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Want better Art museum visiting experience? Read detailed information on artwork helps

Are you looking for a way to enhance your museum-going experience? A recent study has found that reading detailed information about artworks can lead to increased excitement and positivity among visitors. 

Photo by Chase Lewis on Unsplash

The study, published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by researchers at the University of Florence, Italy. They examined how museum-provided descriptions of art might influence a visitor’s experience of the art. 

Thirty university students were invited to visit a modern art museum, where they were given basic descriptions of each artwork. About a month later, twenty of the participants returned and were given more detailed descriptions of the art, while the remaining ten were given the same basic descriptions as before. 

The researchers found that those who received the more detailed descriptions spent significantly more time viewing each artwork during their second visit compared to their first. They also exhibited physical signs of excitement, such as dilated pupils and increased skin electrodermal activity. 

Participants who received the detailed descriptions described themselves as experiencing more positive and fewer negative emotions during their second visit, and found the artworks more comprehensible and less complex. However, their initial assessments of their aesthetic appreciation for each artwork remained unchanged. 

The authors note that these effects may be specific to modern art, which is often less familiar and approachable than classical art. They suggest that museums could benefit from providing visitors with modern art labels that offer more detail or explanations around the artwork, technique, and/or artist.

According to the authors, “Reading detailed information about artworks leads to psychophysiological and behavioral changes, suggesting higher comprehension and liking and a more satisfying aesthetic experience.”

Found on Korea Business News

Source: PLOS ONE: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0284149 

Citation: Castellotti S, D’Agostino O, Mencarini A, Fabozzi M, Varano R, Mastandrea S, et al. (2023) Psychophysiological and behavioral responses to descriptive labels in modern art museums. PLoS ONE 18(5): e0284149. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0284149
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