My Favorite Museums

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Some things never change. Especially dinosaur skeletons that are millions of years old.

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When I was in second grade, I had this vision of becoming a paleontologist (clearly that never happened), so my aunt and uncle took me to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History as a birthday present. After that, my parents bought a museum membership and we went several times over the years. And nothing ever thrilled me quite like the dinosaurs.

The dinosaur exhibit has certainly changed since my childhood days. It’s more interactive, easier to navigate, and more visually appealing. But I still turn into a little seven-year-old again staring up at the dinosaurs that are taller than I could ever hope to be (and mind you, I am not terribly tall).

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And then there are the Halls of North American and African Wildlife. I still greet those taxidermy like old friends. The giraffe, the zebras, the mountain goats, they all still look at me the exact same way, and I still see them through wide child-eyes.

The Egyptian exhibit used to have a mummy tomb that kids could climb through and explore. I’m still really sad it’s since been closed up. That was a fun time. But since I’ve been reading the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, I have more appreciation for the relics inside the tomb, as well as the Egyptian gods and goddesses. Funny what growing up can do for you.

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Look at that architecture. Isn’t that beautiful? Is it any wonder why I adore this museum so much?

I never explored the Art Museum much when I was a child, but now that I’m older, I appreciate it far more than I would have at age seven. Due to my love of Greek mythology, is it any surprise that my favorite works are sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses? I can recognize any sculpture of Athena because she always wears Medusa’s head on her cloak.

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You can see it there.

The room holding this particular statue is based on the Parthenon in Athens.

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I was tempted to buy a museum membership for myself. Honestly, I could come back here every day just to stare in wonder at these masterpieces, both natural and created. I didn’t buy a membership because I don’t have $70 to spend on something like that. BUT Thursday nights after 5 are half-priced admission. That would be a fun evening. Hang out at the library for a couple hours and then go to the museum. Oh, yeah, did I mention that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Oakland branch shares a building with the museums? It’s all my dreams coming true at once!

Oh, and did I mention the guardians of the museum, watching over Forbes Avenue like gentle gargoyles? Why, just the Muses, the patronesses of the arts! We also get the word “museum” from the Muses, in case you wondered.

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Don’t be surprised if this is one of many posts about these museums, and the library. If I can’t find anything else to love about Pittsburgh, you can bet that these museums will redeem Pittsburgh for me.

 

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