The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 30, 2014


Dallas Museum Announces Results of Groundbreaking Visitor Study
The study and its findings have catalyzed fundamental changes in all aspects of the DMA's practices and programs
DALLAS, TX.- A groundbreaking, seven-year study that provides unprecedented understanding of the preferences and behaviors of museum visitors has been released by the Dallas Museum of Art. The study and its findings have catalyzed fundamental changes in all aspects of the DMA’s practices and programs—from exhibition and programming development to new marketing strategies and interpretation tools—leading to a 100% increase in attendance and motivating more than 50% of the museum’s visitors to participate in its educational and public programs.

Spearheaded by Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, A Framework for Engaging with Art offers new insights that can be applied readily to art museums throughout the U.S. seeking to engage their audiences more deeply and to increase their attendance. Drawn from nearly 3,400 surveys conducted between 2003 and 2009, the research probes beyond traditional demographic studies, which museums have historically relied upon to better market their offerings, to ask how visitors prefer to engage with art in the museum setting. The research provides a qualitative analysis of these differing preferences—thereby enabling museums to better shape their offerings and to address varying visitor interests.

“Our findings from the Framework for Engaging with Art study answer significant questions about the role of art museums in our communities, and how we can deepen the engagement of our visitors,” said Pitman. “The research has helped us determine who visits our museum—but more importantly, it reveals how these visitors experience our collections and programs. By applying these findings, the DMA has attracted a broader audience of diverse ages and backgrounds, a goal many museums are currently working toward. The results will continue to have a profound and positive impact on the DMA for years to come, and it will be a touchstone within the museum community at large.”

Developed in conjunction with noted museum researcher Randi Korn, Founding Director of Randi Korn & Associates, the Framework for Engaging with Art study reflects Pitman’s career-long commitment to audience development and engagement. Her watershed report Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums (published in 1992) radically reframed how museums interact with their communities and set industry standards for best practices in the field. The new research will be published by the Dallas Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press this summer under the title Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museum Experiences.

About the Study
First conceived in 2002, the Framework for Engaging with Art study was driven by a primary goal of deepening visitors’ connections and experiences with art at the Museum. The study posed a series of qualitative questions about the participant’s experiences, including a visitor’s comfort with looking at and talking about art, emotional reaction to art, familiarity with art historical terms, and interest in learning about the materials and techniques used or the story portrayed in an artwork. By providing a deeper understanding of the museum visitor, the research has encouraged the DMA to work collaboratively across departments to develop new innovative programs with each type of visitor in mind.

“While more traditional demographic studies may be useful for marketing purposes, we found that economic and social categories are not necessarily relevant to the needs and preferences of museum visitors, which was what we were most interested in pinpointing,” said Randi Korn. “The Framework study helped us understand different visitor groups, distinguished by their interests and comfort levels with art, and thus has allowed the Museum to develop programming that better serves its community.”

Between 2003 and 2009, the DMA administered and collected 3,394 questionnaires from visitors to the Museum and its website, and from local teachers with previous contact with the Museum. Thirty-nine indepth interviews were conducted on-site during all days and hours when the DMA is open to the public, including special late-night hours. The cumulative findings for our general visitors identified four related “visitor clusters.” These clusters, which are grouped according to individual preference for interpretation types and comfort levels with art, are:

• Observers
Of the four clusters, these visitors are only somewhat comfortable looking at art, as they have the most limited backgrounds in art and art history, and are least comfortable talking about art. They tend to prefer a guided experience at the museum—seeking straightforward explanations to help them understand what the work of art means—rather than viewing works independently. They may be new to art viewing and just beginning to experience it.

• Participants
Individuals in this cluster have stronger knowledge of and interest in art. They enjoy learning and the social aspects of their experiences. Participants have the strongest interest in connecting with works of art in a variety of ways, including through music, dance, dramatic performances, and readings. Participants enjoy the social experience of being in the galleries.

• Independents
Individuals in this group like to view a work of art independently, without explanations or interpretation. These visitors are confident about their knowledge and seek intense interactions with art. Independents are often practicing artists. The group is comfortable with art terminology and with both looking at and talking about art, and is less likely to use interpretative resources during their visit.

• Enthusiasts
This cluster is comprised of individuals who are confident, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and comfortable looking at all types of art. These visitors actively participate in a wide variety of museum programming, including discussions about art, and enjoy interpretive resources in the galleries. Of the four visitor clusters, members of this group are most emotionally affected by art, and are most interested in the artist materials and techniques, and in explaining the meaning of a work to a friend. Enthusiasts frequently use the museum and are the most likely to be members.

Study Applications at the DMA
A Framework for Engaging with Art has catalyzed innovative programming strategies and operational changes throughout the Museum. By establishing common objectives to broaden and more effectively serve its community, the research encouraged the Museum to develop a new comprehensive operational strategy that unites and integrates all departments—from visitor services and public relations to curatorial and education departments—during the programming development process. The result has been a series of new experimental initiative —including interactive exhibitions, Wi-Fi–enabled smartphone tours and special late-night events—which, in turn, have helped to effectuate increases in the DMA’s visibility, attendance, membership and public programming participation. These new initiatives include:

• The DMA’s Center for Creative Connections
One of the most significant of these new initiatives is the Museum’s Center for Creative Connections (known as C3), an experimental environment within the Museum offering interactive experiences with original works of art from the DMA’s collections. Launched in 2008, C3 presents exhibitions and programs that encourage museum-goers of all ages to explore their own creativity and introduce them to new ways of experiencing art. Programs have ranged from a two-part documentary filmmaking workshop, which was attended by Enthusiasts and Independents, to art-making and performance activities, allowing visitors to create their own interpretations of the art on view, which were particularly of interest to Participants.

• Interactive Exhibitions-Based Programs
The Framework for Engaging with Art study has also helped the DMA further activate its collections through programs that have multimedia and multidisciplinary dimensions. For example, the forthcoming collections-based exhibition Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea (opening on April 25) will feature an evocative multi-layer sound installation through the exhibition galleries. This “soundscape” will respond directly to the works on display and provide visitors with an immersive and interactive experience of the coastal landscapes presented in the show. This project builds off the experimental program offerings presented in conjunction with the recent exhibition All the World’s a Stage, which explored the intersection between performing and visual arts. The exhibition was supplemented by over 200 artist talks, performances and other programs presented in a dedicated space within the galleries, and featured a special Music Bar that invited visitors to listen to musical interludes relating to works on view. Independents appreciated hearing the artist’s voice; Participants and Enthusiasts appreciated the interactive opportunities; and Observers responded to daily films and concerts.

• Expanded smARTphone Tours and Digital Presence
The Museum has also dramatically enhanced its online presence with a redesigned website and a new series of smARTphone tours that provide direct access to supplemental information about works from the DMA’s encyclopedic holdings. Through their own Wi-Fi–enabled handheld devices, visitors can engage with the work from the Museum’s holdings in a myriad of ways: Enthusiasts may be drawn to watch a video of Jackson Pollock painting while they stand in front of the artist’s 1947 work Cathedral created with the same technique; Participants may choose to listen to excerpts from Ovid’s Metamorphoses that inspired Jacques-Louis David’s 1722 painting Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe; or Observers may discover the meaning of the Aramaic inscriptions that appear in a Roman mosaic of Orpheus from the 1st century A.D. These smARTphone tours—which have been expanded to include the Museum’s Wendy and Emery Reves Collection and such special exhibitions as The Lens of Impressionism (on view through May 23, 2010) and African Masks: The Art of Disguise (opening on August 22, 2010)— provide interactive opportunities for visitors to learn more about art on display, whether they are standing in the galleries or sitting at their desk at home.

• Innovative Public Programs
Finally, A Framework for Engaging with Art has also encouraged the DMA to expand its public programming, in particular its successful “Late Nights” series, in which visitors are offered monthly opportunities to explore the Museum after hours through multi-disciplinary events and performances that target each of the visitor clusters. These events include “insomniac tours” led by Director Bonnie Pitman, as well as DJs in the galleries, and bedtime stories for the Museum’s youngest visitors. With its diverse group of offerings, the “Late Nights” series allows the DMA to connect with a broader community of visitors from throughout the region and country in new and unexpected ways. It also illustrates the Museum’s determination to serve as a vibrant cultural center with expanded visitor opportunities and access.

Dallas Museum of Art | Bonnie Pitman | A Framework for Engaging with Art |




Today's News

March 25, 2010

Painting by Paul Klee Stolen from NYC in 1989 is Found by Montreal Gallery Owner

Christie's to Offer Valuable Collection of Illuminated Manuscripts

Henry Moore's Butterfly Moved to a Factory for Restoration

Qatar Museums Authority Unveils Jean Nouvel Design for New Museum

Major Works by Maxfield Parrish to Highlight Christie's Sale

First Major Exhibition in the U.S. for Tatiana Trouvé at Gagosian

Christian Boltanski to Create Monumental Installation at Park Avenue Armory

Thomas P. Campbell Welcomed to AFA Board of Trustees

Dallas Museum Announces Results of Groundbreaking Visitor Study

New Exhibition Gives an Insight into the Collection Frieder Burda

Monumental Commission for MoMA on View at the 53rd Street Entrance

Spectacular Sale of Photographs from Various Owners at Christie's

Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2010 Winner Announced

Weston's Nautilus Shell Leads Sotheby's Spring Photographs Auction

London Science Museum Goes Climate Science Neutral

Raskols and Sing-Sing by Stephen Dupont at Jack Bell Gallery

City Organizations Partner with AGO and No.9 to Bring Contemporary Art to Inner-City Students

Barbara Thumm Gallery Announces Representation of Anna Oppermann's Estate

New York Dealer Offers "Schindler's List" for Sale

Rock Photographer Jim Marshall Dies at 74

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



Dallas Museum of Art's Razor by Gerald Murphy featured in U.S. Postal Services stamp collection

Dallas Museum returns Orpheus Mosaic to Turkey at DMX signing ceremony

First museum survey of contemporary artist Mark Bradford opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art Presents First Overview of Its Modern and Contemporary Design Collections

Dallas Museum of Art Showcases Select Works by Contemporary Artists at Cowboys Stadium

Sixty Works from the DMA Collection and Important Local Collectors Presented in a Dynamic New Context

Dallas Museum of Art Presents "Encountering Space"

New Exhibition of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art

Installations Highlight the Contemporary Art of the Dallas Museum of Art

First Nationally Touring Exhibition of the Work of Gustav Stickley



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site