- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis Institute of Art is rewriting labels alongside paintings and sculptures to add storytelling, hoping to increase the time visitors will linger and help them better connect with works.

The museum launched the rewriting project about 18 months ago, Minnesota Public Radio News (https://bit.ly/1SuvIzc ) reports. Museum deputy director and chief curator Matthew Welch said labels in museums can suffer from being too short, resembling a tombstone, or being too long.

“At any given time we have about 5,000 objects on view,” said Welch, who’s leading the rewrite effort. “And we decided that we were going to touch every single one of the labels.”

Welch said conversations with visitors showed people wanted labels to provide a human connection with the artist.

“They want to know where that nugget of creativity came from,” he said.

The museum brought in magazine industry veteran Tim Gihring to help with the project. One label that’s about to be changed, he said, is on the 12-foot-tall painting “The Immaculate Conception with Saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua,” painted in 1649.

Gihring said the new sign explains dates and names “you might never have heard of,” and gives some insight into the life of the artist, El Grechetto.

“He himself had a pretty violent past: threw his sister off the roof, got into a fistfight and was run out of town without his underwear,” Gihring said. “That’s the kind of interesting human side of the experience that we want to share.”

Welch said museum staff also realized many visitors had no clue why works where grouped together. He said adding a panel explaining that doubled the time people spent in a gallery.

And with research showing people come to the museum primarily to socialize, seating areas designed for chatting have been set up. They’re also equipped with an iPad with a customized system allowing visitors to delve into stories about art around them.

More of the stories are in the works, Welch said.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, https://www.mprnews.org

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide