Explore Museum Moments

John Cotton Dana was a significant forerunner of the “Buy American” movement.  One of the most important museum directors of 20th century, he thought European art was a waste of money. The Newark Museum is a quintessential American art museum. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and… more >

John Cotton Dana

Charles Willson Peale, founder of the Philadelphia Museum, opened the first public museum in this country, linking patriotic history, natural history and art. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). 

The Philadelphia Museum

The vast collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History enable visitors to experience firsthand some of the more iconic artifacts of our country’s history. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). … more >

The National Museum of American History

King Tut transformed the Museum World when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York featured the boy king in a 1970s blockbuster exhibit, sparking “King Tut Mania.” From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). 

King Tut

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie promoted the idea that capitalists were obligated to use their fortunes to improve society. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). .

Andrew Carnegie

The Charleston Museum is older than the nation. At the first museum on American soil, archaeologists are still at work capturing the natural and material history of the low country. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). 

The Charleston Museum

P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York City was a popular attraction before the Civil War. After his museum went up in flames, he traveled the country, bringing his particular brand of of entertainment to a larger audience. From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100… more >

P.T. Barnum

John D. Rockefeller preserved Colonial America by buying and restoring the town of Williamsburg, Virginia. The buildings themselves became the objects of interest. “Americana” was invented.  From GREAT MUSEUMS: Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (2006). … more >

Williamsburg

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