Inspiring Museum Quotes On History, Life, Art

These museum quotes will inspire you. A museum is a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.

A collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging museum quotes, museum sayings, and museum proverbs.

Famous Museum Quotes

  1. “Museums should be places where you raise questions, not just show stuff.” ~ William Thorsell
  2. “A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.” ~ Maira Kalman
  3. “Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.” ~ Orhan Pamuk
  4. “When in a museum, walk slowly but keep walking.” ~ Gertrude Stein

  5. “The primary purpose of the Museum is to help people enjoy, understand, and use the visual arts of our time.” ~ Alfred H. Barr, Jr.
  6. “A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” ~ Abigail Van Buren
  7. “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
  8. “A museum is a place where one should lose one’s head.” ~ Renzo Piano

  9. “Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negative terms, they are propaganda machines.” ~ Hans Haacke
  10. “It is as much the conversations between objects as between us and objects that make museums so valuable.” ~ Antony Gormley
  11. “An art book is a museum without walls.” ~ Andre Malraux
  12. “When I was growing up, my mother would take me to plays and museums, and we’d talk about life. Those times helped shape who I became.” ~ Jill Scott

  13. “A country that has few museums is both materially poor and spiritually poor…Museums, like theaters and libraries, are a means to freedom.” ~ Wendy Beckett
  14. “The most basic task of any museum must be the protection of works of cultural significance entrusted to its care for the edification and pleasure of future generations.” ~ Martin Filler
  15. “History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody’s own vacancy” ~ Robert Smithson , History museum quotes
  16. “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.” ~ Pablo Picasso

  17. “What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.” ~ Arnold Palmer
  18. “We learn a lot, and each museum ends up having its own distinctive character and personality.” ~ Richard Meier
  19. “Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum.” ~ Robert Smithson
  20. “We are similar to a museum. My function is to present old masterpieces in modern frames.” ~ Rudolf Bing

  21. “The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye.” ~ Robert Smithson
  22. “Museums and art stores are also sources of pleasure and inspiration. Doubtless, it will seem strange to many that the hand unaided by sight can feel action, sentiment, beauty in the cold marble; and yet it is true that I derive genuine pleasure from touching great works of art. As my fingertips trace line and curve, they discover the thought and emotion which the artist has portrayed.” ~ Helen Keller
  23. “The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground- congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality.” ~ Robert Smithson
  24. “Visiting a museum is a matter of going from void to void.” ~ Robert Smithson

  25. “The Museum is not meant either for the wanderer to see by accident or for the pilgrim to see with awe. It is meant for the mere slave of a routine of self-education to stuff himself with every sort of incongruous intellectual food in one indigestible meal.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
  26. “A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.” ~ Edmond de Goncourt
  27. “I have a debt, a loyalty to the museum; the best place for me to do what I wanted to do.” ~ George Gaylord Simpson
  28. “Many people will say, well, clothes should be worn; but I think people can look at them in public, like seeing a film. I think museum exhibitions are very important” ~ Issey Miyake

  29. “… what is important is not so much what people see in the gallery or the museum, but what people see after looking at these things, how they confront reality again. Really great art regenerates the perception of reality; the reality becomes richer, better or not, just different.” ~ Gabriel Orozco
  30. “When I die there may be a paragraph or two in the newspapers. My name will linger in the British Museum Reading Room catalog for a space at the head of a long list of books for which no one will ever ask.” ~ C. S. Forester
  31. “Reality TV to me is the museum of social decay.” ~ Gary Oldman
  32. “If an army of monkeys were strumming on typewriters, they might write all the books in the British Museum.” ~ Arthur Eddington

  33. “The museum is full of interesting things. All kinds of paintings are there. And then paintings too thick to put in a frame, that they call sculpture. And then there are spectators. with their scorecards, rooting for culture. And spectators of the spectators, looking for love’s introduction. And art students taking notes. And old women trying to remember the past. And old men with too much to forget. And tourists, thinking that a museum represents a city. And loafers so poor, they study their soberness here.” ~ Marvin L. Cohen
  34. “If you really want to seriously think about life, and therefore take painting very seriously… and take seriously the joys that it can bring to one, then you want to go to museums. You want to study the great of the past.” ~ Nelson Shanks
  35. “Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters. We have infected the pictures in museums with all our stupidities, all our mistakes, all our poverty of spirit. We have turned them into petty and ridiculous things.” ~ Pablo Picasso
  36. “I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.” ~ Steven Wright

  37. “Museums, museums, object-lessons rigged out to illustrate the unsound theories of archaeologists, crazy attempts to co-ordinate and get into a fixed order that which has no fixed order and will not be co-coordinated! It is sickening! Why must all experience be systematized? A museum is not a first-hand contact: it is an illustrated lecture. And what one wants is the actual vital touch.” ~ D. H. Lawrence
  38. “Why is comedy the only form of the arts where people think they have to agree with or approve the content? You don’t walk through a museum with a towel and throw it over paintings you don’t like.” ~ Jim Norton
  39. “Individually, museums are fine institutions, dedicated to the high values of preservation, education and truth; collectively, their growth in numbers points to the imaginative death of this country.” ~ Robert Hewison
  40. “In museums and palaces, we are alternate radicals and conservatives.” ~ Henry James

  41. “Museums, I love museums.” ~ Tony Randall
  42. “That which, perhaps, hears more nonsense than anything in the world, is a picture in a museum.” ~ Jules de Goncourt
  43. “Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.” ~ Chuck Close
  44. “I think there is a new awareness in this 21st century that design is as important to where and how we live as it is for museums, concert halls and civic buildings.” ~ Daniel Libeskind

  45. “If people don’t like Marxism, they should blame the British Museum.” ~ Mikhail Gorbachev
  46. “When I go into a museum and see the mummies wrapped in their linen bandages, I see that the lives of men began to need reform as long ago as when they walked the earth. I come out into the streets, and meet men who declare that the time is near at hand for the redemption of the race. But as men lived in Thebes, so do they live in Dunstable today.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  47. “By a museum, I assume you mean an institution dedicated to the events of Sept. 11 and the aftermath. If that is done with sensitivity, I think it would be most appropriate.” ~ David Rockefeller
  48. “The people who make art their business are mostly imposters.” ~ Pablo Picasso

  49. “We have to recognize that the world is not something sculptured and finished, which we as perceivers walk through like patrons in a museum; the world is something we make through the act of perception.” ~ Terence McKenna
  50. “It was a movement that had all the art critics, all the museum directors in its thrall.” ~ Jack Levine
  51. “Civil servants and priests, soldiers and ballet dancers, schoolmasters and police constables, Greek museums and Gothic steeples, civil list and services list — the common seed within which all these fabulous beings slumber in embryo is taxation.” ~ Karl Marx
  52. “I seldom go into a natural history museum without feeling as if I were attending a funeral.” ~ John Burroughs

  53. “They decided to establish a museum of modern art where works by contemporary artists would be shown. Mother was viewed as a very progressive person, and not everybody liked the paintings she bought.” ~ David Rockefeller
  54. “A museum has to renew its collection to be alive, but that does not mean we give on important old works.” ~ David Rockefeller
  55. “Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place in museums; others, we take for walks.” ~ Roger Caras
  56. “The role of a museum of modern art is to make a good selection and identify what we believe to be the coming movements, and that requires taste.” ~ David Rockefeller

  57. “I also got a chance to go to the American Museum in New York, which helped my interest.” ~ Robert T. Bakker
  58. “What can one say about a country where a museum of science in a great city can feature an exhibit in which people fire machine guns from a helicopter at Vietnamese huts, with a light flashing when a hit is scored? What can one say about a country where such an idea can even be considered? You have to weep for this country.” ~ Noam Chomsky
  59. “The best museums and museum exhibits about science or technology give you the feeling that, hey, this is interesting, but maybe I could do something here, too.” ~ Paul Allen , Science museum quotes
  60. “Our universities and museums are respected around the country.” ~ Jane Byrne

  61. “As for pictures and museums, that don’t trouble me. The worst of going abroad is that you’ve always got to look at things of that sort. To have to do it at home would be beyond a joke.” ~ Margaret Oliphant
  62. “In an era when museum curators were busy introducing the public to photographs of daily life taken by Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Diane Arbus, why did they simultaneously disdain paintings depicting the same kind of people?” ~ Burton Silverman
  63. “Murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.” ~ Peter De Vries

  64. “When we want mood experiences, we go to concerts or museums. When we want meaningful emotional experience, we go to the storyteller.” ~ Robert McKee
  65. “I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I love art, I like to go to museums, and I like to read books.” ~ Rainn Wilson

A museum is an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of objects of lasting interest or value.

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