Truth Be Bold

Whose Truth?

Museums have long asserted themselves as the authority, the experts, the holders of truth. But historically, they have often told half-truths, singular narratives, or misinterpretations entirely. Museums can do better. The truth is that there is more than one truth. By collecting and sharing multiple, parallel, and divergent perspectives, museums have an opportunity to tell a fuller truth about our shared history. A truth that is not singular but contains multitudes.

“Present the truth above all else; the full picture, ‘warts and all’, not just the sunnier side of our history.”

Museums for Me survey respondent

“Society needs to hear harsh truths and sometimes a museum is the only place they will see and hear that.”

Museums for Me survey respondent


Communicate: 80% of respondents think museums are a credible source of information, “Museums taught me about new ways to communicate. They taught me the value of objects as messages from other times or places.”

Activate: 93% of respondents think that museums spark curiosity, provoke wonder, and promote creativity, and a ‘love of learning’, “They inspire conversation and action on important social issues.”

Advocate: 94% of respondents think museums can address societal issues, “[Museums] can be advocates for social change.”

What is a truth that you think museums should be telling?

Share the work that your museum does as a truth-teller by downloading and sharing the Truth Be Bold graphics. Create a video or share the images on social media using #truthbebold and #reconsideringmuseums. Help us spread the word about the important work that museums do in telling the truth about our shared history.