Creating the visitor-centered museum / Peter Samis and Mimi Michaelson

By: Samis, Peter S.
Michaelson, Mimi.
ISBN: 9781629581903 (hardback).Edition: 1st ed.Publisher: London : Routledge, 2017Description: xvi, 197 p.Summary: What does the transformation to a visitor-centered approach do for a museum? How are museums made relevant to a broad range of visitors of varying ages, identities, and social classes? Does appealing to a larger audience force museums to "dumb down" their work? What internal changes are required? Based on a multi-year Kress Foundation-sponsored study of 20 innovative American and European collections-based museums recognized by their peers to be visitor-centered, Peter Samis and Mimi Michaelson answer these key questions for the field. The book describes key institutions that have opened the doors to a wider range of visitors; addresses the internal struggles to reorganize and democratize these institutions; uses case studies, interviews of key personnel, Key Takeaways, and additional resources to help museum professionals implement a visitor-centered approach in collections-based institutions. (Font: Editor)
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What does the transformation to a visitor-centered approach do for a museum? How are museums made relevant to a broad range of visitors of varying ages, identities, and social classes? Does appealing to a larger audience force museums to "dumb down" their work? What internal changes are required? Based on a multi-year Kress Foundation-sponsored study of 20 innovative American and European collections-based museums recognized by their peers to be visitor-centered, Peter Samis and Mimi Michaelson answer these key questions for the field. The book describes key institutions that have opened the doors to a wider range of visitors; addresses the internal struggles to reorganize and democratize these institutions; uses case studies, interviews of key personnel, Key Takeaways, and additional resources to help museum professionals implement a visitor-centered approach in collections-based institutions. (Font: Editor)

List of figures -- List of tables -- Figure acknowledgments -- Acknowledgments -- I. Introduction: 1. Considering the visitor ; 2. Change takes leadership ; 3. Contours of change -- II. Case studies: I. Charting history: 4. Denver Art Museum: building a sustainable visitor-centered practice ; II. Engaging through audience immersion: 5. City Museum: the power of play ; 6. Ruhr Museum: connecting through adaptive reuse and design ; 7. Minnesota History Center: lessons from a learning team ; III. Re-invigorating traditional museums: 8. Detroit: re-inventing a landmark museum with and for visitors ; 9. Oakland Museum of California: including a diverse public ; 10. Columbus Museum of Art: museum as community living room ; IV. Creating social change: 11. Kelvingrove: museum as cultural commons ; V. Taking a critical stance on museum practice: 12. Van Abbe Museum: radicality meets hospitality ; 13. MCA Denver: art experience over art objects -- III. Conclusion: varieties of visitor-centeredness and change -- Appendix A: Method ; Appendix B: Adult Gallery Activities at the Denver Art Museum ; appendix C: make-Up of DIA Visitor Panels -- Bibliography -- Index

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