Ludovico Solima, Erminia Sciacchitano

The participatory approach to the museums: the «Capodimonte per te» experience

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Museums; Participation; Audience; Communication Tools.

The Museum of Capodimonte in Naples experimented recently a participatory approach project aimed at strengthening links with the local community and at improving visitor experience. The opening of a new wing - «Ottocento a Capodimonte» - provided an opportunity to actively engage visitors so as to identify and better meet their needs before writing the information to be included in the display. During the preparatory phase of the project, meetings between the research team and museum staff were held, to agree on a common methodology. In the first phase, over a hundred citizens volunteering to take part in the project were allowed to enter the new wing - still closed to general public - for a preview. The whole collection was displayed without any information or labels about the art objects. Visitors were asked to write down the main questions raised by the individual exhibits and the display as a whole. From the over 1,000 questions/comments gathered, curators were able to draw a priority list of subjects to be included in the information provided in the exhibition spaces. The second phase took place two months later, with 50 citizens visiting the new wing in a provisional setting, complete of draft information materials. Five focus groups were organised to gather their feedback on issues ranging from the quality of the information to the comprehensibility of written texts etc., thereby providing curators with useful recommendations for the final revision of the new display.

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