Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does Attendance Matter?

How should we evaluate the successes (and failures) of a museum? Is it in objective, quantifiable terms, such as attendance, or in the abstract, like the quality of the collections or the light bulb that goes off in a visitor's mind? These are not easy questions.

The New York Times has run a series of articles exploring the Brooklyn Museum of Art. While it is by no means a small museum, it does face a problem that many smaller institutions do - it lies in the shadow of a larger, better known museum. Additionally, it has set a variety of goals for itself - from the ludicrous of tripling their attendance to the important reaching of a more diverse audience.

Take a look at each article and think about what are your measures of success, whether it be for your institution or for museums on a macro level. Then, let us know... Does attendance matter?

Article #1

Article #2

Article #3

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