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The pedagogical value of the art museum's interpretive framework

Rajka Bračun Sova (2014) The pedagogical value of the art museum's interpretive framework. PhD thesis.

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    Art museums are authentic places for aesthetic experience and understanding of art. One of the major factors that affect the creation of a learning environment in a museum and that are crucial for how much and how successfully museums contribute to the expansion and deepening of possibilities of direct aesthetic experience, is the museums' interpretation scheme. It presents to visitors a particular framework for thinking about art and is considered to be the basic museum teaching method. As museum visitors experience and understand works of art in a different manner, since they differ in the competence to understand art (Bourdieu), it would be expected that museums' approaches to interpretation of works of art would differ as well. Interpretation is supposed to be designed in such a manner so as to satisfy the needs of not only art specialists (professional public), but also and mainly of non-art specialists (general public) who demonstrate a different ability of aesthetic experience when making the meaning of works of art that are exhibited at museums. The doctoral thesis thus studies comprehensively the pedagogical value of the interpretative framework in a Slovene art museum. It comprehensively covers the ways of understanding art (visitor's interpretation), ways of explaining art (curator's interpretation) and – since these two aspects prove to be non-complementary – a modern conception of art museums as educational and cultural institutions. The research is qualitative. Proceeding from the experiential, disciplinary and institutional theoretical contexts, the thesis further studies the following: visitors' interaction with works of art or visitors' discourse by means of interviews and observation, the art history discourse by analysing an exhibition, a guide book and guided tours, and the museum discourse by analysing the national programme for culture, reviews and publications on an exhibition. Data triangulation showed that art museums are not well accessible to the general public although they are, among other things, expected to be, since they mainly target the professional public despite their shown concern for visitors. This is mainly reflected in the fact that museums do not interpret their exhibits; visitors, upon their direct contact with a work of art, thus search for information about it in vain. Museums take an approach that is too professional and disciplinary, and that does not offer visitors (mainly adult non-art specialists) the necessary strategies to understand art and develop aesthetic competence. Since aesthetic competence and the related visiting of art museums should be considered within the context of the role of schools in the development of the ability to experience and understand art, some results of the research, the first of this kind in Slovenia, are slightly surprising: when it comes to art education, cultural capital can also be considered in a negative sense.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: museum education, art museum, museum interpretation, explaining art, understanding art, aesthetic competence
    Number of Pages: 282
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Metoda KemperlMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10098761)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2208
    Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2014 11:14
    Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 11:14
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2208

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