ERG SES B 13, Music / Media / Art Education
Parallel Paper Session
Within the framework of the radical shift in the understanding of (Western) museums and their visitors in recent decades, called by the Slovenian museum specialist Lidija Tavčar »a copernican revolution in the understanding of the relationship between museums and their public« (Tavčar 2009), according to which interest and study is centred on visitors and not, as previously, on museums as institutions, new theories and practices of art museum interpretation have emerged. While earlier studies centred principally on museum visitors’ interpretive strategies and processes of learning in art museums (e.g. Hooper-Greenhill and Moussouri 2001; Hooper-Greenhill et al. 2001), new studies and discourses take a more holistic approach by examining also curatorial practices to art interpretation in museums (e.g. Fritsch 2011, Whitehead 2012). My PhD study, commenced in 2009, seeks to understand the differences and similarities between the ways visitors interpret art and the methods and techniques of art interpretation practiced by curators in order to explore the pedagogical value of an art museum’s interpretive framework in the sense of the mediatory role the curatorial interpretation can or, indeed, should play in art museums and galleries. It is argued (and this will be the theme of my paper) that this issue has three theoretical perspectives. The first theory is museology (museum as media and interpretation as a conceptual part of the museum). The second theory is art history (art history as a predominant discipline in art museums and galleries). The third theory is pedagogy (processes of learning about art in museums). I conduct my research at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana which in 2011 put up a new permanent display of Slovenian modern art. It is arranged broadly chronologically with one integrated quasi non-chronological theme, and it has no interpretive panels in the galleries (apart from identification labels). The research adopts a qualitative methodology. By “placing different theories side by side” (Denzin 1989, cit. in Flick 2009) and looking at the research problem from museological, art historical and pedagogical perspectives, I aim to extend methodological and theoretical access to the issue under study and do my qualitative research in an appropriate way (Flick 2007, Vogrinc 2008).
Flick, U. (2007). Managing Quality in Qualitative Research. London: SAGE. Flick, U. (2009). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. London: SAGE. Fritsch, J. (ed.) (2011). Museum Gallery Interpretation and Material Culture. London, New York: Routledge. Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1999). Learning in Art Museums: Strategies of Interpretation. In: E. Hooper-Greenhill (ed.), The Educational Role of the Museum. London, New York: Routledge, pp. 44–52. Hooper-Greenhill, E., Moussouri, T., Hawthorne, E., Riley, R. (2001). Making Meaning in Art Museums 1: Visitors' Interpretive Strategies at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Leicester: RCMG/University of Leicester. Hooper-Greenhill, E., Moussouri, T. (2001). Making Meaning in Art Museums 2: Visitors' Interpretive Strategies at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Leicester: RCMG/University of Leicester. Tavčar, L. (2009). Homo spectator. Uvod v muzejsko pedagogiko. [Homo Spectator: An Introduction to Museum Pedagogy]. Ljubljana: Pedagoški inštitut. [Ljubljana: The Institute of Education]. (In Slovenian with abstract in English) Vogrinc, J. (2008). Pomen triangulacije za zagotavljanje kakovosti znanstvenih spoznanj kvalitativnega raziskovanja/The Importance of Triangulation for Ensuring the Quality of Scientific Findings of the Qualitative Research, Sodobna pedagogika/Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies, 59, 5, pp. 108–122. Whitehead C. (2012). Interpreting Art in Museums and Galleries. London, New York: Routledge.
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