Combine Your Hobbies & Interests with Museum Visits for an Improved Visitor Experience
Museum exhibits, labels, and tour guides usually share information about who made the artifact, where it's from, the style of the maker, and other historic, scientific, or artistic information. Next time, change it up and look with new eyes!
Whether you're interested in needlework, woodworking, gardening, or music, you might be able to create your own, personal special-interest tour. It may just spark curiosity and improve your wellbeing!
Interested in gardening or flowers?
At a historic house museum, see if they have a kitchen garden, or land and vistas with trails where you can wander, or maybe they have a palm court or winter garden filled with plants popular during the Victorian era. At an art museum, look for Chinese silk paintings of seasons and landscapes, or 19th century French paintings at a time when public gardens became popular.
Are you a woodworker?
At history museums or art museums, search out historic furniture. Notice the shift from all handmade furniture to mass produced furniture. At historic house museums, pay attention to the walls and floors to see the kinds of woods used as well as the patterns and designs. In painting exhibits, look at the frames. Are they carved, painted, inlaid? Thin and geometric or thick and heavily carved?
"I hadn't paid attention to frames around paintings before. Such variety! I wish the labels talked about the frames instead of just the painting." – Shop teacher visiting the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
Do you quilt or do needlework?
You can find examples of textiles in history museums, natural history museums, historic house museums, and art museums. They may be faded or worn, but they still tell intriguing stories. You can also find fabric, needlework, and upholstery depicted in paintings. Northern European artists during the 18th century painted with great detail in portraits and home interiors. You can find shimmery satin, exquisite lace, patterned carpets, and more.
Do you love to cook?
Historic house museums show kitchens, pots and pans, and even historic recipes. History museums often talk about food preparation, celebratory meals, food storage, and more.
Do you enjoy the outdoors?
Many museums have peaceful places outdoors to sit as well as outdoor trails and views into the distance. Sculpture gardens combine art with paths and outdoor seating.
Is your hobby photography?
Yes, you can take pictures in most museums to your hearts content. At the same time, you might search out historic photos or photo exhibits. Photography began in the 1820s and 1830s. You can find different types of photography techniques as well as a wide range of photographic topics at all kinds of museums.
Do you collect antiques?
Whether you collect quilts from Ohio, porcelain from France, silk scrolls from China, or 18th century furniture made in North Carolina, museums can build your knowledge. You can learn about makers, designs, materials, and more.
Which museum has helped you expand your knowledge about your hobby or interest? Do you think this might help you to enjoy your next museum visit? Might it help you look with new eyes at museums?