1st Edition

Shedding New Light on Art Museum Additions Front Stage and Back Stage Experiences

By Altaf Engineer, Kathryn H. Anthony Copyright 2018
    180 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Vast sums of money spent to design, construct, and maintain museum additions demand great accountability of museum leaders and design professionals towards visitors and employees. Museum visitors today come not only to view works of art, but also to experience museum architecture itself, resulting in most major cities competing to build new museum additions or new museum buildings to become world class tourist destinations.

    Shedding New Light on Art Museum Additions presents post-occupancy evaluations of four high-profile museums and their additions in the United States and helps museum stakeholders understand their successes, shortcomings, and how their designs affect both visitors and employees who use them every day. The book helps decision-makers assess the short-term and long-term impacts of future proposals for new museum additions and illuminates the critical importance of investing in employee work environments, and giving serious consideration to lighting, wayfinding, accessibility, and the effects of museum fatigue that arise from the lack of public amenities.

    Museum leaders, curators, architects, designers, consultants, patrons of the arts and museum visitors will find this book to be a useful resource when planning and evaluating new building additions.

    1. Introduction

    2. Four Art Museums and their Additions: Museums Grow More Wings

    3. Museum Critics and Museum Visitors: Reactions to the Building Boom

    4. Back Stage Spaces Versus Front Stage Spaces: Artwork before Employees

    5. Accessibility, Wayfinding, and Museum Fatigue: "The Frankenstein Effect" of Museum Additions

    6. Building Aesthetics and Architectural Features: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why

    7. Conclusion: Future Art Museum Additions and Improving the Front Stage and Backstage Experience

    Appendix: Museum Employee Survey Results


    Altaf Engineer is an Assistant Professor of Architecture, Health and Built Environment at the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona, USA. He is a licensed, NCARB-certified architect and LEED Accredited Professional in the United States. A recipient of the Illinois Distinguished Fellowship and the Architectural Research Colleges Consortium (ARCC) King’s Merit Medal for Excellence in Architectural & Environmental Behavior Research, he also is a founding member of a global non-profit design organization whose mission is to enhance the built environment of disadvantaged communities through innovative design.

    Kathryn H. Anthony is an ACSA Distinguished Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, where she also serves on the faculty of the Dept. of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Dept. of Landscape Architecture. The author of Defined by Design; Designing for Diversity; Design Juries on Trial, and over 100 publications, she is the recipient of numerous awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Environmental Design Research Association, and the American Institute of Architects.

    "As museums grapple to keep their mission relevant, and as the emphasis shifts toward user-experience as opposed to merely buildings and services, research which focuses on post occupancy behavior and opinions is clearly useful and needed. Museums, one of the most recognizable and important cultural institutions of our time, can benefit greatly by the work of the authors."

    Martha Thorne, Executive Director, The Pritzker Architecture Prize, Dean, IE School of Architecture and Design, Spain.

    "A unique and refreshing perspective on museum design by calling upon readers to become aware of voices that are rarely heard: those of museum employees. By sharing their stories as well as those of museum visitors, they illuminate how museum spaces - public as well as employee-only - can profoundly influence the human experience. Museum architecture, just like the art contained within it, continues to challenge and transform individuals - and it can do much better, as per Altaf Engineer and Kathryn Anthony. By taking a critical look at the seemingly endless expansion of museum buildings around the world, Shedding New Light on Art Museum Additions has far-reaching implications for the multiple fields of architecture, museum studies, tourism, leisure and recreation."

    Carla Almeida Santos, Professor, Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Director, European Union Center, University of Illinois, USA.

    "An excellent, systematic study of significant museums noted for both their collections and architectural design. The results are insightful, due to the authors’ ability to not lose sight of the importance of aesthetic design while expanding our understanding of how it affects human behavior and emotions in both positive and negative ways. Anyone about to engage in museum design would provide a benefit to its future visitors and museum employees by reading this book."

    Joy Monice Malnar, AIA, author of Sensory Design and New Architecture on Indigenous Lands, USA.

    "Altaf Engineer and Kathryn Anthony analyze important perspectives from various types of people who interact with art museums, repositories of unique and avant-garde cultural elements of human civilization. The strengths of this book are the multileveled approaches to how a museum is branded as an important element for a city, the function and aesthetics of different types of museum spaces, and how preconceived beliefs merge with real-time engagement. Their findings present crucial information for improving the design of museums and other important public spaces."

    Dak Kopec, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.