Knowing the Audience |
DOI link for Knowing the Audience |
Knowing the Audience | book
Every year, more than 850 million visitors pass through the doors of American museums (American Alliance of Museums 2012). That’s more than 70 million per month, more than two million per day. Museums and their influence are far reaching, both in numbers and audience. Visitors from all socioeconomic and educational backgrounds explore museums, and the number of museums continues to increase at an accelerating rate (Lord and Lord 2001). While a museum’s collection serves the scientist, the exhibitions serve the visitor, and those fortunate to participate within the exhibition development process are also serving-above all else-the visitor. But who is the museum visitor? And how do they learn? Each visitor brings into every exhibition a suite of interests, prior knowledge, experiences, and expectations. And those characteristics vary not only among visitors but within the same visitor, depending on unpredictable social circumstances. A consideration of audience is important to the development of any successful exhibition, as that consideration and classification of visitors informs and impacts the development and design of exhibitions.