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Dallas Museum of Art Publishes Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums
Ceremonial mask, A.D. 900–1100. Peru, north coast, Sicán culture. Gold, copper, and paint. Overall: 11 3/4 x 17 3/8 x 1 3/4 in. (29.84 x 44.13 x 4.445 cm) Weight: 7.21 oz. (0.2044 kg) Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art is releasing an important new book that offers groundbreaking insight into how museum visitors connect with art and how museums can create enriching and engaging experiences for diverse audiences. Distributed by Yale University Press, Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums reveals findings from the DMA’s innovative seven-year research on the different preferences and behaviors of museum goers. The book documents how the Museum’s new understanding of its audience and community transformed its practices and programs, leading to a 100% increase in overall attendance and dramatic increases in the Museum’s visibility, membership, and public programming participation.

Written by Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA, and Ellen Hirzy, Ignite the Power of Art captures the vibrant and collaborative spirit in which the Dallas Museum of Art engages with its community, and offers dramatic insight that can be applied readily by art museums throughout the country seeking to expand their reach and connect with their audiences more deeply. (Price: $25.00; ISBN: 978-0-300-16754-2; Pages: 222 with 141 color illus. + 6 tables)

“Ignite the Power of Art examines a fundamental change in our approach to our visitors, both on-site and online, and our understanding of our own mission to connect art and people in the most purposeful way,” said Pitman. “The book is a record of our ongoing process of experimentation and evaluation, and of the dynamic, all-encompassing renewal that has occurred at the DMA—including innovation in our multi-disciplinary programming, transformation of our spaces, and the strengthening of relationships both inside and outside the Museum. It represents an extraordinary achievement for the DMA, and for Dallas, and provides an important new model for arts communities around the country.”

Ignite the Power of Art first provides an overview of the Framework for Engaging with Art, the DMA’s visitor research initiative that was developed jointly by DMA staff and Randi Korn& Associates, Inc., which identified four distinct groups of museum visitors. The book also offers an intimate look at how, as a result of the study, the DMA transformed its institutional thinking, developing a new comprehensive operational strategy and broader range of experimental programs with the variety of visitor preferences in mind. Ignite the Power of Art also contains interviews with several Dallas community leaders who offer their perspectives on the Museum’s significant revitalization.

About the Research Initiative and Its Impact at the DMA
Conceived in 2002, the Framework for Engaging with Art research was driven by the desire to deepen visitors’ connections and experiences with art at the Museum. Probing beyond traditional museum visitor studies, this research posed a series of qualitative questions about how visitors prefer to engage with art in the museum setting and their comfort levels looking at and talking about art.

The DMA administered six different studies from 2003 through 2009, encompassing some 3,400questionnaires from visitors to the Museum and its website, and from local teachers, as well as nearly 40 in-depth interviews conducted on-site at the Museum. The cumulative findings identified the following four related “visitor clusters,” grouped according to individual preference for interpretation types and comfort levels with art:

Observers, who have the most limited background in art and art history, and who tend to prefer a guided experience at the museum.

Participants, who have a stronger knowledge of art than Observers and have the strongest interest in connecting with works of art through a variety of ways, including through music, dance, dramatic performances, and readings.

Independents, who prefer to experience a work of art without explanations or interpretation.

Enthusiasts, who are most emotionally affected by art, and are most interested in the artist’s materials and techniques, and in explaining the meaning of a work to a friend.

Armed with this new insight into its audience’s preferences and interests, the Museum developed 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 led to the creation of new experimental initiatives at the Museum, including the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections (C3), which offers interactive experiences with original works of art from the DMA’s collections; Wi-Fi–enabled smARTphone tours, which provide myriad ways for visitors to learn more about the works in the Museum’s collections; and interactive collections-based exhibitions and special late-night events. In addition to a100% increase in Museum attendance, this expanded program has motivated more than 50% of visitors to participate in educational and public programming at the Museum.



Last Week News

January 25, 2011

Germany's Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Refuses to Return Nefertiti Bust to Egypt

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Beijing Voice: Together or Isolated, Contemporary Chinese Art at Pace Gallery in Beijing

Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne Acquires Charlie Chaplin Photographic Archive

Flash, Superman, Green Lantern from $1 Million+ Collection Headline Huge Comics Event at Heritage Auctions

Van Gogh, Other Artistic Masterpieces on Display at Radford University Art Museum

Two California Groups Want Historic Decommissioned Navy Ship as a Tourist Attraction

Dallas Museum of Art Filming Video Series that will Premiere on YouTube in February

Extremely Rare Keats Love Letter Heads for Sale of Major Papers and Portraits at Bonhams

New Online Archive Brings the Ancient Maya City of Chichen Itza to Scholars' Desktops

Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas Receives $25 Million Gift from The Rees-Jones Foundation

Show-Stopping Installation by acrylicize Recently Unveiled at The Engine Group's Headquarters

Last of Frank Lloyd Wright-Trained Architects, Edgar Tafel, Dies in New York at Age 98

Santa Monica Museum of Art Presents Daniel Cummings: Recent Paintings

Kunsthalle Basel Presents First Major Solo Exhibition in Switzerland of Works by Artist Bettina Pousttchi

Sotheby's Announces the Dedicated Auction of What Modern Is: The Collection of Mark McDonald

Rare Andy Warhol Self Portrait to Go Under Hammer a Christie's in New York

After 222 Years, First Draft of a Poem by Robert Burns, is Found in Castle in Scotland

New iPad Application Tells John F. Kennedy's Story Fifty Years After Inauguration

Exhibition Features Works Artists Submitted to Exchange with Sol LeWitt

A Gathering Quiet: Metalpoint Paintings and Drawings by Susan Schwalb at Galerie Mourlot

Comfortably Above Low Estimate, Sotheby's Americana Week Brings $14.4 Million

First Show, Since 2005, of Recent Work by Ellen Gallagher at Gagosian in New York

Newly Acquired Grayson Perry Works to Be Shown in Manchester

KUB Arena Presents Living Archives in Cooperation with the Van Abbemuseum

Major Commissions Awarded to Ground-Breaking Program for Disabled Artists

Illustrious Designers, New Collectors and Philanthropists Gather at Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show

January 24, 2011

Mary McCartney Opens First Solo Show in Germany at Contributed, Studio for the Arts

First Show, Since 2005, of Recent Work by Ellen Gallagher at Gagosian in New York

Egyptian Government Officially Asks Berlin to Return 3,300-Year-Old Bust of Queen Nefertiti

Comfortably Above Low Estimate, Sotheby's Americana Week Brings $14.4 Million

Flash, Superman, Green Lantern from $1 Million+ Collection Headline Huge Comics Event at Heritage Auctions

Van Gogh, Other Artistic Masterpieces on Display at Radford University Art Museum

Two California Groups Want Historic Decommissioned Navy Ship as a Tourist Attraction

Sotheby's Announces the Dedicated Auction of What Modern Is: The Collection of Mark McDonald

Santa Monica Museum of Art Presents First Museum Exhibition by Daniel Cummings

Kunsthalle Basel Presents First Major Solo Exhibition in Switzerland of Works by Artist Bettina Pousttchi

Art Lovers Queue through Night for Glimpse of Monet at the Grand Palais in Paris

Landmark Exhibition of John Marin's Revolutionary Watercolors in Major Art Institute Exhibition

Clark Art Institute Investigates European Portraiture in the Exhibition Eye to Eye

New Works by Toronto-Based Artist Ray Caesar at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

International Center of Photography Opens Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide

Drawings and Photographs from the Collection of Designer Kasper at the Morgan Library

Nordic Water Tales by Susanna Majuri at Galerie Adler

Solo Exhibition of Sculptures, Paintings and Drawings by Jun Kaneko Opens in Cincinnati

Vlatka Horvat Opens the Spring Season at Bergen Kunsthall with Major Installation

Exhibition by William Eggleston Transforms Ordinary Moments into Indelible Images

Malmo-Based Artist Christian Andersson Presents His Largest Show Ever at Moderna Museet

Retrospective of 40 Years of Richard Deacon's Work Opens at the Sprengel Museum

New York City Museum and Visitor Center to Display Brooklyn Navy Yard's 200-Year History

Art Dubai Projects to Feature New Work by More than 75 Artists in 2011 Edition

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January 23, 2011

Lost Lavishly-Illustrated Vatican Manuscripts Go on Display at the Meadows Museum

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Exhibition of Superlative British Watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg

18th Century Mahogany Bureau Table Achieves a Stunning $5.7 Million at Christie's

Camera Work in Berlin Exhibits the Photographs of Nadav Kander and Robert Polidori

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Italian Artist Roberto Cuoghi's First Solo Show in the U.S. Opens at the Hammer

Exhibition of Menswear Explores Men's Fashion from the 18th Century to the Present

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Al Taylor: Wire Instruments and Pet Stains at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

Jasper, Texas: The Community Photographs of Alonzo Jordan at the ICP in New York

Colorado University Art Museum Opens Four Concurrent Exhibitions

The Katonah Museum of Art Presents Drawn/Taped/Burned: Abstraction on Paper

Katonah Art Center Hosts Faculty Art Exhibit 2011

Asians Toast Lloyd Webber's Wines in $5.6 Million Sale

$1 Million Gift Announced by School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Appoints New Director of Development

January 22, 2011

Royal Academy Opens Exhibition that Examines British Sculpture of the 20th Century

Dialogue between the Sculptors Julio González and David Smith at IVAM in Valencia

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Smithsonian Chief Wayne Clough Says Banned Video by David Wojnarowicz a Work of Art

Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains from the Gordon Collection at Christie's New York

Kunsthaus Bregenz Presents Exhibition by the South Korean Artist Haegue Yang

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Names Harry Philbrick as Director of Museum

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Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church Thanks Singer Boy George for Icon's Return

£2 Million Gift from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation Received by The National Gallery

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130 Belgian and International Exhibitors at this Year's Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Appoints Curators to Chinese and Korean Art Department

New Library Collection Make Birmingham Museum of Art a Draw for International Study

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January 21, 2011

Iconic 19th Century Orientalist Painting by Jean Léon Gérôme Creates Pre-Auction Buzz

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January 20, 2011

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Exhibition of Photographs by Dorothea Lange at Brigham Young University Museum of Art

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Baltimore Museum of Art Presents Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960

A Special Exhibition on the Phenomenon James Dean Opens at the Kennedys in Berlin

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Adjunct Curator at ICP, Okwui Enwezor, Appointed as Director of Haus der Kunst

First British Portrait of a Black African Muslim and Freed Slave Goes on Display

Social Documentary Photographer Milton Rogovin Dies at Age 101 in New York

John Hancock Tower in Boston Selected to Receive AIA Twenty-Five Year Award

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Artists, Designers Join Forces for the Second Annual Green Auction at Christie's

Just a Few Months Before Opening, Minefields Circle Jesus' Traditional Baptism Site

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Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

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4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September



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