Along with Walker’s Art on Call system, there has been an interest here in trying new projects in the realm of interpretive materials. It seems like we should be thinking about the various ways people like to get information, other than from reading labels, and design strategies to appeal to that sense of variety. Art on Call is a great way to learn about the Walker and works on view in an auditory way–visitors use their cell phones in the galleries to access info about artists, works of art, etc. Another strategy is the “Look Closer” cards, sort of a label-plus. These cards are designed to be used by visitors while standing in front of 8 select works in on view in the galleries. Unlike a traditional label, the cards include source imagery, as well as (hopefully) thought provoking questions about the works. The cards were modeled in part on somethings being done at the Denver Art Museum, a true bastion for thoughful in-gallery educational experiences, as well as the idea that museum education should happen everywhere within a museum, not just in a specific educational area.
Trouble is, we just put up the racks with the small selection of cards and visitors seem to be walking off with them- I’m sure assuming they’re meant to be taken home. Can an interpretive material that’s meant to be used only while in the gallery work- or do visitors want a takeaway too much? Either people just take things blindly or have decided to ignore our conveniently placed “please return when finished.”