A museum for UFOs? Sure. A museum about the scintillating history of barbed wire? Why not? You can even visit a museum of dedicated to Bad Art right outside the men’s room of an early 20th century theater! There are several thousand museums in the United States, and most of them focusing on Art, History, Nature, Science, or providing children a place to learn through play, but there are also quite a few museums, that… well… don’t really fit very neatly in any of those categories. While I would love to wax poetic on the amazing exhibitions at the Trash Museum, I cannot, but I would like to tell you about a museum I visited while in France.
In 1992, I was an exchange student and spent three weeks in Southern France. During these three weeks, my other exchange classmates and I attended school, and of course had field trips to museums. One of our day excursions took us to the beautiful city of Romans-sur-Isère where the hottest attractions are the Church of St. Barnard and Le Musée International de la Chaussure – yes, you read that right: The International Museum of Shoes. This museum showcases footwear from five continents and spans thousands of years of history. We learned that different shoes had different purposes and helped early peoples conquer various terrains. We also got to see more glamorous shoes, gem-encrusted high-heels fit for a queen and shoes worn by many French historical figures. The museum proving that indeed, shoes often do make the person.
What is your unique museum experience? Shoes? Trash? The National Museum of Funeral History?