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#SocialMedium: A Summative Evaluation

Master’s Project by Sara Strasner (2015)

This summative evaluation study examines visitors’ engagement with and attitude towards #SocialMedium, an exhibition on display at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA. The exhibition was developed with substantial input from social media users, which shaped the exhibition in two ways: social media users had the power to both select the art to be displayed from amongst the Founding Collection, and also to provide all the interpretation for the exhibition. Within a framework of three evaluation questions, this study used 100 interviews to gauge visitor participation in the online interactive elements accompanying #SocialMedium, assess visitors’ attitudes towards crowdsourced interpretation, and evaluate whether or not the exhibition changed perceptions of the Frye. Findings indicate that few visitors participated in the online elements of the exhibition, but had positive attitudes towards the crowdsourced interpretation, which engendered positive feelings towards the Frye. This study is limited by its small sample size, but the results can still inform how Frye staff continues to engage visitors with the museum’s Founding Collection and how the museum continues to use social media as a means of engagement.


Keywords: project, evaluation, art museums, social media, visitors


Strasner, S. (2015). #SocialMedium: A Summative Evaluation. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.