National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum

si_and_society_logoI mentioned in a previous post that the last time we were in Washington we visited almost every Smithsonian. For some reason, the Air and Space Museum was not on our list. This is probably because my desire to see objects from space didn’t really develop until after we visited the Kennedy Space Center. To this day, I still haven’t experienced anything quite like seeing the Atlantis Space Shuttle. It continues to give me goosebumps. With this in mind, we made sure to  fit the Air and Space Museum into our schedule.

The day before we visited the National Museum of American History. There are both strong positives and criticisms about this museum I want to cover before delving into Air and Space. Continue reading “National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum”

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September 2016. It continues to be one of the most popular and visited Smithsonian Museums in Washington. After visiting the National Museum of American History, honestly the bar was set quite low for what to expect. I will definitely write about that later. As opposed to some of the other Smithsonians, this museum felt innovative and up-to-date. Even before walking into any exhibition you could already start to see this through the architecture of the building itself.

I felt very fortunate to visit this museum with two friends from my museum studies course. We tried our very best to see as much of the museum as possible. It is an absolutely massive museum with three large floors of history and four floors displaying culture. I don’t think it would be possible to see everything in one day. This isn’t a criticism because being a National museum means, in my opinion, getting as much information out there for all to read/see. It is more beneficial to commit to either seeing a different section every time or walk through at a pace stopping to read what catches your eye. I had a lot of trouble deciding what to focus on for my review. There are just so many important elements and stories that have gone into the creation of this museum. Every floor is overflowing with significant events, important messages, and opportunities to reflect on the past and the pain and suffering that continues to scar this country. It is no easy feat to nicely wrap this up in a blog post. Continue reading “National Museum of African American History and Culture”

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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Last time we were in Washington I think we must have sprinted to see every single Smithsonian Museum. After returning to Australia, I soon started my Masters of Museum & Heritage Studies. Throughout this course, I learnt so much about the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I absolutely regretted not visiting! It was first on my to-see list if I ever returned to Washington. Luckily, the opportunity came, and I was able to see the museum with this knowledge in mind. Not only do I want to discuss the permanent exhibition that covers three floors, but also, the temporary exhibition “Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story”.

When we arrived at the museum it was extremely busy, mostly filled with school children. A very helpful member of staff told us it would be best to see the temporary exhibition before making our way to the permanent display on the top floor. This proved to be an excellent decision. Continue reading “United States Holocaust Memorial Museum”

National Museum of Women in the Arts 

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I am already breaking the promise I made yesterday about posting every second day. This is because I am literally too excited not to write about the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Before I begin, I am going to assume there are people out there who would say “where is the museum for men in the arts?” Walk into any art gallery in the world and I challenge you to find a greater representation of women artists to men. You’ve already got your museums of men in the arts, visited by literally millions every year. There are of course exceptions, but, there are so few. Now that’s said and done, I can drop my imaginary mic and write on.

To start, when you walk into the museum you can select either a traditional map and guide or something a little special. Inside an elusive looking envelope are a selection of cards that each contain a different work of art and some information on the reverse. The museum encourages you to take these cards home and share them with your friends. Look, I was already head over heels. Continue reading “National Museum of Women in the Arts “