prepared by Kinneret Kohn
Peace museums can be traced back to 1900 when the Hague Peace Palace in Geneva was founded by Andrew Carnegie to serve as a “living museum” hosting conferences on international law as well as exhibiting art dedicated to peace. It was soon followed by Jean de Bloch’s International Museum of War and Peace founded in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1902 which focused on the negative impacts of war with the idea that “war itself testified against war.” After the Second World War, it was Japan who took the lead in the development of modern peace museums when in 1949, on the fourth anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima was enshrined as a memorial city of peace. Since that time, peace museums have developed quite a bit, however they still fall within certain frameworks. Terence Duffy has defined four types of peace museums; self-described peace museums, event or issue based museums, international law museums, and galleries. Kazuyo Yamane has focused on the museums’ perspectives which can either be anti-war (negative peace focused) or pro-peace (positive peace focused).
Below is a far from exhaustive list of peace museums meant to inspire further inquiry and exploration. Please add on to it with your own favorites by replying here.
Self-Described Peace Museums
Event or Issue Based Museums
International Law Museums (or dedicated to heroes)
Galleries – Museums or cultural institutions not explicitly dedicated to peace whose exhibits explore topics related to social justice, positive and negative peace, and/or peace education
Duffy, T. (1993). The Role of Peace Museums in peace Education: A new terrain for peace educators. Education for Peace: A Conference Report from Budapest. 61-72.
van den Dungen, P. (1993). On the Creative Principles, Message and Thematic Content of a Peace Museum. Peace Education Miniprints, 49. Sweden: Lund University
Yamane, K. (1993). A Peace Museum as a Center for Peace Education: What do Japanese students think of peace museums? Education for Peace: A Conference Report from Budapest. 73-86.