The Museum Oskars 2014: Winners Part 2

Thanks to everyone who nominated their favourite museums for our first ever ‘Museum Oskars’. Usually this it the point where you say “the votes have been counted and verified”, but in our eyes, this year everyone is a winner! If someone loved a museum enough to nominate it, then that’s good enough for us. There’s plenty of competition out there already. Since there were twelve categories, we’ll introduce three categories each day, with a final roundup on Friday. Our technical whiz, Simon, has also crafted some very nice badges for each category, so if you are one of the winning museums, please feel free to use these on your blogs, social media profile, websites etc if you so wish. So, without much further ado, here is the next round of winners:

Best effort for accessibility

This category was intentionally named “best effort for accessibility” rather than “most accessible”, because sometimes making an effort when circumstances – e.g. historic buildings – prove a challenge. We also left the definition of accessibility open, so some chose to nominate museums for physical accessibility, others interpreted it in terms of age, technology, or access to staff.

Denmark

  • Den Gamle By, Aarhus – as part of an outreach project for dementia visitors, they have set a flat up to heighten visitors senses and invoke memories. What is so incredibly pioneering is every staff (and soon all volunteers) are trained in dementia now.  Talk about taking the extra step.

England

  • Compton Verney, Warwickshire
  • Tate are very easy to get around with ramps and lifts

Germany

  • 7 x jung, Berlin – raises awareness about the time of Nazis through interactive and hands-on workshops, specifically with young people.
  • Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin – for their creative solution to having a Tweetup for an exhibition outdoors, by linking to images from the exhibition catalogue via QR codes, because there was no reception indoors.

USA

  • The Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. – provide samples of the craft exhibits on display that you can touch, e.g. a selection of baskets and featured materials in an exhibition about baskets.
  • FDR Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York – huge effort for physical accessibility in newly designed museum.
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York City – was impressed by accessibility group, an entire group of physically challenged children were navigating those ramps like champs!!
  • Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Lexington – volunteers who give their time to keep the museum running, all at no charge, everything from docents to maintenance of the planes and structures

You can either download the image and upload it to your own website (if doing so, please include a link back to this page) or use the HTML code below to include it directly from Museum 140:

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Most family friendly museum venue

Again, we left the definition of ‘family friendly’ open, so some people interpreted this in terms of what or how much there was to do for families, whilst others referred to the general attitude and understanding towards families.

Denmark

  • Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen – Their website features a father with baby, when they could easily have chosen a mum or an older child. This really spoke to us, we felt families were truly embraced and not just tolerated. 

England

  • Science Museum, London
  • Horniman Museum, London
  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
  • British Museum for its space and wonder – truly aspirational
  • Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life – super clean bathrooms, buttons to push, videos to watch, replica costumes that the kids (and adults) can dress up in. Super friendly staff.
  • Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey (x5) – they haven’t rested on their laurels of winning FFMA2012 but are always looking to add new things to help family visits; they’re still improving despite having won FFMA2012; there is always so much on for children of all ages;  their fabulous mascot Arthur the Bear is a very friendly chap and makes everyone feel welcome.

Germany

  • Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin – children can try out various machines, communicate with robots, and learn about computers and the internet in a playful manner.

Netherlands

  • Kinderboekenmuseum (children’s books museum), Den Haag (NL) – a museum quest helps children learn all sorts of things about books and for adults there is more information to dive in to or talk with their children about.

Poland

  • Sanok Skansen (open air museum) – beautiful site, lots for children to discover.

Scotland

  • National Museum of Scotland – they truly think of all age groups, from their Magic Carpet sessions for 0-2 year olds, to their late night events just for adults.

Sweden

  • Vasa Museum, Stockholm – it feels like they have thought of all age groups, from toddlers to grandparents.

USA

  • National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. – it has everything awesome about childhood: dinosaurs, animals, rocks from space, giant squid, etc. The place is overwhelming in a good way.
  • Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Lexington – every summer the museum puts on an aviation camp for kids, they even get to go fly in a small aircraft at the end of the camp.
  • Mariposa Museum, Peterborough, New Hampshire – “please touch” areas, many games for children and families to play,  events like marionette performances.
  • National WWII Museum, New Orleans – volunteers are the greatest, extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

You can either download the image and upload it to your own website (if doing so, please include a link back to this page) or use the HTML code below to include it directly from Museum 140:

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Friendliest staff experience

Australia

  • Nicholson Museum, Sydney

Denmark

  • Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen – we took part in a children’s workshop where everything was in Danish, and the staff took the time to translate and explain everything to us in English,  and they were also really friendly and welcoming.

England

  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • Weald and Downland Open Air Museum – staff so approachable and good with my toddler. They went out of their way to show her things and introduce her to animals etc.
  • 19 Princelet Street Museum, London – on our Museum Marathon walk, they not only opened the doors for us, but had water and food for us on our journey to raise awareness for Guide Dogs!
  • Haslemere Educational Museum (x3) – the friendliness of the volunteers at the Early Years event, great with parents/carers and children alike; Arthur the Bear.

Germany

  • Zoo Aquarium Berlin – my iPhone ran out of battery and I was allowed to recharge it at the shark basin.

Italy

  • Galleria Borghese, Rome – the custodians were so kind to me,  when they knew about my studies in museology they allowed me to stay for a bit of extra time to complete my museum exploration.

Netherlands

  • Paleis het Loo, Apeldoorn – very helpful, we were not allowed to bring backpacks in the museum, but smaller ones could be carried in front. So we took a group picture and the museum staff wanted to use our picture in the future to show visitors how to carry you bag in the museum.
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – their staff are just so damn happy! I started my visit with a big smile on my face.

Poland

  • Sanok Skansen (open air museum) – nicest conversation with the coachman despite stark language barriers.

USA

  • Guggenheim greeters are amazing
  • National Portrait Gallery/ Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. – there is a gentleman that regularly works the information desk, he is incredibly welcoming and charming. He greets visitors, and asks them what they’re in the mood to see. He is genuinely passionate about his work.
  • Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Lexington – our CEO…gets things done. He has the most bubbly attitude of any person I have ever seen. He always speaks for all his volunteers.
  • Threads of Feeling exhibit tour at the Dewitt Wallace Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia – the tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable…We could tell she not only “did her homework” on this exhibit but was also very passionate about the subject matter.
  • National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, Maryland – in preparing for my visit, I coordinated the dates with the Librarian. Upon my arrival, I found she had graciously pulled the materials already and provided a work area for my research.  She and another staff member answered my many questions, assisted with copying/scanning of key papers, ensuring I saved some time to actually tour the museum.

You can either download the image and upload it to your own website (if doing so, please include a link back to this page) or use the HTML code below to include it directly from Museum 140:

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