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Friday, May 18, 2018

10 Museums to Know on International Museum Day

Each year, the International Council of Museums sponsors International Museum Day, a time to celebrate museums as “important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation, and peace among peoples.

In honor of International Museum Day, Charity Navigator is sharing a list of the ten most highly-rated museums that we currently evaluate. They span a broad range of topics from history to art to science, and are located all over the United States. Consider supporting one of these important cultural insitutions today. 

Missouri History Museum (St. Louis, MO)
Deepening the understanding of past choices, present circumstances, and future possibilities

The Missouri History Museum seeks to deepen the understanding of past choices, present circumstances, and future possibilities; strengthen the bonds of the community; and facilitate solutions to common problems. The Missouri History Museum's research collections contain unique regional history sources and objects documenting St. Louis, Missouri, the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys, the Louisiana Purchase Territory and the American West. An integrated and multi-format collection, it serves an audience of diverse local, national and international readers and researchers.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, VA)
To preserve and enrich the cultural life and heritage of the Valley

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) interprets the art, history, and culture of the great valley for which it is named. This regional museum complex in Winchester, Virginia, includes a historic house dating to the eighteenth century, six acres of spectacular gardens, and a museum designed by internationally recognized architect Michael Graves. In addition, MSV maintains the landscape and farmland of all these properties, each of which offers educational programming and exhibitions to its members and visitors.

McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, TX)
Step into a masterpiece. Experience a treasure.

For more than half a century, the McNay has entranced visitors with its superb collection of modern masterworks and beautiful architecture. First opening to the public in 1954, the McNay has become one of the most distinctive museums of modern art in the nation, nearly doubling in size in 2008 with the opening of the Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions. Since opening five decades ago, the McNay Art Museum continues to build on an already strong collection of 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings and sculpture by significant artists ranging from Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, to Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Sloan, and Marsden Hartley.

Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati, OH)
We bring people and art together

Through the power of art, we contribute to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring its people and connecting our communities. 
We believe that a vibrant city integrates art and design into its civic agenda. Connecting people and art is central to this belief and at the core of all we do. 
We believe that the story of art - past, present and future - enriches life, promotes a thriving creative economy, and links people and perspectives across cultures and history.
We believe that inspiration, empowerment, education and community building are the highest purposes of museum programs, exhibitions, collecting, conservation, interpretation, and scholarship.
We believe that the Cincinnati Art Museum can boldly lead our city and region forward in these pursuits.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
The voice of the American West

Founded in 1917 as the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) is a museum that educates the public by advancing knowledge about the American West through acquiring, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting collections. Founded to preserve the legacy and vision of Colonel William F. Cody, the BBHC is the oldest and most comprehensive museum of the West; over the years it has become much more than a monument to the life and times of Buffalo Bill. The BBHC is comprised of five museums and a research library: the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, the Draper Museum of Natural History, and the Harold McCracken Research Library.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Atlanta, GA)
Inspiring life-long learning of natural history

Fernbank Museum of Natural History inspires life-long learning of natural history through immersive programming and unmatched experiences to encourage a greater appreciation of our planet and its inhabitants. Located in historic Druid Hills, Fernbank's 125-acre science campus includes: Fernbank Forest, 65 acres of old-growth woodlands; WildWoods which features outdoor exhibitions and trail experiences; two Olmsted Parks, Deep Deen Park and Dellwood Park; 7 historic homes; and a world-class natural history museum that houses a Dinosaur Plaza, permanent and special exhibitions, a Giant Screen Theatre, Giants of the Mesozoic featuring the Giganotosaurus and Argentinosaurus, and the St. Catherines Island Collection-an internationally acclaimed assemblage of one million artifacts that spans 5,000 years of human history.

Mississippi Children’s Museum (Jackson, MS)
Ignite a thirst for discovery, knowledge, and learning in all children

The mission of Mississippi Children's Museum is to provide unparalleled experiences that ignite a thirst for discovery, knowledge, and learning in all children. The museum accomplishes this mission through hands-on and engaging exhibits and programs focusing on literacy, the arts, science, health and nutrition - the keys to helping our children mature into healthy and productive adult learners. We want to inspire Mississippi's children from all backgrounds to discover and achieve their potential. We are invested in our state's greatest resource, its children.

The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, CA)
Inspiriting the innovator in everyone

Opened in 1990, The Tech Museum of Innovation is an educational resource established to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives, and to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. An expansive variety of interactive exhibits and unique floor programs showcase not just how technology works, but how it affects who we are and how we live, work, play and learn. The Tech's 132,000 square feet are divided among themed galleries focused on innovation, the internet, the human body, and exploration. Annually, The Tech plays host to roughly 400,000 guests - 80,000 of whom visit as part of a school field trip - making it one of California's most popular destinations.

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose (San Jose, CA)
Your children’s museum in the Silicon Valley

The Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (CDM) serves the needs of children, families and schools as a center for learning and discovery. In its unique environment, children actively make connections among ideas, people and cultures. The Museum's programs encourage children to define their role in and contribution to both local and global communities. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations, while programs provide facilitated, focused, and sustained interactions. Since opening in 1990, the Museum has welcomed over five million visitors and has offered new interactive exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs.

San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego, CA)
It’s about people

The San Diego Museum of Man is a cultural and physical anthropology museum. We collect, preserve, interpret, and communicate evidence of human development, creativity, and artistic expression. The exhibitions of the world-renowned Museum of Man are a major resource for the San Diego community. Permanent exhibits explore the Maya, ancient Egypt, the Kumeyaay Indians of San Diego County, Human Evolution, and the Human Life Cycle. Education is one of the primary functions of the Museum of Man. Through programs which offer engaging and stimulating experiences, the Museum creates a dynamic learning environment for children and adults. We are committed to promoting an understanding of the diverse cultures of the world, human biology, and human ecology through quality education programs.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool and Discover feature to find even more highly-rated museums.

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