What information they would like to know?
One of the questions in the interview is to let the interviewee rank some information that they wish the museum could provide. Here are the eight types of information:
– the life of the painting (how it was created, sold and ended up in the museum);
– how one painting relates to all the other paintings in the same gallery;
– how one artist relates to other artists;
– the personality of the artist;
– what the artist was thinking about when creating this piece;
– how other visitors think about this piece;
– how one piece of artwork affects daily life(fashion, interior design, education, etc.)
– other, please write down_________
Here’s a general ranking.
It does not show a very clear pattern of what they like or don’t like, which is fine because it’s not the goal of these interviews. I am not trying to make lists of what visitors like and don’t like. It’s more important to understand priority and connections between the visitor and the information.
Some clusters could be observed. Relatively speaking, more people are interested in “what the artist was thinking about when creating this piece”(row 2), and “how one painting relates to all the other paintings in the same gallery”(row 3). People are less excited about “the life of the painting (how it was created, sold and ended up in the museum)”(row 5).
I also did some comparisons among the three types of visitors. The difference is not obvious. Each person has a different ranking. Even people in the same category had polarized opinion on the same information.
Main insight: In general, people could be interested in any type of information based on previous knowledge, personal experiences and the piece they are looking at. Yet, people seem to be curious about the meaning of the works, intention behind the piece and some backstage stories. The connection of the human behind the artworks intrigue visitors to continue further interaction. Also, the ranking also indicates that the context where the artwork lives is also important to some extent. It’s the core of the curation process but sometimes it’s also invisible to visitors in the space.