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Museums and Galleries Month – October 2023

Museums and Galleries Month is observed in the month of October every year. The month honors museums and galleries and highlights the importance of pride in Filipino culture and heritage. Additionally, it’s to arouse ‘national consciousness.’ Museums and Galleries Month emphasizes the fact that a country’s art and culture are intrinsically linked to the process of nation-building and the idea of national destiny. The was established back in 1991 through Presidential Proclamation No. 798. During the month of October, exhibitions aim to present “ expressions of unity and national identity” in the Philippines.

History of Museums and Galleries Month

A museum is an institution that collects, stores, takes care of, and interprets objects, artifacts, and other evidence of history. Museums make these relics available for public viewing. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek ‘mouseion,’ which translates to “seat of muses.” The first known use of the word was in 15th century Florence. Initially, up until the 17th century even, the word was used for collections on display. In fact, a collection by John Tradescant was moved to the University of Oxford in 1677 and when it was opened to the public in 1683, it was named the Ashmolean Museum. The latter is considered to be the first museum open to the public that used the name ‘museum’.

The earliest museums though — before they were called museums — were private collections owned by private individuals. They were not accessible to the public in the slightest, only a small circle of society’s elite. They functioned as “wonder rooms” for social gatherings. The oldest-known museum was Princess Ennigaldi-Nanna’s personal museum that dates back to 530 B.C. Museum exhibits began opening to the public only during the Renaissance. The oldest-known public collection of art was the Capitoline museum, which was established in 1471.

Over time, other forms of museums began to spring up, accommodating different types of artifacts. Today, there exist open-air museums, museums that preserve old architecture, ecomuseums, virtual museums, archeology museums, art museums or galleries, history museums, maritime museums, war museums, and even temporary pop-up museums.

Museums and Galleries Month timeline

530 B.C.
The First Museum

The world’s first museum is collected by Princess Ennigaldi.

1471
The First Public Museum

The first public museum is opened.

15th Century
Etymology

The word ‘museum’ is used for the first time.

1683
Naming the Museum

Ashmolean Museum becomes the first museum open to the public that uses the name ‘museum.’

Museums and Galleries Month FAQs

Are museums and galleries the same?

Museums display artifacts that aren’t for sale, art galleries often display and sell their exhibits.

What is the Philippines famous for?

The country is known for its beautiful beaches and tropical fruits

What is the nickname of the Philippines?

The Philippines was referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

How to Observe Museums and Galleries Month

  1. Look up Filipino culture

    Museums and Galleries Month was created to promote an appreciation for Filipino culture. Use the day to learn a bit about it.

  2. Visit a museum

    If you have a museum near you, visit one.

  3. Visit the Philippines

    Museums and Galleries Month is centered around the Philippines. If it’s feasible, go visit the lovely country.

5 Fascinating Libraries

  1. Alexandria

    The Museum of Alexandria was the most famous museum in the ancient world.

  2. The British Museum

    The British Museum was established in 1753.

  3. Museology

    Museology refers to the study of collection curation.

  4. Ramen museum

    There exists a ramen museum in Osaka, Japan.

  5. The history of toilets

    India’s Sulabh International Museum of Toilet chronicles the history of toilets.

Why Museums and Galleries Month is Important

  1. It highlights museums

    Museums are often underappreciated. We think any excuse to appreciate them a little bit more is a delight.

  2. It highlights Filipino culture

    The point of Museums and Galleries Month is to highlight Filipino heritage. Having links with a country’s culture is important.

  3. It highlights the links between politics and culture

    A country’s culture invariably shapes its politics. The emphasis on promoting a national consciousness through cultural exhibitions during Museums and Galleries Month is a testament to that.

Museums and Galleries Month dates

YearDateDay
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
2026October 1Thursday
2027October 1Friday
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