The Museum Experience  book cover
1st Edition

The Museum Experience

ISBN 9781611320275
Published January 15, 2011 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

As the first book to take a "visitor's eye view" of the museum visit, The Museum Experience revolutionized the way museum professionals understand their constituents. Falk and Dierking integrate their original research from a wide variety of disciplines as well as visitor studies from institutions ranging from science centers and zoos to art and natural history museums. Written in clear, non-technical style, The Museum Experience paints a thorough picture of why people go to museums, what they do there, how they learn, and what museum practitioners can do to enhance these experiences. This book is an essential reference for all museum professionals and students of museum studies, and has been used widely for higher education courses in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. Originally published in 1992, the book is now available from Left Coast Press, Inc. as of November 2010.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Willard L. BoydPrefaceIntroduction: The Interactive Experience ModelSection I: Before the VisitChapter 1: The Museum as a Leisure-Time ExperienceChapter 2: The Personal Context: Visitor AgendasSection II: During the VisitChapter 3: The Social Context: Groups in the MuseumChapter 4: The Physical Context: Visitor PathwaysChapter 5: The Physical Context: Exhibits and LabelsChapter 6: The Interplay of Contexts: The Museum as GestaltSection III: The Museum Visit RememberedChapter 7: Museum Learning DefinedChapter 8: Understanding the Museum ExperienceSection IV: A Professional's Guide to the Museum ExperienceChapter 9: Creating the Museum ExperienceChapter 10: Creating Museum Experiences for Casual VisitorsChapter 11: Creating Museum Experiences for Organized GroupsAppendixReferencesAnnotated Bibliography

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"...The Museum Experience is one of the most stimulating and readable books I have ever encountered. ... I have been amazed by the lack of clearly presented analyses to help educators be more effective. This book goes far to fill that void. America's museums have contributed much to public learning. They can and must contribute much more. The Museum Experience is an invaluable means to that end. This compact volume is a lucid and germane enumeration of the basic issues of visitor learning. It will have resonance for every museum professional - because every museum professional is vitally concerned with the museum's central role as a center of public learning."...-From the foreword by Willard L. Boyd, President Emeritus, Field Museum of Natural History

"...I was amazed at how well [The Museum Experience] held up over 20 years and how many insights I relearned. ... I think it's still an essential text for the field and one that many people could learn a lot from in present form in 2011."...
- Nina Simon, Museum 2.0

"...I love this book! I still think it is one of the most 'read-able' and applicable books in our field. It is perfect for students or professionals, particularly those who are new to the visitor perspective."... -Kris Morrissey, Director, Museology Graduate Program, University of Washington

"...Rereading this book really brought home to me what a classic it is. The core sense of it is still completely relevant; it still holds up completely as one of the three or four essential primers for museum professionals. Another part of the beauty of the book is its brevity and, hence, its clarity."...
-Daniel Spock, Minnesota Historical Society