Museums, libraries, and cultural institutions are opportunities for people to understand and celebrate who we are, were, and might be. These institutions are vehicles for educating and civilizing society that work on a variety of levels, ranging from a community event to a single child making a first visit. The Museum Effect documents this phenomenon, explains how it happens, and makes suggestions as to how these institutions can work to facilitate this process.
Jeffrey K. Smith is professor and associate dean for research in the College of Education at the University of Otago, New Zealand
Acknowledgments Preface Chapter 1 : Introduction -Who We were, Who We are, Who We Might Become Chapter 2 The Nature of Visits to Cultural Institutions Five museum visits Who goes to cultural institutions and events, and why? What do people do during their visit? What are their visiting preferences? Time and number of works viewed Locus of attention The influence of art-related knowledge Summary Chapter 3 Time, Flow, and the Unit of Analysis What is a museum like? Time and museums Experiencing flow in museums The unit of analysis in looking at art Setting the stage Chapter 4 Defining The Museum Effect How should we look at art versus how do we look at art? A brief tour of model city What (all) happens when we look at art? Art as mirror The model of the Museum Effect Investigating the Museum Effect What to make of all this? Chapter 5 Expanding the Museum Effect to Other Cultural Institutions and Events What is essential about the museum effect? What is similar and different about various cultural institutions? What is a painting like? So, does the Museum Effect extend to other cultural institutions? Chapter 6 How to Enhance the Museum Effect How best to interact with visitors? The "right way" to look at a painting The basics: "We are in your hands!" The options, current and future Looking ahead Chapter 7 Investigating the Museum Effect and Other Research in Cultural Institutions The nature of asking questions, in particular, research questions Models of the processes involved in research and evaluation Examples and extensions Extending what we know about the Museum Effect A Final Word Index