What does the transformation to a visitor-centered approach do for a museum? How are museums made relevant to a broad range of visitors of varying ages, identities, and social classes? Does appealing to a larger audience force museums to "dumb down" their work? What internal changes are required? Based on a multi-year Kress Foundation-sponsored study of 20 innovative American and European collections-based museums recognized by their peers to be visitor-centered, Peter Samis and Mimi Michaelson answer these key questions for the field. The book

  • describes key institutions that have opened the doors to a wider range of visitors;
  • addresses the internal struggles to reorganize and democratize these institutions;

uses case studies, interviews of key personnel, Key Takeaways, and additional resources to help museum professionals implement a visitor-centered approach in collections-based institutions

part |8 pages

PART ONE Introduction: Setting the Stage

chapter 1|11 pages

Considering the Visitor

chapter 3|18 pages

Contours of Change

part |2 pages

PART TWO Case Studies

chapter I|16 pages

Charting History

chapter II|28 pages

Engaging through Audience Immersion

chapter III|36 pages

Reinvigorating Traditional Museums

chapter IV|16 pages

Creating Social Change

part |2 pages

PART THREE Conclusion: Varieties of Visitor-Centeredness and Change