Find Virginia museums, such as art museums and galleries, childrens museums, natural history museums, science centers and discovery museums. Museums provide exhibits related to modern and fine arts, history, science and nature, dinosaurs, engineering and more.
A Museum is a collection of scientific, historical, cultural, or artistic artifacts, specimens, and objects, usually housed within a single building or campus, which is used for research and public education. A Museum's collection is both a reflection of prior research efforts and the subject of current and future research. A Museum also makes its collection and research accessible to the public, at least in part, through exhibits and educational programs. Museums and their collections may be focused on any one of a vast array of disciplines. Museums can serve relatively narrow fields of interest or cover a wide terrain of subject matter. The range of possible Museum types is virtually limitless, but most encompass some aspect of science, culture, or history.
Museums of Natural History, which are often found in large metropolitan centers, own massive collections of specimens and items from the natural world, including living and extinct animals and plants, as well as geological objects such as rocks and minerals. Many also collect and display anthropological and archaeological artifacts. Much of the collection of a Museum of Natural History may not be on display.
Art Museums display works of art in galleries that may be devoted to a diverse range of artists and art genres from various eras, or an Art Museum may focus on specific artists or styles. Art Museums require substantial amounts of funding to both acquire and care for their costly collections.
History Museums are dedicated to preserving and teaching about the past, and may focus on a particular historical event or movement, the history of a region or locality, or an individual of historical significance. Historical Museums may be very small. For example, many local Historical Societies run History Museums that are essentially a historical home or site converted into a Museum for public viewing. Others may be large and consist of multiple buildings from a historic era, restored and furnished with period pieces.
Children's Museums cover a wide range of subject matters, including scientific, historical, and cultural topics, and they are designed to engage the interest and curiosity of children. Exhibits are oriented toward young learners and are far more interactive than other Museums.
Specialty Museums are Museums dedicated to narrowly defined topics of interest. They include Halls of Fame, Toy Museums, Textile Museums, and Wax Museums.