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  • Tom Boyd


A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.

According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries and 17,500 of these are in the United States.

I regret not having seen the Roy Rogers and Liberace museums before they closed. Neither had enough fans or a family foundation to keep them going. I suspect the closing of smaller museums will be occurring more now that we are in the internet age.

Some relatively unknown museums of interest and should you be in their neighborhood–go visit them.

The Autry in Griffith Park formerly known as the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. The Autry was established in 1988 by the actor and businessman Gene Autry (as “Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum”) to explore and share the comprehensive story of the American West and the multiple cultures, perspectives, traditions, and experiences–real and imagined–that make the West significant. On two sites in Los Angeles this museum should be around awhile as Gene Autry was wealthy.

The Sid Richardson Museum, a premier Fort Worth Museum, is located in historic Sundance Square and features paintings by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. The works, reflecting both the art and reality of the American West, are the legacy of the late oilman and philanthropist, Sid Williams Richardson, and were acquired by him from 1942 until his death in 1959. Hopefully his money and the gift shop (mail order too) will keep the museum going as it is free.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is an American museum that features the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The museum is located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. The Walt Disney Family Museum, LLC is owned, operated and funded by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Disney’s heirs (including Diane Disney Miller, co-founder of the museum). Tom Hanks spent a day here while preparing for the movie, Saving Mr. Banks. It is not formally associated with The Walt Disney Company. Diane Disney, one of Walt’s two daughters, died last November. Hopefully the museum can generate enough donations to continue and not suffer the fate of the Roy Rogers and Liberace museums.

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