Museum-Appreciation Tips

From The Onion

March 12, 2003 | ISSUE 39•09

Museum guests in front of Van Gogh self-portrait

Museum-going can be an enjoyable and enriching experience. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your next visit:

  • In large museums like the Louvre, it is virtually impossible to see everything in one day. This is why jogging is both acceptable and encouraged.
  • If you don’t experience a painting with all five senses, you aren’t truly experiencing it.
  • Beware: Some museums are more reputable than others. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City? Pretty reputable. The Flagstaff Groundhog & Jackalope Hall of Fame? Less so.
  • Why enter the museum when the only stuff you can afford is in the gift shop?
  • When on a guided tour of a history museum, at every civilization, ask whether the men of that era ever had an overpowering urge to dress as a woman and be caressed by a big, strong man.
  • Though many are painfully dull, some museums gots cars in ’em.
  • Remember: “Suggested donation” means waltz in free, even if you are loaded.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately for your museum visit, wearing knee-high boots, sturdy rubber gloves, and a heavy apron. Did I say museum? I meant salmon cannery.
  • When looking at the exhibit on genetically modified super-spiders, try not to get too distracted by Kirsten Dunst.
  • This month, the National Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, WI, is unveiling a new exhibit honoring those slain while serving the mustard industry. It is a moving tribute to America’s mustard dead and is highly recommended.
  • If short on money, get a friend to enter a museum and have him or her describe everything to you via walkie-talkie.
  • Spend a minimum of 30 seconds, ideally 45, staring at each exhibit so no one will suspect that every molecule in your body is screaming to get the hell out of there and go to the mall.
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About T.H. Gray

T.H. Gray is the self-appointed court jester and Dr. Demento for the history museum field. A lifelong museum professional and reenactor, he is a graduate of the prestigious Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program. Until 2011, when the AHS hired him away, he was on staff at the Benjamin Dover Memorial Museum & Swimming Pool ("Our History is All Wet!"). He remembers when museums were still about history, science, and art. BTW, all of these posts say they are by T.H. Gray because he can't turn off the byline. Credit, when due, is given. View all posts by T.H. Gray

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