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Who and Why

Museums Through the Backdoor is a place to look with new eyes at museums. Discover new ways to visit. Spark your curiosity. Uncover behind-the-scenes information about museums. Examine how museums benefit your wellbeing. 

Biltmore Estate
I'm Susan and I'm glad you're here!
Susan Marie Ward. An advocate for museums and wellbeing

I combine two professional careers - museums and mental health. Once upon a time, I was curator of Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. Then I had a museum consulting business focusing on improving the visitor experience. Later I became a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor working with children, adults, and families.

As a retired curator and psychotherapist, I value museums as a path to encourage mental wellness. I want to help museum visitors and curious learners to get the most out of each museum visit and each moment of contemplating a piece of art.


Through my website, social media, and upcoming plans, I provide tips for visiting museums through a wellness lens, and strategies for engaging with art in intriguing and therapeutic ways. I celebrate museums that prioritize the visitor experience, especially those that focus on visitors’ wellbeing. For me, museums worth visiting are the best of the best! At the same time, I encourage museum goers to share their joys and frustrations with museums to help museums be the best they can be.


Keep up to date by signing up for the Museums Through the Backdoor newsletter

Contact me, Susan, at

Looking at Paintings


Museums Through the Backdoor inspires curious learners, cultural tourists, and museum goers to visit museums and experience art in ways that sparks curiosity and improves wellbeing. Museums provide ways to reduce stress and feel revitalized. Admiring art across time and cultures connects us to our community and to humanity. Look with new eyes at museums and boost your wellbeing! Museums are good for us!

Discover information about museums worth visiting, the visitor experience, why you should visit museums, how to enhance wellness by visiting museums, and how to spark curiosity as you admire art and artifacts, and visit museums.

Sign up for Museums Through the Backdoor occasional newsletter and gain new insights about museums. 

Looking at Paintings
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