Reason 214

#214: All the free museums

Because, well, who doesn’t like good things that are free?

I like having museums that are free because it means that I can go whenever I want, as many times as I want and stay for as long or as little as I want. I go to the museums a lot, which surprises people that live here and also sometimes people that don’t live here. If you haven’t been able to tell by the blog so far, I really do love living here, haven’t gotten fully used to living here and take noting here for granted. Nothing. Not even the museums. So I go whenever I can.

This weekend I went to see the “Beyond Bollywood” exhibit, which for some reason is housed at the National Museum of Natural History. I had read about the exhibit a while ago in The Washington Post and had really been wanting to go. Then on Sunday I had sometime to kill before running so errands, so I walked over to the National Museum of Natural History and walked right in. This miracle of being able to walk right into a museum was made possible by the generous gift of James Smithson and the work of the Smithsonian Institution. The miracle of being able to walk right in to this particular museum was possible because it was early on a Sunday morning and the crowds of tourists and kids hadn’t arrived yet.

As it turned out, I didn’t particularly like the exhibit. I liked the stuff that Indian American families had donated and the display of shoes at the entrance, but I thought much of the exhibit really highlighted stereotypes and didn’t do very much to really trace the immigration history of Indians to the US or show new stuff about them. It was pretty, but I was not a super big fan. I hope the Smithsonian is able to do a better job with the Smithsonian Latino Museum.

Example of an exhibition caption that I didn't like.

Example of an exhibition caption that I didn’t like.

Still, it was nice to be able to just go in, look at an exhibit and walk out and go on with the rest of my day. It’s much nicer to be able to go to a museum when you have a little time to kill than to go to say, a strip mall or a Pier 1 Imports or something.

(Other free museums in the blog: Air and Space Museum)


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