which contains finds from the excavations in the ancient agora (marketplace) on the south slope of the Acropolis. In Italy, the National Museum in Naples displays finds from the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The National Roman Museum, located in the Baths of Diocletian, contains sculpture from the 4th and 5th centuries D3 BC. Art Museums D3a Britain The National Gallery in London contains the most representative collection of European painting in England. Its neoclassical Trafalgar Square building houses masterworks from every European school from 1260 to 1900, with Italian paintings accounting for more than half of the collection. The gallery also has a fine collection of works by British painters from William Hogarth to J. M. W. Turner. Adjoining the National Gallery is the National Portrait Gallery, which exhibits more than 4,000 likenesses of notable men and women in British history. At nearby Hertford House is the Wallace Collection of 17th- and 18th-century French art. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world's largest museum of the decorative arts, representing all countries, periods, and styles. The Tate Gallery, Britain's national collections of British and modern art, consists of four museums. In London, Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present, and Tate Modern displays international modern art from 1900 to the present. Modern art is also the focus of Tate Liverpool, which includes a noted collection of work by J. M. W. Turner, and Tate St. Ives. D3b France The art treasures of France are organized chronologically and housed in three locations: the Louvre (art through the mid-19th century), the Musée d'Orsay (19th and early 20th centuries), and the Pompidou Center, or Centre Georges Pompidou (modern art). The magnificent Louvre, on the north bank of the Seine River in Paris, was erected in the early part of the 16th century as the royal residence and enlarged with almost every successive reign until it reached its present dimensions in 1868. An entrance courtyard and glass pyramid designed by the Chinese American architect I. M. Pei lends a contemporary flavor to the structure. The list of masterpieces represented in the collection of the Louvre reads like an index to art history from antiquity to the middle of the 19th century: Victory of Samothrace, or Winged Victory (190? BC), Venus de Milo (150-100? BC), Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (1503-1506), and Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People (1830) are just a few examples. The acclaimed Musée d'Orsay contains paintings and sculpture, architecture, graphics, and decorative arts of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including works once displayed in the Musée du Jeu de Paume. The Musée d'Orsay is housed in a renovated train station originally built for the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition. The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and British architect Richard Rogers, is a futuristic building that houses the French national collection of modern and contemporary art. More than a museum, it is also a lively center for the visual and performing arts. The Musée Guimet, the largest museum of Buddhist art in Europe, has a leading collection of art from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Tibet, and Japan. The Musée Marmottan exhibits works by Claude Monet and other impressionist artists. Other well-known Paris art museums include the Picasso Museum and the Cluny Museum of medieval art, where the famous tapestries called The Lady with the Unicorn (1484-1500) are displayed. D3c Spain In Spain, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, often simply called The Prado, is the country's oldest art museum and one of the most celebrated in the world. It was established in 1819 to unite and protect the Spanish royal collections. The Prado displays jewelry, furniture, tapestry, paintings, and Greek and Roman sculpture. Most important is its collection of old Spanish masters, which includes a large number of paintings by El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Bartolomé Murillo, and Jusepe de Ribera. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, a satellite museum of the Prado, includes masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and other 20thcentury artists. Picasso's famed Guernica (1937), an emotional depiction of the bombing of a Basque village during the Spanish Civil War, is displayed there. Museums of contemporary art in Spain include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with its dramatic building designed by American architect Frank O. Gehry, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. D3d Italy In Florence, Italy, the Uffizi Gallery is an art museum of the stature of the Louvre and the Prado. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1574 as a government office building and later was expanded to house the art treasures of the Medici family. The Uffizi has the most famous collection of Florentine Renaissance art in the world, along with a fine collection of classical sculpture. Its many masterpieces include Titian's Venus of Urbino (1538) and Sandro Botticelli's Primavera (1478?) and Birth of Venus (1482?). The Pitti Palace, a massive castle-like building in Florence commissioned by merchant Luca Pitti in the 15th century, today houses many impressive works. Its Palatine Gallery has an outstanding collection of paintings by Raphael, and its Gallery of Modern Art displays works from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The Pitti's Silver Museum features silver, gems, ivories, and other precious objects from the various Florentine ruling dynasties, especially the Medici and Lorraine families. Also in Florence, the Bargello National Museum boasts a renowned collection of Florentine Renaissance sculpture, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, and the della Robbia family. As a result of a flood in 1966 that destroyed and damaged many art treasures, Florence has become a center for art restoration. The restorers' skills were put to good use in 1993, when paintings in the Uffizi Gallery were damaged by a bomb blast. In Rome, the Villa Guilia National Museum has an outstanding collection of Etruscan art. The Borghese Museum and Gallery is noted for its Renaissance and baroque art. The Vatican Museum contains the largest collection of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities in the world. It also holds a significant collection of Italian paintings and sculpture from the 15th through the 18th century, many of which were commissioned by various popes. An example is the Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling was adorned by Michelangelo and stands as one of the world's greatest artistic achievements. D3e Germany Among the well-known art museums in Germany are the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, whose collections date from the early 16th century. Artists represented in its collection include Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Hans Holbein the Younger, as well as early Flemish and German painters. The Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) in Berlin has European paintings from the 13th to the 18th century. At the New National Gallery, paintings and sculpture from the 18th to the 20th century are displayed. The collection of 20th-century German paintings includes Berlin portraits and cityscapes by George Grosz and Otto Dix. Berlin's Bauhaus Museum is dedicated to the school of design that launched modernism throughout the world (see Bauhaus). In Cologne, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum surveys six centuries of painting as well as contemporary art. Museums of contemporary art in Germany include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt, the Staatsgalerie (State Gallery) in Stuttgart, and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. D3f Austria The personal collection of the Habsburg family gave rise to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. This encyclopedic museum is especially well known for its works by the old masters. There are paintings from every European school and artist, with major works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Albertina museum in Vienna has one of the largest and most outstanding collections of graphic art in the world. D3g The Netherlands In the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum (National Museum) in Amsterdam has the largest collection of Dutch art in the world. Amsterdam's museums also include the Van Gogh Museum, where the works of the modern Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh are displayed, and the Stedelijk Museum, which has a collection of contemporary art. The Mauritshuis museum at The Hague, formed from the collections of the princes of the House of Orange, is renowned for its collection of 17th-century Dutch masterpieces. D3h Russia The most famous museum in Russia is the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Opened to the public in 1852, it occupies an enormous neoclassical 19thcentury building reconstructed from the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great. One of the largest museums in the world, its collections encompass all of Western European art, cultures and arts of the ancient world, and a history of Russian culture. Its collections of Italian Renaissance and French impressionist paintings are worldrenowned. In Moscow, the State Tretyakov Gallery has a collection of Russian art from the 11th through the 20th century, including more than 40,000 Russian religious objects. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow has a large collection of Western European paintings. The museum also holds gold treasures and other artifacts from the legendary city of Troy, which were discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the 19th century. The Trojan artifacts, believed lost for decades until their existence was revealed in the 1990s, were seized as trophy art by Soviet forces occupying Germany after World War II. For more information, see the subsection Ownership of Museum Objects in the Trends and Challenges section of this article. E Latin America The rich and varied pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial heritage of Mexico, Central America, and South America is reflected in the many history, art, and anthropology museums in these countries. E1 Anthropology Museums Anthropology museums are probably the best known and most popular museums in Latin America. One of the world's leading anthropology museums is the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City (1964). Its outstanding collections include rich archaeological finds from pre-conquest Mexico, particularly from the Aztec and Maya civilizations. A prized relic is the massive Aztec calendar stone, which weighs more than 22 metric tons. Also on display are artifacts from the great pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacán and objects from the Toltec civilization. The museum has exhibits on the modern peoples of Mexico, exploring their music, dance, customs, and crafts. Mexico's archaeological sites offer a close look at ancient civilizations. Among the best-known ruins are Teotihuacán east of Mexico City, Palenque in southern Mexico, and Chichén Itzá in the Yucután Peninsula. The Archaeological Museum of La Serena in Chile has a comprehensive collection of artifacts from North America, South America, and the Pacific Islands, spanning a period from 3000 BC to the 15th century AD. Peru has two important archaeological museums: the National Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology in Lima and the museum at the University of Cuzco. Both contain collections of Inca and pre-Inca textiles, pottery, gold, silver, wood, and shell objects. One of South America's most unusual archaeological museums is the Gold Museum in the National Bank in Bogota, Colombia. It has a large collection of pre-Columbian gold objects. The Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires, founded in 1823, was one of the first museums established in South America. Its extensive collections cover all fields of natural and human history but are especially strong in paleontology, anthropology, and entomology. In La Plata, the Museum of La Plata has well-known collections of reptile fossils. The National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro is noted for its research, exploration, publications, and educational work. It has anthropological material from local areas and also contains archaeological material from Greece and Egypt. E2 History Museums Latin American history museums usually focus on the history of the region beginning with the colonial period and continuing through the early 19th-century revolutionary period to the present. Some also contain religious objects. The National Museum of History in Mexico City traces three centuries of Mexican history, beginning with the Spanish conquest. It is housed in Chapultepec Castle and an adjoining circular structure. One of South America's best-known history museums is the National Historical Museum of Argentina in Buenos Aires. Its extensive collections depict Argentine history from the Spanish colonial period through the revolutionary wars. In Bogota, Colombia, the National Museum also traces the nation's history from the Spanish conquest. The National History Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1922, features exhibits on many aspects of Brazilian history. It is housed in the Casa do Trem, which is an excellent example of early Portuguese architecture. The museum is especially known for its coin and stamp collections. The Paulista Museum in São Paulo was erected on the spot where the independence of Brazil was proclaimed in 1822. It displays regional history, religious art, and ethnographic material. The Museu do Índio (Indian Museum) in Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1953, is dedicated to research and education on the indigenous cultures of Brazil. E3 Art Museums Art museums in Latin America tend to emphasize the artistic achievement of a particular country, with some exemplary collections of contemporary art. Mexico's largest art museum is the Palace of Fine Arts, located in an imposing marble structure in the heart of Mexico City. It houses outstanding paintings, murals, and sculpture by Mexican artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Its auditorium contains the famous Tiffany glass curtain, which when illuminated with changing colored lights shows spectacular scenes of volcanic Mexican landscapes. The Diego Rivera Museum, a Mayan-style structure on the outskirts of Mexico City, contains a selection of Rivera's murals as well as treasures from Mexico's ancient cultures. Mexican painting and sculpture from the 19th and early 20th centuries are exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, housed in a circular modern building near Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. Throughout Mexico, the country's 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial baroque and rococo religious artworks are displayed in restored churches, convents, and monasteries. South America's most important art museums are located in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. The National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires has the most comprehensive collection of Argentine art in the world and a good collection of European masters from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Brazil's National Museum of Fine Arts, located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, is the oldest art museum and the oldest continuously operating museum in South America. Its first public exhibition was held in 1829. It has a survey collection of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century works by Brazilian artists and foreign artists who have lived in Brazil. The Museum of Contemporary Art at São Paulo University is the home of the São Paulo International Biennal, a major international contemporary art exhibition. The art and decorative arts collections of the Museum of Art in Lima, Peru, survey the cultural history of the country from the pre-Hispanic period to the present. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas, Venezuela, the diverse collection includes 19th- and 20th-century Venezuelan art, European paintings, and prints and drawings from the 15th through the 20th century. F Middle East Many museums in the Middle East are devoted to the display of national antiquities. Jordan's National Archaeological Museum stands on the Citadel in Amman. In Israel, the Bezalel National Art Museum in Jerusalem features Jewish ceremonial art and archaeological material and houses many of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Bezalel is part of the Israel Museum, which also includes the Samuel Bronfman Biblical and Archaeological Museum, the Billy Rose Art Garden, the Shrine of the Book, and the Ruth Youth Wing. The Diaspora Museum (Beth Hatefutsoth) in Tel Aviv presents the 2,500-year history of Jewish settlement outside Israel. Life in 20th-century Israel is recreated at Kibbutz Yif-at, an outdoor museum. Memorials dedicated to victims of the Holocaust include Yad Vashem, which has a historical museum and the largest Holocaust archive in the world. In Saudi Arabia, the city of Najr?n has a museum at the ancient site of Al-Ukhdood, with archaeological and natural history exhibits. In the port city of Jiddah, the Municipality Museum occupies a 200-year-old house made of Red Sea coral. In Kuwait, the National Museum of Kuwait in Kuwait City once housed one of the world's most important collections of Islamic art; however, it was looted and burned during the Iraqi occupation of the country in 1990 and early 1991. The Tareq Rajab Museum in Hawalli, Kuwait, is a comprehensive private collection of Islamic art and antiquities that is open to the public. In Bahrain, the Bahrain National Museum in the capital city of Manama chronicles 7,000 years of the country's history. Also in Manama is Beit Al-Qur'an, a museum and research center that has a large collection of Qur'ans (Korans). Museums are a major attraction in Iran's capital, Tehr?n. The Iran Bastan Museum (Museum of Ancient Iran) includes ceramics, stone figures, and carvings dating from the 5th millennium bc. Two other highlights in Tehr?n are the Reza Abbasi Museum, which has a collection of Islamic art, jewelry, and pottery, and the Abgineh va Sofalineh Museum (Glass and Ceramics Museum). In Turkey, the Archaeological Museum in ?stanbul has a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including a tomb believed to have belonged to Alexander the Great. The Kariye Museum's 14th-century mosaics and frescoes depicting biblical scenes are considered among the finest Byzantine works in the world. Contributed By: Ellen Hirzy Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.