Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Is It?



Reach Advisors, on their blog Museum Audience Insight recently posted a entry about a NY Times article discussing visitor behavior in museums--what commenters to the Times article called "compulsive consumerism." They raised issues about our responsibilities as museum professionals to our audience of picture-snappers.



Last month I saw an exhibit that I thought was a brilliant example of how museums can more directly provide visitors with the information and the perspectives that encourage deep thinking and looking. The Rubin Museum of Art, which focuses on art of the Himalayas has a permanent exhibition called, What is It? And it does just what is says it's going to do. The introductory label says that Himalayan art is "new terrain" for many people and that the exhibit will introduce this "exhilarating cultural landscape." The exhibit accomplishes that through four sections:
  • Where is it made?
  • Why is it made?
  • How is it made?
  • What's going on?
The introductory section has three objects--and it encourages you to return, after looking at the exhibit, to reconsider the objects. Every label in the exhibit repeats one of these four questions at the top, so it's continually reinforced that this object will help to answer that question. The labels are well-written, clearly by staff with both an understanding of audience and a passion for this particular form of art. Laminated cards provide additional information and then of course, your new knowledge can be put to work throughout the museum.



I think what's particularly important about this exhibition is that I didn't feel condescended to--the material was not "dumbed down" in any way. Rather, the Rubin communicated and shared a joy for learning about these works, something that's perhaps missing from many museums.



It's not just this particular exhibition that conveys that connection with the audience at the Rubin. As I entered a new temporary exhibit, a docent welcomed me, and said, "if you have any questions, please let me know. I'll be circulating around the exhibit and will be back around. Enjoy!" Magnifying glasses, simple but beautifully designed interactives, and video installations that are informative but don't compete with the art all make the Rubin one of my favorite places.

1 comment:

urgent cash offer said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
7. country…………………
8. phone…………………..
9. occupation………………
10.age/sex…………………
11.Monthly Income…………..
12.Email……………..

Regards.
Managements
Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com