People in museums

In the spirit of traditions I went to the 28th Long Night of Museums in Berlin, which took place at the end of January.
I am fascinated by people in museums. It is this apparently banal activity of looking at objects, artifacts or pieces of art that is very fascinating to me. What drives people to museums, en masse, on an evening like this? Surely there must be plenty of tourists (and open museums nights are a very successful event for the city of Berlin), but also plenty of residents.

Is going to museums a purely educational activity? Purely recreational? Is it about a very subtle form of social interaction, doing what is expected of us? How is this connected with our identity, the way we identify ourselves in terms of class, culture and gender?
There is enough material to write an essay, or a book, and plenty of articles have been written on this subject.
Many studies that delve into subject are deeply connected to marketing, that is, visitors’ reasons for visiting a museum are then used to adjust the way the visits are structured to make the experience more pleasant for “customers”.

For now, in the hope of making this topic into a series, I will leave you with some photographs from two museums I visited which I think offered a rather interactive experience to visitors, though in different degrees: the Sugar museum and the Computer Games museum. In the former, visitors could watch a demonstration of the making of ice (“the ancient Rome way”), while the latter is an interactive museum per se, where visitors can not only play a bit of the games, but get to listen and watch videos related to the different aspects of gaming.

The sugar museum

Making ice

Making ice view

Computer Games museum

Computer Games

Interaction

Playing old style

Playing

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