Museums have ideologies. Some of them have been solemn, elegant, “elitist”; others evangelistically democratic or piously utilitarian. Public museums are one of the newer creations of Western culture; with few exceptions they had their beginning at the close of the eighteenth century or, in the great majority of cases, after the turn of the nineteenth. In spite of this newness, however, they are among the most widespread of modern institutions. In the United States and Canada alone there are about 5,000 of them. New ones are constantly being established, and attendance figures reveal a genuine “mass” phenomenon. Whether every museum man is equally sensitive to the integrity of his own separate status must be at this point a matter of speculation. Nevertheless, the issue dominates a great deal of the discussion and self-searching now going on among museum administrators in Europe, where the strain of democratic cultural expectations is beginning to show its effect.