Thursday, September 9, 2010

Museum Identity

In his book, "Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience," John Falk cites a study done by Kristin Ellenbogen about families visiting museums together. Her study came to the conclusion that families go to visit museums to build identity, especially an identity as a family. I definitely have to agree with this study. Throughout my life, my family and I always visited museums on vacation (maybe that's why I'm going into the museum field?!). Vacations to the ocean or over-the-top tourist spots were always too expensive, and kind of boring! Growing up in Cleveland we had plenty of museums within our reach and no matter what day of the week it was, they were always exciting places where we could have fun and learn at the same time. I feel as if we are some of the only people that still do that though. Even in his book, Falk stated that many Americans would prefer to go to beaches (page 42) on vacation. I can't even imagine how bored I would be sitting in a sand pit for a week straight when I can find about ten better things to do... like visit a museum! I feel though that all the times I have spent in a museum with my family really have shaped who we are. I can count those experiences as some of the most memorable because we were out doing something and learning something together!

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