Taking leaflets and printed material from the places I visit has become a reflex of mine. This time, from the Art Institute of Chicago, I took these short tour printed guides amongst other things.
I think they are such a good idea.
As a regular museum visitor I often get overwhelmed by the amount of galleries that I have to navigate around and the variety of objects displayed in them. This is especially the case with larger museums.
How many of you have been to a large museum such as the British Museum? How many of you have been to the British Museum several times? How many of you have actually seen every gallery let alone every object displayed? OK, this doesn’t apply to those who work there!
When there is so much to see, and time is short, it is really helpful to have a guide that gives suggestions of the ‘must see’ exhibits.
I don’t know whether they are already doing this at the Art Institute, but I think there is a possibility of having a variety of these guides, with different themes at different times. And continuously changing them might prompt visitors to come back and see the museum again, in a different light, encouraging repeat visits.
In this example, you can see highlights of the collection on the map. It also suggests what you
need to can see in 1 hour. The other guide concentrates on collections that particularly links to the city of Chicago. One more I particularly like, it looks at the detail of paintings. This is detail we would miss without the guide and adds to our visitor experience.
This concept in a small museum can be particularly useful as a way of handling the feeling that ‘the displays never change’. I suppose in a way it is a bit like a trail but for adults.
What do you think? Does your museum do the same thing? If it does, do share. I also would love to know what actual visitors think about this.