The word museum has its origins in the Ancient Greek word of Mouseion, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts). The meaning of “museums” has changed considerably over time since they started becoming popular in Europe. Formerly a means to display exotic things collected by wealthy men to their fellow wealthy friends, museums are now open to all people; they are for the enjoyment and enlightenment of all.
The role of museums in society has also evolved a great deal. With the advent of the internet, it is no longer a significant source of historical or factual information presented in a chronological fashion. Rather, the best museums now try to provoke a response in the mind of the audience. How did people live with vastly different means and technologies so far back in time? Were they less happier then? How did people suffer during a war? Do modern wars lead to less pain? How did a technological leap change society? Has it benefitted everybody? The visitor can be forced, even for a few moments, to confront her existence juxtaposed with these conundrums.