How to avoid museum fatigue

April 14, 2011


I came across this article by Lonely Planet author Jane Ormond on ‘How to avoid museum fatigue‘ via @lonelyplant on Twitter yesterday. At first I was just going to RT it, but then I liked it so much I decided to link to it from my blog instead, and take the opportunity to highlight some of my favourite bits.


“floating through art-jewelled hallowed halls”

This description for how people imagine places like the MET, Louvre or Tate made me smile. Then the author goes on to describe the harsh reality of visiting popular museums:

“The sheer volume of museum pieces can make you feel itchy, claustrophobic and hankering for fleeting, thoughtless crap.”

Ok, I’ve moved on from smiling to laughing out loud. I like her style. And although it may sound like she’s not got a very high opinion of museums, this is just the tongue-in-cheek intro and the author actually concedes that “seeing one of your favourite pieces in the flesh…is one of the most thrilling travel experiences”. And she has some strategies to suggest for those feeling overwhelmed by all the art and culture on offer. My favourite of these has to be:

“Admit you’re not going to see everything. You don’t go to an acclaimed restaurant and expect to eat every dish on the menu. The same goes for epic museums… It’s impossible to have a meaningful interaction with the exhibits if you’re sprinting past them.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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