I recently agreed to attend a meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. The program sponsor and I emailed back and forth about my arrival and departure dates. I was a bit unsure when I would depart but eventually decided that rather than rushing to the airport immediately after the last presentation, I would stay in Fort Worth at little longer to visit one of the local museums. I have been very fortunate over the years to have traveled a lot so I have had the opportunity to visit many different museums. I have enjoyed most of my visits and have very fond memories of some. Amongst the many things I have learned during my many museum visits is that more is definitely not better. When I was much younger, I can remember spending entire days in the Uffizi and the Louvre. My memories of those experiences are more of exhaustion than exhilaration. As reported in The New York Times, there are ways to visit a museum that enhance the experience. Setting a time limit or having a specific focus usually makes the visit more fulfilling. While some of my favorite museums may be quite large, I like simply going to one gallery or viewing one artist or group of artists. One of my most memorable museum visits occurred almost 25 years ago and my wife, young son and I stayed in one large room the entire visit.
My advice to museum goers is to take advantage of free museums or reduced price times. That way, you do not feel compelled to spend the entire day in the museum to get your money’s worth. Explore the lesser known museums. They are much less crowded and usually have terrific, interesting material. Limit the amount of time spent in the museum. Most visitors cannot absorb much after an hour and a half or two hours. Leisurely explore a content of interest to you rather than trying to see everything. What you see will be more memorable and meaningful. I like to read the handouts so I can gain a better understanding of what I am seeing. Finally, I like to have a cup of tea or coffee at the museum restaurant. If not overly crowded, the restaurant space is usually visually interesting and it is fun to immediately compare notes about the experience with a traveling companion. So, while I will be traveling alone, and will not be able to share a cup of tea in the museum restaurant, I am very excited about my trip to Fort Worth and the Fort Worth museums later this spring.