Should museums always be serious?
Some people argue that these collections are becoming too silly.
From meteorites in the National History Museum, to a replica of an 18th century township at the Highland Folk museum in Scotland, the objects on display at the UK’s best-loved museums are amazingly varied and historically important. Nevertheless, some of the UK’s leading museums and galleries have seen a drop in attendance recently. In the US, however, novelty museums dedicated to subjects such as pizza and eggs are springing up. These museums are designed as places to have fun, take photos and experience something different, such as swings designed to look like cracked eggshells. It sounds entertaining, but some people have criticised this type of exhibition for not having enough educational value. Museums can be great places to learn about all sorts of things, but are they becoming too silly?
YES – Museums should be places to learn
Museums are there to educate and inform us. They are places where we can learn about the past and explore the world we live in. While museums should be interesting, they shouldn’t be dumbed down. Many museums receive funding to look after important works of art and historical objects, but they also rely on people buying tickets or items from the gift shop to make the money they need to survive. If people start visiting novelty museums they might not go to the proper ones anymore, which would be a disaster for protecting our cultural heritage. Besides, “fun” museums, like the pizza and egg museums, are only for people who want to take selfies and be silly. They are distracting us from what museums are really about and draining money from the proper ones.
NO – it’s important that they’re fun
Museums need to be fun and exciting places to visit, otherwise people will stop visiting. They need to change with the times, not just be places where dusty paintings hang on walls and old things are displayed in glass cases. Now that it is possible to access a lot of exhibits online, museums and galleries have to think up creative and interactive ways to attract visitors. Museums can be expensive and people are more likely to return if they have had a good time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, either – museums are a great opportunity to make a serious topic, fun. Besides, museums do not always have to be about serious things – why shouldn’t we learn about things like pizza and eggs? If you enjoy a silly museum, you might be more likely to try out a serious one.
Fancy a trip to the