Lately I’ve been doing quite a lot of museum visiting so I thought I’d write about what makes me like a certain museum or what I dislike in other museums. There are so many factors that will influence your visit that you maybe don’t notice at first but when you come to think about it they are pretty important. These factors may vary between how the museum is set up, the mentality of the people working there, and even the visitors. I’m going to split this post in two sections, first I’ll talk about the more materialistic features of museums I like or dislike and second I’ll talk a bit about the people running the museum and visitors.
Before I start, I made a small list with my favorite museums I visited so far, my all-time favorite is the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome for many reason. When you visit the city in the summer it’s a perfect getaway from all the tourists, I love the building and the collection is just breathtaking (and if you’re a foodie just like me you have to go to the restaurant caffé del arti because its so good!). I can’t rank museums so I’m just going to name a few: Saatchi Gallery in London, M HKA in Antwerp, the Ludwig museum in Cologne and Bergruen in Berlin.
Now what makes a museum “good”? first off the space is so important, I prefer large spaces where you can easily concentrate on one work at the time. The color of the walls is important to in my opinion, it should be neutral except if it’s an exhibition or whatever and the color “matches” with the works of art. With neutral I do not mean it should be white, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has the most beautiful dark grey/blueish walls. Another perfect feature of the Rijksmuseum is the lightning, it’s perfectly done and you’ll never get those annoying spot reflection on a painting.
Now for the non-materialistic part, as I was walking through the Sammlungscharf-Gerstenberg in Berlin I was one of the few visitors (I honestly do not understand why, it’s a wonderful museum) so I often ended up in a room alone and the security was so annoying, I felt followed and uncomfortable the whole visit. Another thing I hate is noise, I get it, I talk too when I visit a museum with someone but I try to keep it quiet. I can get so frustrated at large groups of people laughing and talking loudly, do that in the bar of the museum after your visit.
Another thing I wanted to point out is the price of some museums, as a student if I have to pay 13 or 17 euro for an exhibition I’m pretty bummed. What I liked about the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is that they can get a bit pricey but you get a free audio guide so you get lots of information in return!
What do you like or dislike in museums?