Docents at the Broad Museum: Guiding Visitors To Actively View Art

Comprised of a combination of art students, artists, and educators, the docents at Los Angeles’ Broad museum do not just give visitors the answers to questions. Answering questions by asking questions invites guests to come up with their own ideas about the art they are viewing. This is a refreshing experience that challenges viewers to interact with the art at a higher level of investment thus providing a more personalized experience. By increasing viewers’ understanding of art through more direct engagement, the Broad is creating a more artistically educated society one guest at a time.

  • Interesting form of public service. When I patronized a certain place and ask a question about it, being given an answer certainly lasts only as long as the next piece. By doling out questions, it seems to me that the experience permeates the mind longer. – lofreire 6 years ago
  • There is a fair amount of scholarly research published on interactions between museum guides and viewers, particularly in terms of learning engagement on the part of viewers. (See for example, E. Louis Lankford, “Aesthetic Experience in Constructivist Museums,” The Journal of Aesthetic Education (Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2002) 146.) I wonder if this sort of approach is addressed in the literature, and if so, did they implement these policies based on the literature? – PMGH 6 years ago

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