Non-traditional visitors' skills and expectations in museums


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Aniko Korenchy-Misz's presentation at the Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism in Budapest, Hungary on April 1, 2014

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Non-traditional visitors' skills and expectations in museums

  1. 1. Non-traditional visitors' skills and expectations in museums Anikó Miszné Korenchy Museum learning facilitator Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism
  2. 2. • General trends • Special case of our museum • Tour of our museum • Try our chocolate-making session
  3. 3. Theoretical ramblings • Skills and expectations? • What is non-traditional? • Do they come together or separately? Are these the same in all museums? • Are expectations just about learning?
  4. 4. History of museums
  5. 5. History of museums • Temple dedicated to the Muses • Pinakotheke/Galleries • Private collections – Cabinets of Curiosities • Bothanic gardens (practical use: herbs for remedies) Rarely open to the public/ Private viewings BUT visitors felt priviledged; FOR learning and enjoyment
  6. 6. History of museums • University museums – Ashmolean, 1677 • Private collections opened to the public (disappointment for both sides due to the lack of interpretation?)
  7. 7. Education through exhibitions • Trade fairs and public exhibitions (celebrating progress and achievements through history) • Crystal Palace London, 1851 • Skansen, Stockholm, 1891
  8. 8. Expectations 1. • to look upon beauty • to discuss ideas with others • to experiment with natural phenomena • to be „amused” • to learn • to engage with objects and information „From a temple to a forum” (Duncan Cameron, 1970s)
  9. 9. Learning and enjoyment • Visitor studies and adult learning theories relatively new Collins (1991) explores adult learning as the interactive relationship of theory and practice. In basic terms, the adult learner studies a particular theory and then puts it into practice when presented with the opportunity to do so. Thus, the understanding of an adult learning theory can prompt practice, and practice can prompt theory revision.
  10. 10. Adult learners • Self-direction • Practical and results-oriented • Less open-minded • Slower learning, yet more integrative knowledge • Use personal experience as a resource • Intrinsic motivation • Multi-level responsibilities • High expectations (Relevance)
  11. 11. Expectations 2. • easiness and fun • cultural entertainment • personal identification • historical reminiscences • escapism (A study of experience expectations of museum visitors by Chieh-Wen Shenga és Ming-Chia Chen, In: Tourism Mangement, Volume 33, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 53–60)
  12. 12. Museumness Scale No, it is not a museum Yes, it is a museum Zoo 68% 7% Aquarium 57% 11% Botanical Garden 50% 7% Children’s 36% 29% Art Gallery 14% 43% Industrial 14% 68% Technology 7% 75% Science 0% 71% History 0% 100% Archaeological 0% 100% Source: MEETING VISITORS’ EXPECTATIONS The Perceived Degree of Museumness Angeliki Antoniou and George Lepouras
  13. 13. Expectations 3. Museum • learning (fun activity in a historical or archeological museum will surprise the visitor) • socializing • entertainment (not important) Not a museum • entertainment • socializing • learning
  14. 14. Expectations of future visitors 1. • More senior visitors (refusing to be called retired) • Accessibility issues (physical, reading, manually-operated interactives) BUT with modern design 2030 Vision: Anticipating the Needs and Expectations of Museum Visitors of the Future, Smithsonian Institute, Office of Policy and Analysis, Washington, DC 20013, July 2007
  15. 15. Expectations of future visitors 2. • Activities that keep them mentally fit (Conscious on health) • (A brain healthy day at the museum could include a brain muscle workout from stimulating exhibitions and interactives, cardiovascular exercise walking the miles of exhibition pathways, and a lunch rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.)
  16. 16. Expectations of future visitors 3. • Generation X: spend time with their family (including family and dad- focused programming (such as the Bronx Zoo’s ‘Daddy and Me’ program), outdoor space, reading/nursing rooms, and family bathrooms. (Reach Advisors, 2007); more contact with community members*;
  17. 17. Expectations of future visitors 4. • Generation Y: special relations to technology; different ways of collecting and sharing information; importance of social networks; mobile technology and reachable everywhere; multi-tasking; Their learning: more self directed and less dependent on top- down instruction, better arrayed to capture new information inputs, more reliant on feedback and response, more tied to group knowledge, and more open to cross-discipline insights, creating its own ‘tagged’ taxonomies. (Rainie, 2006)
  18. 18. Other demograhic trends • an increased proportion of minorities in the population, • a greater number of non-traditional types of households, • increased diversity in youth social groups
  19. 19. In response Museums must • think of audiences as active participants and not passive consumers of information; • be willing to place young people in positions of real authority to affect programs and outreach (Tagging) –, a collaborative online research project run by volunteers from primarily art museums – Smithsonian Photography Initiative that allows users to explore the collections through user-generated keywords
  20. 20. James Heaton
  21. 21. Inclusive museums • Museums as Places for Intercultural Dialogue • Museum Literacy • Community Exhibitions as Tools for Adults’ Individual Development Final conference May 18-20, Budapest
  22. 22. Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism
  23. 23. CreativityFun and New skills Reminiscen ce and Socializing
  24. 24. Co-curation Increased self-esteem Involvement
  25. 25. Thank you for your attention Miszné Korenchy Anikó Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism E-mail: or