Museums aren't just for people who love art and design. In truth, a museum is a place for anyone who's broadly interested in culture, whether it be their own or that of another people, country, or era. The "museum" is simply the building or vessel from which history, including the history of the present, is contained.
Most museums aren't just for browsing various artworks and getting a souvenir at the gift shop, though. Many are often a sight to marvel at from outside, featuring architecture that even casual observers can appreciate.
From the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to the Tate Modern in London, visit our picks for the world's best museums.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Founded by Walt Disney's eldest daughter, the late Diane Disney Miller, the Walt Disney Family Museum opened in 2009 in one of the iconic brick Montgomery Street barracks, built in 1895. Inside, visitors are taken on a meticulously planned journey through Disney's fascinating life.
Location: San Francisco, US.
EMP Museum is an epic museum focusing on music, science fiction, and pop culture.
Location: Seattle, Washington
The Newseum is a dynamic, engaging and interactive museum of news that allows visitors to experience the stories of yesterday and today through the eyes of media.
Location: Washington DC, US.
Estonian Maritime Museum is the most popular museum in Estonia.
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Museum of Islamic Art
Rising from its own purpose-built island, and set in an extensive landscape of lawns and ornamental trees off the corniche, this is a fabulous museum. It's shaped like a postmodern fortress with minimal windows (to reduce energy use) and a ‘virtual’ moat, and the views across the water are splendid.
Location: Doha, Qatar.
The Dali Museum
There has never been a place like The Dali Museum. This magnificent building on the beautiful downtown St. Pete waterfront shares with visitors a glimpse of celebrated artist Salvador Dali’s world and an unparalleled collection of his finest works. Experience his precocious talent, persistent obsessions, humor, edginess, and beauty – from iconic melting clocks to imaginative visual illusions and avant-garde symbols.
Location: Florida, US
The Field Museum
Discover Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex ever found! At the Field Museum you can also get a bug's-eye view in the Underground Adventure, descend into an Egyptian tomb, be dazzled in the Hall of Gems, come nose to nose with the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo, and walk among dinosaurs in Evolving Planet.
Location: Chicago, US
The Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums, by granting these loans of extraordinary importance, from Bellini to Raphael, from Melozzo to Caravaggio, wish to express an act of gratitude with regard to Russia's long-standing love of Roma Aeterna.
Location: Vatican City
Founded in 2000, Tate Modern is classified as an art museum. The estimated attendance for Tate Modern is 4,884,939 people each year, making it one of the top 25 most popular museums in the world.
Location: London, UK
The Titanic Museum
Think ‘Titanic’, and a host of associations synonymous with the ill-fated ship spring to mind: tragedy, luxury, man’s reckless pride, gaping class divides and, oddly, romance, thanks to one box-office breaking film.
After 100 years, the RMS Titanic continues to fascinate millions around the globe. The sinking of the luxury ocean liner on April 15th 1912, along with 1,514 of its passengers and crew, shook the world, catching the imagination of writers ever since with countless books and films on the subject.
So after ten decades of coverage, what don’t we already know about the Titanic that can justify a brand new museum in 2012? Northern Ireland think they have the answer – it is the largely untold story of the birth of Titanic in the docks of Belfast.
Location: Belfast, Ireland.
Let us know in which museums are you visiting this month? Any personal favorites?