Did you know that there are almost 18 thousand museums in the United States? Are you aware that zoos are classified as museums? The American Association of Museums (AAM) lists the following types of museums on their website:
- Arboretum/Botanical Gardens
- Art Museums
- Children’s Museums
- Historical House or Site Museums
- History Museums
- Natural History or Anthropology Museums
- Nature Centers
- Science/Technology Museums
- General Museums
- Specialized Museums (such as Railroad, Military, African-American)
Did you ever wonder how they are funded? While many charge admissions, there are a fair number that are free-of-charge to visitors. Private charitable donations provide the largest percent of funding followed by admission charges (including gift shops and concessions), government funding (25%) and investment income.
For those interested in museum careers there are degrees offered in museum studies, historic preservation, public history and non-profit management. Of course museums require a host of services to develop, support and run their institutions. Things like facilities management, public relations, institutional planning, retail services, membership & development, collections stewardship and human resources.
The most obvious feature of a museum is the exhibits themselves. While some museums are known for their collections of original artifacts, many more use reproductions, display boards, dioramas, props, scale models, interactive kiosks and hands-on exhibits to educate and entertain their visitors. Exhibit companies design these spaces to maximize a particular museum’s goals, and model making companies are often called upon to create the actual objects that go in these spaces.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines these spaces as “a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.
Model makers pride themselves on providing quality museum models that will hold up to the high standards of these institutions.