Ten Museums on my Bucket List:
My top ten must-see museums probably aren’t the most typical, and you can definitely tell I have a big interest in anthropology as well as ancient non-Western art and archaeology.
1. The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, USA - Best known for Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton as well as web series The Brain Scoop. Permanent exhibits include Inside Ancient Egypt, The Grainger Hall of Gems, animal exhibits and dioramas, Evolving Planet which follows the history and evolution of life on Earth, The Ancient Americas, the DNA Discovery Center which is a working lab where visitors can watch scientists prepare DNA samples, McDonald’s Fossil Prep Lab where visitors can watch paleontologists prepare fossils for study, and The Regenstein Laboratory which is an anthropological conservation and collections facility. The museum also houses an authentic 19th century Maori Meeting House from New Zealand and several specialized libraries including the Laufer Collection on anthropology, archaeology, religion, science, and travel. Basic admission is $15.
2. The Louvre in Paris, France - One of the world’s largest museums with notable collections of Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art; Islamic Art; Sculpture; and Painting. Two of my favorite sculptures (1 and 2) are at this museum.
3. The British Museum in London, England, UK - The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture. Of personal interest, there are departments for Ancient Egypt and Sudan; the Middle East; Prehistory and Europe; Asia; and Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. There are also departments for Conservation and Scientific Research as well as Libraries and Archives.
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA - The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States. There are collections on Ancient Near Eastern Art; Arms and Armor; Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Asian Art; Egyptian Art; Greek and Roman Art; Islamic Art; Medieval Art; Modern Art; and Musical Instruments among other departments. Each department has its own library. Admission is $25, but it’s $12 for students.
5. Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, Mexico - It is the most visited museum in Mexico and contains significant anthropological and archaeological artifacts from the pre-Columbian history of the country including the famous Piedra del Sol (the Aztec calendar stone).
6. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt - The Egyptian Museum is best known for its King Tutankhamun exhibit, however the remains of many Pharaohs are stored at the museum including the mummy of Hatshepsut. It has over 120,000 items related to ancient Egyptian history.
7. National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece - It contains the richest collection of ancient Greek artifacts in the world. The museum hosts prehistoric, sculpture, vase, metallurgy, Egyptian art, and Near Eastern antiquities collections.
8. Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - The Museum of Anthropology is part of the University of British Columbia and displays works of art and culture by and related to the First Nations. The museum is also a research and teaching institute with courses on art, archaeology, anthropology, conservation, and museum studies.
9. The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - The Mütter Museum is a medical museum that’s part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. It contains medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens including a collection of human fetal specimens, slides of Albert Einstein’s brain, and antique medical equipment. It is best known for its Hyrtl Skull Collection. Admission is $15.
10. EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA - The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame changes exhibits all the time. Ones I’m currently interested in are Icons of Science Fiction which has an imperial Dalek from Doctor Who, Neo’s coat from the Matrix Reloaded, and Captain Kirk’s command chair from Star Trek; Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic which has costumes from The Princess Bride and Xena: Warrior Princess as well as various artifacts from literature, video games, and comics; and Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film which gives visitors an in-depth look at how horror is expressed in cinema, biology, history, and contemporary culture.
Edit: There is now a part two.