I’ve always been awed by the size and scope of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. — which describes itself as “the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world.”
But I’ve often taken for granted the fact that there are several Smithsonian Affiliates right here in Arizona, including the following:
- Arizona Historical Society (Tucson)
- Arizona State Museum (Tucson)
- Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum (Bisbee)
- Challenger Space Center (Peoria)
- Heard Museum (Phoenix)
- Sharlot Hall Museum (Prescott)
- Tucson Unified School District (Tucson)
The newest Arizona museum to earn Smithsonian Affiliate status is the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, another museum that never ceases to amaze thanks to the breadth and depth of diverse offerings both musical and music-related.
I’ve always found that trips to the MIM feel more like exhilerating jaunts around the world than stuffy strolls through museum corridors. Just as the Heard Museum in Phoenix features a comprehensive collection of American Indian arts and culture, the MIM features a comprehensive collection of music-related artifacts.
If you’ve yet to explore the Musical Instrument Museum, or other museums noted above, you’re missing the opportunity to enjoy some of the country’s finest museums right in your own backyard.
Coming up: Valley venues performing Broadway classics
Photos courtesy of the Musical Instrument Museum