Shoso-in
The Japanese Shōsō-in in Nara is the oldest museum building in Japan.

A museum is a building which is open to the public. It is also the institution where things are collected and then shown to people.

History

The word, museum, originates Musa which are the goddesses of literature, art, and science who appear in Greek mythology.

According to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the definition of museums has changed over time.

The oldest museum structure in the world is the Shōsō-in in Nara, Japan.

Today's museums are non-profit, permanent institutions in the service of society and its development.

Function

A museum acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible heritage and the intangible heritage of humanity and the environment.

Museums exist for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

Some museums have things that visitors can do.

Museums can be about different things such as art, national history, natural history, or science. People go to museums sometimes to learn, or to simply have fun.

Museums with live animals are called zoos.

Exhibitions

  • Temporary or changing exhibits
Exhibition which selects works along with some themes, e.g., a writer, a time, an area, etc.
  • Permanent exhibits
Exhibition which displays the works which the museum possesses.

Gallery

Art museums

History museums

Literature museums

Natural history museums

Open air museums

Science museums

Museum ships

Most visited museums

This section lists the 20 most visited museums as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. The cities of London and Washington, D.C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively.

Rank Museum City Country Visitor count (annually)
1
Louvre Paris  France 8,600,000
2
National Museum of China Beijing  China 7,290,000
3
National Museum of Natural History Washington, D.C.  United States 6,900,000
4
National Air and Space Museum Washington, D.C.  United States 6,900,000
5
British Museum London  United Kingdom 6,820,686
6
The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City  United States 6,533,106
7
Vatican Museums Vatican City (Rome)  Vatican City 6,002,251
8
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Shanghai  China 5,948,000
9
National Gallery London  United Kingdom 5,908,254
10
National Palace Museum Taipei  Taiwan 5,301,860
11
Natural History Museum, London London  United Kingdom 5,284,023
12
American Museum of Natural History New York City  United States 5,000,000
13
Tate Modern London  United Kingdom 4,712,581
14
National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.  United States 4,104,331
15
National Museum of American History Washington, D.C.  United States 4,100,000
16
State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg  Russia 3,668,031
17
Musée d'Orsay Paris  France 3,440,000
18
Victoria and Albert Museum London  United Kingdom 3,432,325
19
The Science Museum London  United Kingdom 3,356,212
20
Reina Sofía Madrid  Spain 3,249,591

Museum Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.