The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most famous museums in the world, and it’s located in New York City. It’s known for its extensive collection of artifacts, specimens, and exhibits that showcase a wide range of natural history topics.
But is it really the largest museum in the world? Let’s explore this question in more detail.
Measuring Museum Size
Before we can answer whether the American Museum of Natural History is the largest museum in the world, we need to define what we mean by “largest”. There are several ways to measure a museum’s size, including:
- Total square footage
- Number of galleries or exhibits
- Total number of objects or specimens
- Number of annual visitors
The American Museum of Natural History’s Size
Using these metrics, let’s take a closer look at how the American Museum of Natural History stacks up against other museums around the world.
Total Square Footage: The American Museum of Natural History has a total floor space of over 2 million square feet spread across 28 interconnected buildings. While this is certainly impressive, it doesn’t make it the largest museum in terms of square footage.
Number of Galleries or Exhibits: The museum has over 45 permanent exhibition halls that cover a wide range of topics such as dinosaurs, human origins, and biodiversity. Additionally, there are numerous temporary exhibitions throughout the year. However, there are other museums with more galleries or exhibits.
Total Number of Objects or Specimens: The American Museum of Natural History contains over 33 million specimens and artifacts. This includes everything from fossils to minerals to cultural artifacts from around the world. This is an incredible number but still not enough to make it the largest museum in terms of total objects.
Number of Annual Visitors: The American Museum of Natural History attracts over 5 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular museums in the world. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the largest museum in terms of visitors.
The Largest Museum in the World
So, if the American Museum of Natural History isn’t the largest museum in the world, which one is? The answer may surprise you.
The biggest museum in the world is actually the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It has over 3 million square feet of floor space and houses over 3 million objects and works of art.
While the American Museum of Natural History is certainly an impressive institution, it’s not actually the largest museum in terms of size or number of exhibits. However, it remains one of the most important and influential museums in the world and continues to attract millions of visitors every year with its engaging exhibits and programs.