Mysteries at the Museum


There is this book called Behind the Scenes at the Museum. It’s written by one of my favorite authors, Kate Atkinson; and while it is a great read, this story is not what I wanted it to be about when I first saw the title: mainly, a tale of intrigue at a world-famous museum.

So, imagine my excitement when I stumbled across the Travel Channel’s new show, Mysteries at the Museum. A whole series about mysteries at real life museums! How grand! Here’s the show’s premise:

“Museums are where America displays its wondrous treasures of the past – often strange and curious remnants of the momentous events that have shaped our history. Behind each artifact is yet another story to be told and secrets to be revealed – tales brimming with scandal, mystery, murder and intrigue. Whether a diary from an Arctic exploration, a stone giant thought to be the remnant of a race of enormous people, or a futuristic house that almost changed the world, iconic museum artifacts help us uncover who we are and what we’ve become.”

There have only been three episodes so far, but they sure have covered a lot of ground. They’ve been to famous Alcatraz in the sharky waters of San Francisco Bay and the pretty sweet National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. They’ve investigated Seattle’s Avalanche Train, gone behind the scenes at the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, and explored the unknown in Roswell, New Mexico. The Harvard Museum of Natural History‘s mastodon even made an appearance.

Mysteries at the Museum is a show worth watching for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s a chance to learn about the backstory of museum artifacts (famous and non) beyond what’s available on a museum placard.
  2. It’s an opportunity to meet the people who work at museums – curators, archaeologists, scientists, historians, etc. – and to see the passion that goes into preserving and presenting artifacts.
  3. It’s a great way to visit museums all across the country without putting a serious dent in your pocketbook and dealing with jet lag. (Downside: no frequent flier miles for you).
  4. Mysteries are exciting, of course.

However, if you aren’t willing to pass up a Dancing with the Stars results show or can’t miss sweating it out with the Biggest Loser (both shows air on Tuesdays at 9 Eastern, just like Mysteries), you can always catch a rerun. Or, visit Travel Channel’s website for clips from past episodes, slideshows like “Top 10 Museum Mysteries” and “Must See Museums,” opportunities to plan your own museum travel itinerary, or leave a comment about your favorite museum experience.

One Response to “Mysteries at the Museum”

  1. ashley on December 22nd, 2010

    I also am very addicted to the show. It is soooo interesting and mysterious. They make it so you don’t want to stop watching. Plus, eveything they tell you about is always very fascinating. Love It!!!

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