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THE IMPORTANCE OF “AND”.
A PRIMER OF USEFUL
Elaine Heumann Gurian
Writers have always said that satisfying the public
mission of museums was complex because every
element had so many variables, many of them conflicting
There are variables in each of the following categories :
audience, learning, space use, content, collections care
and community (to name a few).
The temptation is to find some median, some mid-
ground when faced with variables.
The alternative seems to be chaos.
What if we choose to allow many variables to be
satisfied at the same time? What would the public space,
exhibitions and program look like?
To make order out of chaos thinkers have created
I have chose a group of taxonomies just to show how
prevalent and perhaps confusing they might be.
I have only a vague idea about how to choose among
them and make multiple streams of satisfaction while
still making the space and the activity understandable
WHAT IS TAXONOMY?
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species
and organizing them into systems of classification.
Who is involved?
The scientists that do taxonomy are called taxonomists. Their
work is crucial for all our efforts to conserve biodiversity.
What's in a name?
The names taxonomists give to species don't just tell us what
they are called, but also tell us about how they are related to
one another. This can help us to identify patterns in nature,
and decide how best to protect the individual species that are
part of the world's biodiversity.
The Natural History Museum website UK
The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard
Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the
traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited.
Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a
broader range of human potential in children and adults.
These intelligences are:
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New
LIFE-STAGE VIRTUES: ERIK ERIKSON
The Erikson life-stage virtues, in the order of the stages in which they may be acquired, are:
hope - Basic Trust vs. Mistrust - Infant stage. Does the child believe its caregivers to be reliable?
will - Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt - Toddler stage. Child needs to learn to explore the world. Bad if the parent is too
smothering or completely neglectful.
purpose - Initiative vs. Guilt - Kindergarten - Can the child plan or do things on his own, such as dress him or herself. If
"guilty" about making his or her own choices, the child will not function well. Erikson has a positive outlook on this stage,
saying that most guilt is quickly compensated by a sense of accomplishment.
competence - Industry vs. Inferiority - Around age 6 to puberty. Child comparing self worth to others (such as in a classroom
environment). Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some
emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.
fidelity - Identity vs. Role Confusion - Teenager. Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life?
Erikson believes that if the parents allow the child to explore, they will conclude their own identity. However, if the parents
continually push him/her to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.
love (in intimate relationships, work and family) - Intimacy vs. Isolation - Young adult. Who do I want to be with or date,
what am I going to do with my life? Will I settle down? This stage has begun to last longer as young adults choose to stay in
school and not settle.
caring - Generativity vs. Stagnation - the Mid-life crisis. Measure accomplishments/failures. Am I satisfied or not? The need
to assist the younger generation. Stagnation is the feeling of not having done anything to help the next generation.
wisdom - Ego Integrity vs. Despair - old age. Some handle death well. Some can be bitter, unhappy, and/or dissatisfied with
what they have accomplished or failed to accomplish within their life time. They reflect on the past, and either conclude at
satisfaction or despair.
Childhood and Society (1950)
HIERARCHY OF NEEDS: ABE MASLOW
Self Actualization -Fulfillment Needs This is the rare level where people have
need of purpose, personal growth and realization of their potentials. This is the
point where people start to become fully functional, acting purely on their own
volition and having a healthy personality.
Ego -Self Esteem Needs We need to believe in ourselves and have healthy
pride. At this level we need self-respect, and respect from others.
Social - Love and Belongingness Needs At this level the needs of love
from family and friends are important.
Security - Safety Needs Here we might include living in a safe area away from
threats. This level is more likely to be found in children as they have a greater
need to feel safe.
Body -Physiological Needs On this level are the very basic needs for air,
warmth, food, sleep, stimulation and activity. People can die due to lack of
biological needs and equilibrium (homeostasis).
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow. Ref: A Theory of Human Motivation (1943). 8
CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT IN CALIFORNIA
IRVINE FOUNDATION 2008
Modes of Engagement2 -- Arts activities are grouped by
level of creative control exercised by the participant.
1. Inventive Participation engages the mind, body and
spirit in an act of artistic creation that is unique and
idiosyncratic, regardless of skill level (e.g., composing
music, writing original poetry, painting).
2. Interpretive Participation is a creative act of self-
expression that brings alive and adds value to pre-
existing works of art, either individually or
collaboratively, or engages one in arts learning (e.g.,
playing in a band, learning to dance).
3. Curatorial Participation is the creative act of
purposefully selecting, organizing and collecting
art to the satisfaction of one’s own artistic
sensibility (e.g., collecting art, downloading
music and burning CDs).
4. Observational Participation encompasses
arts experiences that the participant selects
or consents to have, which involve viewing or
watching art created or performed by others
(e.g., attending live performances, visiting
5. Ambient Participation (not investigated in
this study) includes encounters with art that
the participant does not select (e.g., seeing
architecture, hearing music in an elevator).
Vectors of Engagement : -- Cross-cutting the modes of
engagement are vectors of engagement defined in
terms of setting and social or cultural context.
1. Family-Based Engagement provides a
measure of arts activity occurring in a family
2. Faith-Based Engagement provides a measure
of arts activity that occurs on the context of
faith or in a place of worship.
3. Heritage-Based Engagement provides a measure
of arts activity that serves to celebrate or
sustain a cultural heritage or ethnic identity.
4. Engagement in Arts Learning captures the level
at which a respondent is actively acquiring skills,
either formally or informally.
5. Engagement at Arts Venues serves as an
aggregate measure of use of purpose-built arts
venues for activities in all disciplines.
6. Engagement at Community Venues serves as an
aggregate measure of use of parks and outdoor
settings, restaurants, bars and coffee shops,
and community centers as venues for activities
in each discipline. Vectors 5 and 6 permit
comparison of users of conventional versus
unconventional venues for arts activities.
The study identifies specific types of activities which, if supported at higher levels,
ELAINE HEUMANN GURIAN
I propose five different categories of museums—
the object-centered museum,
the narrative museum,
the client-centered museum,
the community-focused museum,
and the national museum.
I suggest that—while some museums really do wish and
succeed in being all five types at the same time—most
CHOOSING AMONG THE OPTIONS: AN OPINION
ABOUT MUSEUM DEFINITONS (Gurian, 2002) 10
DAVID MORLEY’S STUDY OF
THE NATIONWIDE AUDIENCE (1980)
Professor David Morley is a sociologist who specializes in the sociology of the television audience. Nationwide
was a popular news/current affairs magazine programme which had a regular early evening slot on weekdays from
6.00 to 7.00 pm on BBC1. It followed the main national news from London and included human interest stories
from 'the regions' as well as a 'down-to-earth' look at the major events of the day. It was broadcast throughout the
UK (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland),
In the NWA study his major concern was 'with the extent to which individual interpretation of programmes could
be shown to vary systematically in relation to... socio-cultural background' (1981b, p 56). He was investigating 'the
degree of complementarity between the codes of the programme and the interpretive codes of various sociocultural
groups... [and] the extent to which decodings take place within the limits of the preferred (or dominant) manner in
which the message has been initially encoded' (1983, p. 106).
Morley outlined three hypothetical positions (adapted from Frank Parkin) which the reader of a programme might
occupy (1983, pp. 109-10; see also 1981b, p. 51 and 1992, p. 89):
Dominant (or 'hegemonic') reading: The reader shares the programme's 'code' (its meaning system of values,
attitudes, beliefs and assumptions) and fully accepts the programme's 'preferred reading' (a reading which may not
have been the result of any conscious intention on the part of the programme makers).
Negotiated reading: The reader partly shares the programme's code and broadly accepts the preferred reading, but
modifies it in a way which reflects their position and interests.
Oppositional ('counter-hegemonic') reading: The reader does not share the programme's code and rejects the
preferred reading, bringing to bear an alternative frame of interpretation.
Morley argues that 'members of a given sub-culture will tend to share a cultural orientation towards decoding
messages in particular ways. Their individual "readings" of messages will be framed by shared cultural formations
and practices' (1981b, p. 51).
Morley, David (1992): Television, Audiences and Cultural Studies. London: Routledge (Chapters 3 & 4).
FAMILY LEARNING IN MUSEUMS:
D. D. HILKE
"Scholars agree that a major function of the family is to
support learning among its members. Whether called
childrearing, socialization, acculturation, or education,
the process of raising and nurturing children involves the
transfer of information between all family members"
Hilke, D.D. (1989). The Family as a Learning System: An
Observational Study of Families in Museums. Marriage
and Family Review, 13, 101-129.
FRAMEWORK FOR ENGAGING THROUGH ART
DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART
Of the four clusters, these visitors are only somewhat comfortable looking at art, as they have the most limited
backgrounds in art and art history, and are least comfortable talking about art. They tend to prefer a guided
experience at the museum—seeking straightforward explanations to help them understand what the work of art
means—rather than viewing works independently. They may be new to art viewing and just beginning to
Individuals in this cluster have stronger knowledge of and interest in art. They enjoy learning and the social
aspects of their experiences. Participants have the strongest interest in connecting with works of art in a variety
of ways, including through music, dance, dramatic performances, and readings. Participants enjoy the social
experience of being in the galleries.
Individuals in this group like to view a work of art independently, without explanations or interpretation. These
visitors are confident about their knowledge and seek intense interactions with art. Independents are often
practicing artists. The group is comfortable with art terminology and with both looking at and talking about art,
and is less likely to use interpretative resources during their visit.
This cluster is comprised of individuals who are confident, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and comfortable
looking at all types of art. These visitors actively participate in a wide variety of museum programming,
including discussions about art, and enjoy interpretive resources in the galleries. Of the four visitor clusters,
members of this group are most emotionally affected by art, and are most interested in the artist materials and
techniques, and in explaining the meaning of a work to a friend. Enthusiasts frequently use the museum and
are the most likely to be members.
THE SMITHSONIAN GUIDELINES
Exhibitions must make exhibit content accessible at multiple intellectual levels and
present it through more than one sensory channel.
Offer a programmatic path for traveling through the exhibition. People with cognitive disabilities (e.g.
learning disabilities, mental retardation), like most individuals, learn best from an orderly presentation.
An exhibition that reveals its topic through an obvious story line, theme, or repeated element offers
landmarks, repetition, and a connecting thread to follow a complex presentation.
An instructional path can be imposed on a more free-flowing exhibition by the use of in-gallery printed
handouts or an audiovisual kiosk. The route can also be presented in introductory labels or captioned
Example: An introductory label or brochure can explain simply one or two themes that are carried
through an exhibition. The label could be accompanied by a photograph-coded printed floor plan showing
places where those themes are best illustrated. Photo-coded labels within the spaces can pose questions
about the themes to further understanding.
Present information to all the senses. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people need audio information translated
into print. People with visual impairments need printed information in audio and tactile formats. People
with cognitive disabilities may need a combination of formats. Multisensory presentations provide choices
for the sensory channel used and interesting repetitions of key points. Some people, however, have
difficulty sorting overlapping sights and sounds. Balance noisy and quiet areas within the exhibition and
isolate sound through receivers or acoustic treatments.
Example: A history exhibition can present a captioned video with a descriptive narration on how and
where a period garment was worn. Visitors can try on the garment in a nearby hands-on room with a
time-appropriate mural as backdrop.
NINA SIMON: ME TO WE