Hands-on, Shoes-off: Multisensory Tools Enhance Family Engagement Within an Art Museum

Eardley, A.F., Dobbin, C., Neves, J. and Ride, P. 2018. Hands-on, Shoes-off: Multisensory Tools Enhance Family Engagement Within an Art Museum. Visitor Studies. 21 (1), pp. 79-97. doi:10.1080/10645578.2018.1503873

TitleHands-on, Shoes-off: Multisensory Tools Enhance Family Engagement Within an Art Museum
TypeJournal article
AuthorsEardley, A.F., Dobbin, C., Neves, J. and Ride, P.
Abstract

Families with young children typically struggle to engage with traditional art museum environments. This research examined the impact of multisensory tools on family engagement within Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar. Sixty families with at least one child aged 0-11 were observed during two tasks. One task required participants to look at a series of paintings to select their favorite. In another task families were given a toolkit of multisensory items to facilitate interaction with a painting. A semi-structured observational method produced quantitative and qualitative data about participant engagement and intergenerational interaction. Self-rating scores of task enjoyment were also collected. Results indicated that multisensory tools enhance family engagement with museums, artworks and with each other. Results also suggested that word-based interpretation was not necessary. We consider the potential implications of these findings in relation to family programming within art museums and museums more generally.

Keywordstactile
art
audience
engagement
family
JournalVisitor Studies
Journal citation21 (1), pp. 79-97
ISSN1064-5578
Year2018
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/10645578.2018.1503873
Publication dates
Published18 Dec 2018

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