However perplexing the problems of the present and the future, however sobering the obligations laid upon the museums of America through the destruction of war, the past gives confidence for the days to come.
Winifred E. Howe, A History of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1946

What’s a museum? Lately, it seems, the answer is whatever we want. Today’s museums can be tourist attractions, department stores, civic centers, town squares, catalysts of urban renewal, food courts, licensing brands, showcases for contemporary architecture, social clubs, LEED-certified environmentally conscious facilities, and franchise opportunities. A “well-run museum is eerily like an upscale suburban shopping mall,” says an article in The New...

 
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