Museum Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old museum quotes, museum sayings, and museum proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.     

Orhan Pamuk

A museum is a place where nothing was lost, just rediscovered…     

Nanette L. Avery

Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place in museums; others, we take for walks.     

Roger Caras

Museums are custodians of epiphanies, and these epiphanies enter the central nervous system and deep recesses of the mind.     

George Lois

Museums are wormholes to other worlds. They are ecstasy machines. Follow your eyes to wherever they lead you…and the world should begin to change for you.     

Jerry Saltz

A museum has to renew its collection to be alive, but that does not mean we give on important old works.     

David Rockefeller

Museums are managers of consciousness. They give us an interpretation of history, of how to view the world and locate ourselves in it. They are, if you want to put it in positive terms, great educational institutions. If you want to put it in negative terms, they are propaganda machines.     

Hans Haacke

Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering - because you can't take it in all at once.     

Audrey Hepburn

Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum.     

Robert Smithson

The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye.     

Robert Smithson

The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground- congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality.     

Robert Smithson

Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters. We have infected the pictures in museums with all our stupidities, all our mistakes, all our poverty of spirit. We have turned them into petty and ridiculous things.     

Pablo Picasso

Museums should be places where you raise questions, not just show stuff.     

William Thorsell

A museum is a place where one should lose one's head.     

Renzo Piano

The most basic task of any museum must be the protection of works of cultural significance entrusted to its care for the edification and pleasure of future generations.     

Martin Filler

A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.     

Edmond de Goncourt

That which, perhaps, hears more nonsense than anything in the world, is a picture in a museum.     

Jules de Goncourt

Individually, museums are fine institutions, dedicated to the high values of preservation, education and truth; collectively, their growth in numbers points to the imaginative death of this country.     

Robert Hewison

The historical museum has to be very conservative and careful in its choices. The modern museum, on the other hand, has to be audacious, to take chances. It has to consider the probability that it would be wrong in a good many cases and take the consequences later.     

Alfred H. Barr, Jr.