- Young teenagers on their own
- Older teenagers, hanging out and playing the guitar
- Older couples
And what were all these people doing? That's the interesting part. Very few of them were doing what we think museum visitors "should" be doing--that is to say, looking at objects and learning about the past. They were listening to music, making music, dancing, strolling around (it's a beautiful area), playing games, picnicking, talking, enjoying. If I were categorizing them in terms of Falk and Dierking's visitor identities I would say I saw all of these:
- Experience Seekers
- Cultural Affinity
The Museum of Folk Architecture and Life has incredible collections, and they will soon begin digitizing them and putting them on the web. That's one way for someone like me to dive deeper. But the experience of walking into historic spaces and having conversations with interpreters is something that rarely happens here (except for this great breadmaker, below). Eugene is beginning the process of visitor surveys to learn more to inform this process, and we both suspect that the answer is not necessarily technologically driven, but rather ways for visitors to access information through human resources (although technological solutions are surely possible).
So I hope the next time I visit (or the time after that) that I still see all of the same enjoyment that was so evident on Easter but also that learners like me and this curious girl below, who very carefully was checking out a list of objects and matching them with the object itself, can go a bit deeper.
More of the Same? Different? Deeper? Perhaps all of the above.