3 x Museums and galleries enhancing their visitor experience

Museums and art galleries compete like any other destination for footfall from increasingly busy and distracted people.

As visitors become more discerning about who they give their time to, major culture and art destinations know they have to innovate to stay relevant.

Demographic trends mean that institutions will need to appeal to younger groups as the Boomers start to tail off their visits in the coming 10 years. Through this lens, it’s easy to see that many destinations would not be at the top of the list for most millennials on a city break.

Here are 3 x examples of how institutions are widening their appeal and making access to their collections more fun and engaging.

Museum Hack - US

Museum Hack offers 'renegade museum tours for people who don't like museums'.

They guide you through a bespoke experience taking in the sexiest, wildest, strangest stories hidden inside the museums they partner with.

Visitors to MOMA in NYC, The De Young Museum in San Francisco and the Art Institute in Chicago to name but a few can book a tour designed to give them a behind the scenes look at some of best kept secrets. There are games, activities and optional wine.

In Museum Hacks words 'Museums are F***ing Awesome', and that’s what they want to show you.


LACMA - Los Angeles Museum of Art

LACMA understands the context it exists in. LA is a thriving modern city that isn't short on cultural destinations. This makes driving footfall through its doors a tough proposition.

LACMA's solution has been to connect with the city around it and become a part of its fabric.

In 2006 the museum outbid the MAK Museum of Applied Art in Vienna to purchase LA artist Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation. While they could not have anticipated the arrival of Instagram, Burdens creation is now one of the most photographed places in the city and transforms LACAMA’s entrance concourse into an interactive and vibrant destination.

In 2012 they purchased ‘Levitated Mass’ a 340-ton boulder sculpture, which was placed above a 456-foot viewing pathway to accommodate 360-degree viewing. The piece is open to the public and doesn’t require museum admission, opening up the surrounding areas as public art spaces.

Image: LA Times
Image: LA Times

On the street outside, the gallery and city authorities allow a daily queue of food trucks to roll up complimenting the gallery’s own restaurant.

This, combined with one of the best art programs you'll find in the world is a major draw for locals and visitors, even with so much culture to choose from in LA.


Once Upon a Try - Google Arts and Culture

One of the barriers to a museum visit is not knowing what you’ll see.

This month, Googles Arts and Culture team behind the viral art matching selfie trend in the US from last year announced a partnership with the Smithsonian, NASA, CERN and The Science Museum Group among others to launch a massive online exhibit.

The new projects purpose is to celebrate science and discovery and showcase the enormous museum collections out there around the world.

'Our favourite ‘exhibit’ is the short documentary about the history of gunpowder in China and how it inspires artist Cai Guo-Qiang.’

By curating collections pre-trip in a highly visual way and marketing the content, now visitors can see beyond the institution’s webpage to the interesting stories inside their buildings.

SEEN has been compiled this month by our guest-editor and LOVE Creative Director, Russell Ashdown.

Want to say help, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? Get in touch at hello@lovecreative.com.