DMA Ignites the Power of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art has a new book out: Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums, published by Yale University Press. The book, by DMA director Bonnie Pitman and Ellen Hirzy, is the result of the DMA’s seven-year research on the different preferences and behaviors of museum goers.  3,400 questionnaires sorted DMA visitors into four categories:  Observers, who tend to prefer a guided experience at the museum; Participants, who have a stronger knowledge of art than Observers and connect with art through music, dance, dramatic performances, and readings; Independents, who prefer to experience a work of art without explanations or interpretation; and 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. In addition to a 100% increase in Museum attendance (the Tut factor?), programs developed inlight of this new knowledge have reportedly motivated more than 50% of visitors to participate in the museums educational and public programs.

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