MPM: Website vs. Museum

By Matt Meade and Danny Quijas

The Milwaukee Public Museum was an interesting experience. Though we both could not make the trip, Danny and I put our thoughts together to come up with a review of the website and physical museum

In terms of the website, it is actually quite impressive. It is very appealing and up to date. The colors and pictures provide a visually appealing layout for the viewer and the tabs at the top make for easy navigation. The research and collections department provide solid information for anybody looking to build knowledge or just to view images of collections. The website does a great job of combining both the images and text to create a nice balance for the viewer. It was interesting to see several images of the exhibits we actually seen in person. The comparison was something we had to make note of.

During our visit to the Milwaukee Public Museum we were able get a glimpse of some artifacts both first hand and behind the scenes, also. Being able to go back into the collection rooms with all the artifacts that are housed in three rooms was one of the most interesting parts. One of the best rooms was the mammoth room. It was amazing not only because it had the remains of the mammoth in it, but because it also had the skulls and a variety of osteological artifacts that most people aren’t able to see.

Furthermore, actually seeing the exhibits was fun and the most memorable. Being able to have bugs crawl onto your hands and to see all the bones that they had on display, especially the massive whale.

Also, the behind the scenes material was wonderful. It was cool to be able to look into places that many people do not typically get to see when visiting a museum. We got a true sense of the under the radar business that needs to take place in order to allow a museum to be run. For example, the botany department was interesting because of the special Native American plants that they held. The department with the all the bottled up fish and amphibians was kind of creepy but is something that is tough to find anywhere else. They even had a narwhal horn and it was awesome. We also got to be see the behind the scenes of the taxidermy. Things that would never get shown on their website reinforce the idea of how much better it is to see things in person.

Overall, it is much better to be able to see things in a physical representation rather than having to see things through a computer screen. It becomes more memorable and allows certain exhibits to trigger emotions. When an exhibit can trigger the emotions of its audience, it becomes significantly more memorable and exciting.


One thought on “MPM: Website vs. Museum

  1. I also think I enjoyed our trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum more than I would enjoy clicking around on their website. I agree that having an online presence is a nice way to augment what is happening at the museum, but museums need to provide an impressive “real-life” experience for visitors in order to stay alive and relevant in an increasingly digital world.
    It’s interesting that many of your favorite memories of your trip to the museum were parts of museums that the average visitor never sees. I think a vast majority of visitors do not realize the amount of active research going on behind the scenes at museums. Perhaps if more museums turned some exhibit areas into working lab space where visitors could view the research happening everyday “behind the scenes”, our society would be more aware of the importance of museums.


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