September 15, 2009

Why do people visit art museums?

This entry in the Miller-McLure blog summarizes a new study from the University of Rome, just published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. The study finds that
viewing works of art engages both the mind and heart. But whether a museum visit is primarily an intellectual or an emotional activity depends upon the type of art on display, and the era in which it was created. . . . The research team reports that visitors to a museum housing ancient art tended to describe their experience in cognitive terms, while those at a modern art museum were more likely to report they were emotionally engaged.
It would be interesting to apply this methodology to the Nelson Atkins visitors mentioned in the previous post.

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