Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Marvelous World of Museums

 A museum is a place where nothing was lost, just rediscovered…” Nanette L. Avery

When was the last time when we rediscovered something, like it was the first time?

In our routine and busy lives, we seldom get time to explore and rediscover things. I believe the story is same for everyone in this modern era. So, I have adopted a routine for myself since a last few years which has helped me overcome this, to a large extent. Visiting Museums. 

I have made it a routine to regularly visit museums at regular intervals. Museums, as a premises, have a lot of depth in their being and provide the space to our minds to refresh and introspect. As we start appreciating the exhibits, we get a chance to understand the context why the exhibit exists. Why was it created in the first place? What may have been the social, religious and cultural constructs at that point in time. What value does the exhibit showcase, that can be used in the current context at the time of its creation? If not anything, it gives us a perspective of how at some point in time we were humans, are humans and shall continue to remain humans.

I follow some of these routines when I visit any museum:

  1. I set a context: Most of the times, I have a context of why I am visiting the museum, as to just as a place of solace or to slow the time down or to get insights into the history of any city or any military culture etc. A couple of examples, is before I visited the Vietnam War Museum, I read about the Vietnam war militarily, from both the standpoints. Also, before visiting the Museum of Innocence, I read the book. Context is important.
  2. I don’t set a context: Sometimes though, I just go the museum without any agenda or context. Here, the point is not setting a context is more of an exploratory visit. And am always baffled to see the kind of surprises a museum offers in terms of rediscovering things, both externally and internal to one self.
  3. I visit a variety of Museums. There are History Museums, Archeology Museums, Art Museums, War Museums, Science Museums and most importantly, City Museums. For example, if you have not yet visited the Mumbai city museum - Bhau Daji Lad Museum yet, I would highly recommend you get yourself a virtual tour today right away. You will start seeing Mumbai from a different perspective altogether. And when the Museum reopens, make a note to visit Byculla once.