Since 1977, the world has commemorated its love for museums by holding International Museum Day on May 18—making these institutions accessible to all and expressing their important place in preserving humanities biggest achievements and discoveries.
When the International Counsil of Museums (ICOM) first met in the 1950s, there was a push to stress the role of museums in spreading cultures and helping people understand the past, present, and future. Twenty years later, it was decided that International Museum Day was necessary to remind the public not only of the fact that these institutions exist, but that they can be great centers for learning and exploration.
Each country and city—even on the individual museum level—celebrates the day in a unique way. The theme of the 2018 IMD is “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics”, which seeks to tackle the way museums bring people together in their communities, as well as on a global scale.
If you’re looking to celebrate locally, many museums are offering free admission for the duration of May 18.
For New England natives (and visiting patrons), you can enjoy a days-worth of activities, free of charge, at the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums—part of the Harvard University art museum system. These museums hold work dating back to the sixth millennium BCE, and have a special exhibit featuring the work of famous German artists (open until June third). The Yellowstone Art Museum also promises free admission for visitors on the 18th, and has a permanent collection of more than 7,000 works of art.