The Smithsonian Institution was established with the funds from James Smithson. He was a British scientist that left his estate to the United States with his last will stating that “at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” He was an illegitimate child of a wealthy Englishman. He traveled in different countries but was never able to set foot on the American soil. Therefore, it was a huge mystery why he left his sizable estate, which is worth half a million dollars, to a country that is unknown to him. There are several speculations to his reasons. Some say that it was because he was denied of his father’s legacy. Some say that he was inspired by the United States’ experiment with democracy. Some attribute his philanthropy was inspired by the Royal Institution that was dedicated in using scientific knowledge to improve human’s conditions. But in reality, he never wrote or discussed this to anyone. Therefore, people were left with their own speculations. This gift had a significant impact on the arts, humanities, and sciences in the United States. His remains were located on the first floor of the Smithsonian Castle, where visitors can pay homage to his crypt.

smithsonian institution

smithsonian institution

Smithsonian died in 1829, but only six years later that then President Andrew Jackson announced the donation to the Congress. On July 1, 1836, the Congress accepted the legacy donated to the nation and pledged the faith of the US to the charitable trust. Richard Rush, the American diplomat, was dispatched to England to collect the donation in August 1838. He returned with 105 sacks containing more than 100,000 gold sovereigns that were delivered at Philadelphia. It was recoined in US currency, which amounted to more than $500,000 at that time, which is now equivalent to more than $11 million. After eight years of heated debate, an Act of Congress was signed by President James K. Polk on August 10, 1846 that established the Smithsonian Institution. Since its foundation for more than 164 years ago, it has become the world’s largest museum and research complex. Currently, it has 19 museums, a National Zoo, and nine research facilities.

If you are in Italy and visiting Florence and Tuscany, you should never miss to visit one of the most famous museums in the world, the Uffizi Gallery or “Galleria degl Uffizi”. Every year it gathers over a million visitors. Together with the Vatican Museums in Rome, these two are the top most visited museums in Italy by visitors all over the world. Uffizi gallery is located in the heart of Florence, and has a rich amount of unique artworks and masterpieces with the majority from the Renaissance period. The large collection of works includes from all centuries, but most of the pieces were dated back to the periods between the 12th and 17th centuries. It hosts the works of art by great Italian artists like:


  • Sandro Botticelli
  • Giotto di Bondone
  • Cimabue (with the original name of Bencivieni di Pepo and modern Italian name of Benvenuto di Giuseppe)
  • Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael

Originally, Uffizi was not created as a museum but rather a place to house the administrative and judiciary offices of Florence. This was ordered by Cosimo I de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. Giorgio Vasari was the great architect who designed the u-shaped building together with the secret Corridor that joins it to the Pitti Palace running above the Ponte Vecchio, the church of Santa Felicita, and many other buildings on the way to the palace before ending at the Boboli Gardens.


In order to build the Uffizi, many establishments were demolished among them is the San Pier Scheraggio, an ancient and important Romanesque church. However, you can still observe some of the remains of the old church on the ground floor in the so called Via della Ninna, with the arches and columns of one of the aisles still visible from that street. Vasari was not able to complete the Uffizi because of his death. It was therefore completed by another great artist, Bernardo Buontalenti, in 1574.

If you are not able to visit the Uffizi Gallery in person, there are several multimedia now available in the internet that will let you ‘explore’ it by just using your computer via 3D imaging. You can also download several files regarding the famous museum with the help of useful link generator. Even if it is a large file, you can easily download it in just a few seconds.

Whether you are a beginner or more experienced with photography, there are some tips that will benefit you and give you better results, here are some.

  • Compose in Thirds

To use the rule of thirds, imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical creating nine even squares.

  • Avoid Camera Shake

Camera shake or blur is something that can plague any photographer and here are some ways to avoid it. You need to learn how to hold your camera properly.

  • The Sunny 16 Rule

The idea with the Sunny 16 rule is that we can use it to predict how to meter our camera on a sunny outdoor day. So when in that situation, choose an aperture of f/16 and 1/100th of a second shutter speed.

  • Use a Polarizing Filter

If you can only buy one filter for your lens, make it a polarizer. This filter helps reduce reflections from water as well as metal and glass; it improves the colors of the sky and foliage, and it will protect your lens too.

  • Create a Sense of Depth

When photographing landscapes it really helps to create a sense of depth, in other words, make the viewer feel like they are there. Placing an object or person in the foreground helps give a sense of scale and emphasizes how far away the distance is.

  • Use Simple Backgrounds

Choose a plain background like neutral colors and simple patterns. You want the eye to be drawn to the focal point of the image rather than a patch of color or an odd building in the background.

  • Don’t Use Flash Indoors

Flash can look harsh and unnatural especially for indoor portraits. Push the ISO up this way more light will reach the sensor and you will have a nice blurred background.

  • Choose the Right ISO

The ISO setting determines how sensitive your camera is to light and also how fine the grain of your image. On sunny days we can choose ISO 100 or the Auto setting as we have more light to work with.

  • Pan to Create Motion

If you want to capture a subject in motion, then use the panning technique.

  • Experiment with Shutter Speed

Don’t be afraid to play with the shutter speed to create some interesting effects.

The Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and largest of Japan’s top-level national museums. It was originally established in 1972 at Yushima Seido Shrine and moved to its current location in Ueno Park a few years later. The Tokyo National Museum features one of the largest and best collections of art and archeological artifacts in Japan, made up of over 110,000 individual items including nearly a hundred national treasures.

tokyo 1

The large museum complex is home to six separate buildings which specialize in different types of art and exhibitions.

  • The main Honkan building was opened in 1938 and exhibits a variety of Japanese artwork from ancient times to the 19th century.
  • The Hyokeikan, the oldest building on the grounds, which was built in 1909 in celebration of the Taisho Emperor’s wedding. It is a representative example of Western-style architecture during the Meiji Period and is registered as an important cultural property.

tokyo 2

  • The Toyokan building, designed in 1968 by Japanese architect Taniguchi Yoshiro. The building feature galleries displaying Asian art and artifacts from China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, India and Egypt.
  • The Heiseikan, a fairly recent addition to the museum built to commemorate the Crown Prince’s wedding in 1993. It houses exhibitions on ancient Japanese cultures as well as large scale special exhibitions.
  • The Horyuji Homotsukan or the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, was built to house a collection of religious objects consisting mostly of small, intricate statues and copper relief images donated by Horyuji Temple in Nara. The building was designed by Taniguchi Yoshio whose minimalist style can also be seen in his other projects.
  • The Kuroda Memorial Hall, which was built from donations by Kuroda Seiki, a Japanese artist who is known as the father of modern Western-style painting in Japan. The hall houses a rotating collection of Kuroda’s paintings and sketches as well as other artwork that has been donated by his family. In addition to the exhibition halls, the Tokyo National Museum also offers a Japanese style garden and teahouses located behind the Honkan, as well as multiple shops and cafes spread out around the grounds. If you want to know about Korean cars, visit this page.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as The Met, is located in New York City. It is the largest museum in the United States and one of the most visited art museums in the world. Its collection contains more than two million works, which is divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The Met mainly includes its main building on Fifth Avenue and The Cloisters museum and gardens in northern Manhattan.

metropolitan museum of art

The permanent collection of the museum contains work of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic Art. It also contains encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor collected all over the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in The Met’s galleries.

The Met’s earliest history was recorded back in 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans wanted to create a ‘national institution and gallery of art’ to bring art and art education to the American people. John Jay, who proposed the idea went back to US and started planning. He was the president then of the Union League Club in New York, and used it in his advantage to encourage civic leaders, businessmen, artists, art collectors and philanthropists to the cause. On April 12, 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art was incorporated and was opened to the public in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue. On November 20, 1870, The Met acquired its first object, which is a Roman sarcophagus. In 1871, the collection was added with European paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Nicholas Poussin, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Due to the increasing collection, the museum moved in Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street. From then on, the collection has continued to increase.

The Cloisters museum and gardens is the branch of The Met devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. It was opened to the public in 1938 and is located in Fort Tryon in northern Manhattan, on a spectacular four-acre lot overlooking the Hudson River. The building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but an ensemble informed by a selection of historical precedents, with a deliberate combination of ecclesiastical and secular spaces arranged in chronological order. Medieval cloisters including Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, Trie-sur-Baise, Froville and Bonnefont-en-Comminges; and from other sites in Europe have been incorporated to the building.

The old museum was opened back in 1876. It was a small, old building on the top of the Acropolis, behind the Parthenon. Because it cannot accommodate both the sculptures and the thousands of visitors who wanted to see the art displays, a new museum was built. It was also criticized for not being earthquake-resistant even if it’s in an earthquake-prone area.

acropolis museum

Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum opened in June 2009, using the spectacular modern design of the Swiss American architect Bernard Tschumi. While the new museum was being constructed, a series of archaeological discoveries were found on site – including private homes from the early Christian period that contained artifacts such as marble busts, mosaic flooring, and amphorae. It was then decided to change the design plan, they built a series of pillars to protect the archaeological site, and then put a glass floor. The visitors will be able to peer through transparent floor panes to view the artifacts beneath their feet. The museum also has glass facades on all sides that allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the Acropolis from the inside. There’s also an outdoor terrace on the third floor with a great view of the Acropolis Hill. The design also incorporated seismic technology in anticipation of frequent earthquakes in the region. To know more about the museum, you can visit the Acropolis Museum page.

Among the museum’s displayed treasures are artifacts from the Archaic, Classical and Roman periods. The artifacts were all found in the Parthenon, on the slopes of the Acropolis, or in other extant structures on the site.

  • The first gallery shows a large number of Archaic statues:

Korai (female) and Kourai (male) statues from 5th and 6th century BC; Moschophoros (calfbearer) sculpted in 570 BC that represents a man named Rombos who plans to sacrifice a calf; Boy of Kritios, a statue that symbolizes the transition from Archaic to Classical Art; and the beautiful relief of a young, mourning goddess Athena.

  • On the next floor, it exhibits sculptures and reliefs from the Parthenon:

Reliefs of the frieze of the Pathenon, it has a length of 160 meters. The frieze shows a procession during the Panathenaic festival that is held every four years in honor of the goddess Athena. These reliefs are displayed in the order as they appeared on the Parthenon.

  • The next gallery showed notable works, which includes: sections of the Propylaea; the temple of Athena Nike; and the Erechtheion, with the original Caryatids, female figures that supported the south porch of the Erechtheion temple.

Museums are not so popular with kids these days. That is why several steps and campaigns are being devised by curators to attract more visitors in the museum. Some people who love art try to help museums by creating blogs or by writing an article about art related topics. They write about the museum’s background information, the fun activities they offer, and put inviting photos to encourage people to visit the museums. If you want to know more about how to start a blog, you can simply go to There are several articles that will help you to learn about blogging.

The Louvre Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in the world. It has 600,000 square feet of exhibition space that houses 35,000 masterpieces from prehistory to contemporary works. It is housed in the expansive Louvre Palace, situated in the 1st arrondissement, at the heart of Paris. It is consistently the world’s most visited museum with more than 8 million people every year who visits the place to enjoy its magnificent treasures. It is also the reason that Paris is the international arbiter of taste and culture.

In front of the museum is the Louvre Pyramid, which functions as the museum’s main entrance. It was built in 1989 by renowned American architect I.M. Pei. With the glass pyramid, it allows the sunlight to enter the underground floor. After entering the museum, you will be able to access the three large wings of the museum: Sully, Richelieu and Denon.

Sully Wing: This is the oldest part of the Louvre with the lower ground floor, which still has some remnants of the medieval castle. The first and ground floors display works from enormous collection of antiquities of Ancient Egypt’s artifacts and sculptures, such as: Seated Scribe and a colossal statue of Pharaoh Ramesses II. On the ground floor, you will see the famous statue of Aphrodite better known as ‘Venus of Milo’. The second floor holds a collection of French paintings, drawings and prints. One of the highlights is the painting of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres the Turkish Bath from the late eighteenth century.

Richelieu Wing: The ground and lower ground floor is where the Louvre’s extensive collection of sculptures located that are arranged around two glass covered courtyards: Cour Puget and Cour Marly. The ground floor also includes collections of antiquities from the Near East. The main attraction is the Code of Hammurabi inscribed with the Babylonian law code, a large basalt stele from the 18th century B.C. On the first floor, you will observe a collection of decorative arts, with objects such as clocks, furniture, china and tapestries. On the same floor is the decorated Napoleon III Apartments that will give you an idea of what the Louvre looked like when it was still used as a royal palace. The second floor contains paintings from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century from across Europe.

Denon Wing: This is the most crowded wing because of the famous masterpieces located here. On the lower ground floor are the medieval sculptures from Europe. The ground floor has the largest collection of Roman and Etruscan antiquities, sculptures from the Renaissance to the 19th century, and artifacts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The famous marble statue of Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave is also located here. In the first floor, you will be able to see the portrait of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Wedding Feast at Cana from Veronese, the Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I by Jacques Louis David. Another attraction is the Winged Victory of Samothrace, a Greek marble statue displayed in the atrium connecting the Denon Wing and the Sully Wing.

Museums usually feature ancient artifacts, paintings and sculptures. All of it conveys several stories from different timelines of human history. Some student might find studying history and visiting the museum to be uninteresting. Therefore, several teaching strategies are being formulated to make it more appealing for everyone. With the advancement of technology, museums are also maximizing its uses to attract more visitors. They aim to reach a wider target audience with not only scholars or students required to go because of their fieldtrips, but as well as became a part of family bonding or a tour destination for teenagers. But the main goal is still to impart knowledge about our history and for everyone to appreciate the essence of art.


Nowadays, museums are offering interactive guides and ‘off-site’ access to their resources. Some hi-tech museums lend palmtop to their visitors. Using this technology, information about each exhibit will be displayed as the visitor approaches the object. It can also provide directions that will help visitors to easily know their location and navigate their way inside the museum. Using a proxy server in palmtop device, it provides a cache for the information and the queries it was receiving. Thus giving information to the visitors can be done fast. In some website museums, they are offering off-site access to their resources by also using a proxy server. In the old website of The Field Museum, also known as Columbian Museum of Chicago, they are using a proxy server to offer resources to their staff member, research associate or people who are registered to have library privileges. In the new website, visitors will observe a more updated system and more interactive options. Proxy servers play a significant role for many developments regarding museums. It can also be used by every internet users because of the benefits it can give, such as: faster internet surfing, implement access control, share internet connection using LAN. If you are interested to know more, you can visit this website.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, also known as SFMOMA, is located in San Francisco, California which holds an internationally acclaimed collection of modern and contemporary art. SFMOMA was also the first museum on the West Coast solely devoted to 20th Century art. Its building is designed by a Swiss architect named Mario Botta, which are impeccable and well-thought of. The buildings made by Mario Botta, is in my “must see” list. Here some “must see” things to in SFMOMA:

  • The Rooftop Garden

Don’t forget to stop by the rooftop sculpture garden for a look at some interesting large-scale works. Try and examine the intricate spidery design of  The Nest by Louise Bourgeois. It will give you the creeps and also keep you fascinated at the same time.

  • La Conversation by Henri Matisse

It is located at the second floor of the museum. Matisse’s use vibrant colors that make the painting stand out in a crowd. His depiction of those two smiling women will leave you wondering what they are talking about.

  • Photography in Mexico Exhibition

The SFMOMA was one of the first museums to celebrate photography as a form of art. This exhibition gives an amazing glimpse of the rich culture and tradition of Mexico and its people.

There are a lot of captivating things about SFMOMA, you can look into to see these captivating things that I am talking about.