Five Great Museums for Finding Creative Inspiration

Museums are among the best places to find inspiration; visitors can look at some of humanity’s greatest achievements, learn new ideas, and look at things from a different perspective. In addition, many people avoid using cell phones and devices in museums, which helps with staying in the moment and delving deeper into ideas. Here are five great museums for finding creative inspiration:

Exploratorium, San Francisco

The Exploratorium describes itself as “a hands-on museum of science, art and human perception.” Exhibits include the Tactile Dome, where visitors make their way through a completely dark dome using only their sense of touch as a guide, and The Really Big Questions, which explores issues such as the nature of love. The opportunity to take a hands-on approach to scientific and other concepts will stimulate you to look at the world in different ways.

The Louvre, Paris

You could take weeks to truly look at all the art that is held in the Louvre. Collections of ancient artifacts from the world’s earliest civilizations, displays of many of the most famous pieces of western art, exhibits of modern art, and much more can be found in one of the world’s largest and most famous museums.

International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C.

The International Spy Museum is dedicated to displaying notable spy artifacts and history. Exhibits include the interactive Spy in the City, where visitors look at Washington, D.C. through the eyes of a spy. It’s also the largest display of espionage objects in the world. It’s one of the best museums for finding inspiration because it encourages visitors to look at the world through different eyes and ask questions such as: How can everyday objects take on a different function? How does someone with alien motivations and responsibilities navigate the world? It’s sure to get visitors thinking.

The Museum of Bad Art, Boston

Sometimes, failure can be more inspiring than success – especially if it’s someone else’s failure. Failure and creativity go hand in hand, and it’s impossible to create something successful without failing at least a few times as well. Instead of feeling dwarfed by the achievements of the greats, head to Boston’s Museum of Bad Art, where you’ll find some astonishingly bad attempts at art. It’s amusing, but it can also leave you feeling inspired to take risks that may or may not pay off.

The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, and it’s so inspiring that it sparked an entire franchise of movies, the Night at the Museum series. There’s something for everyone at the Smithsonian, so you’re sure to find inspiration if you’re looking for it, whether you prefer to watch animals play at the zoo, learn about cutting-edge scientific and archeological research, gain a new appreciation for scientific and technological achievements, or view some of the most beautiful art in the world.

Where are you most likely to find creative inspiration? Share in the comments!

This post was originally published on the One Smooth Stone blog on July 14, 2015. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing


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