Breaking Barriers: Inclusive Interpretation in the Art Museum
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Series/Report no.:2019 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 33rd
How do visitors engage with museums without in-person facilitation? What forms of engagement make exhibitions accessible, inclusive, and worthwhile? How can museums allow the visitors’ voices to permeate through exhibitions? Since a majority of museumgoers visit galleries without guided facilitation from museum staff, my research examines how initiating inclusive in-gallery interpretation, even without human interactions, can provide for meaningful engagement with and deeper understanding of artwork. I engaged in a qualitative case study, for which I designed the interpretation for a Columbus-area exhibition about refugees’ experiences (on view in Summer 2018). There is scarce research regarding ways to employ critical multiculturalism and critical race theory (CRT) to develop in-gallery interpretation. My research fills this gap, as I explored how to best apply these critical frameworks to gallery interpretation, which could have potentially wide-ranging implications for the museum education field. The interpretation methods sought to break down barriers between visitors and museum, as well as to present and allow for multiple perspectives. This research and evaluation examines the extent to which inclusive interpretation can provide opportunities to break down barriers and explore identity, power relations, and race (key notions of critical multiculturalism and CRT).
The Arts: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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