A TFAO Report: Museums Explained


Why art museums? Because "Man cannot live by bread alone." Cambridge Dictionary defines the phrase: "...used to say that people need not just food, but also poetry, art. music, etc. to live properly."

"Today we recognize that the finest collection, lovingly preserved, meticulously cataloged, and beautifully presented comes to life only when all kinds of people participate in its enjoyment. For our museums to earn their keep, to justify their existence, they must demonstrate on a daily basis why they matter. The objects in their care must give pleasure to visitors while helping them understand themselves and their world more fully. It is this magic -- the chemical reaction, the powerful epiphany -- that takes place between art and viewer that makes museums worth all the effort." [1]

-- William J. Hennessey, Director, Chrysler Museum of Art


There are many types of art museums -- with multiple benefits to the public. This Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) report is dedicated to persons interested in understanding more about the "inner workings" of art museums. It contains these sections:

Mission, Organization and Accreditation






(above: Henry Art Gallery, October, 2021. Photo by Maddie Hazeltine)


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1. Excerpted from a November 2002 article in Art Museum Network News titled "Why It's Worth the Trouble," by William J. Hennessey, Director, Chrysler Museum of Art.

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Links to sources of information outside of our website are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other websites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.


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