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Why you need to visit museums more often

As a history student, I have always had a love for museums. It is my most sincere hope to have a career working at a museum, so I’m a little biased, but there are so many reasons why museums are important for society.

Steven Williams and his daughter Lillian play with the "Energy at Rest" exhibit at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. The museum has a whole host of fun, interactive exhibits for families and individuals to enage in and learn something new. (Photo: Madison Brandt)
Steven Williams and his daughter Lillian play with the “Energy at Rest” exhibit at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. The museum has a whole host of fun, interactive exhibits for families and individuals to enage in and learn something new. (Photo: Madison Brandt)

It is essential for us, as humans, to catalogue our journey on earth and the things we encounter here. Sounds like a cheesy ideal to have, but it really is important. If the study of history teaches you anything, it should be that the phrase “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” holds an incredible amount of truth. This applies not just to general history, but history of science, art, languages and the cultures of different groups around the world.

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There is an abundance of subjects covered by museums all over the world. There are broad concept museums for the arts and sciences, as well as smaller niche museums.

For instance, this past summer I had an internship at the Fairbanks House Historical Site in Dedham, Massachusetts. It is a house that was built around 1637-1641 and was inhabited by a single family until 1904, when it became a museum. Not only is it a historical site, but the museum and its office are historic as well. From this small property, you can learn about life throughout the centuries in America, and actually see it as you tour the rooms that were added on over time.

You can even stumble upon unexpected treasures.

While on a road trip, my friend and I decided to stop in Wamego, Kansas to see the Oz Museum. It was actually fascinating, and their collection was extensive.

While I realize most of you might not make it out to Massachusetts anytime soon, and that Kansas is not exactly a vacation destination, there are some great local options in and around Fort Collins.

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is perhaps the most well known and visited museum in the area. The exhibits range from natural and social science, to the history of Fort Collins, to astronomy. The Otter Box Digital Dome Theatre shows films on various subjects on a domed screen. This museum is a great choice if you have kids, too.

The Fort Collins Museum of Art is another great option. Their upcoming exhibit, “Masks” showcases the creative efforts of Northern Colorado Residents by allowing them to turn plain ceramic masks into their own creations. Another exciting exhibit in the fall will showcase Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers, which are sure to be a treat for anyone aware of his influence upon American art.

You don’t even have to go further than campus. The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is located just inside the UCA and often has some beautiful and interesting exhibits to see.

Regardless of where you are located, you will likely be able to find a museum nearby, and it is beneficial for yourself and the community to support local business and see what they have to offer. It’s a fun and educational way to spend the day.

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We go to museums to learn about the world around us, and as college students, it is our duty to invest in this learning and nurture it throughout our lives.

This spring break, go out and soak up the wealth of knowledge available in Fort Collins, Rams.

Collegian A&E Writer Aubrey Shanahan can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @aubs926.

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