March 13, 2014

Understanding Audiences: the popularity of Museum Galleries

Members might be interested in this new report from the Natural Sciences Collections Association Subject Specialist Network detailing the findings of an Arts Council England funded study into the audiences of mixed discipline museums.

The evaluation report offers an overview of visitors’ impressions of the display of different disciplines in mixed museums. Key findings include the gallery types museum visitors describe as their most and least favourite, how preferences are influenced by demographic variables and what aspects of these displays visitors find appealing and off-putting; all key messages for museums containing each gallery type.

The NATSCA hopes that this information will allow us to better understand how natural science galleries are perceived by the public and to allow other Subject Specialist Networks and museums to gain a deeper insight into their audiences.

Website: http://natsca.org/understanding-audiences

Full report: http://www.natsca.org/sites/default/files/publications-full/Evaluation-Report-Museum-Gallery-Preferences.pdf

The findings of this report offer many opportunities for museums with mixed collections as well as colleagues associated with individual disciplines – to better understand their visitors, and what perceptions are held by these visitors. The report is presented in its entirety in order that colleagues have access to the details, but an executive summary is provided at the start.

NatSCA welcomes any responses or questions that arise – please email Jack Ashby and Paolo Viscardi (press@natsca.org).

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