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Come here often? Nonfrequent visitor perceptions of art museums

Thesis by Nicole Claudio (2019)

Museology Contemporary art museum audiences are faced with limited time devoted to leisure activities and more options to satisfy needs for socialization, learning, and revitalization. Findings from audience research demonstrate that frequent visitors perceive museums as capable of satisfying leisure time needs, however, current literature underrepresents nonfrequent visitor perceptions of art museums. This study explores what perceptions, if any, nonfrequent visitors associate with visiting art museums. Nonfrequent visitors, as defined by this study, have not visited art museums more than once a year within the last two years. The researcher interviewed 80 adult nonfrequent visitors in non-art museum settings in the greater Seattle region. Results showed that nonfrequent visitors are motivated to spend leisure time on activities perceived as bolstering a sense of wellness such as stress-relieving exercise or entertainment. Nonfrequent visitors generally associate art museums with positive perceptions as places beneficial for socializing, learning, and revitalization and they attribute these perceptions to the act of looking at art in art museums. These findings may be useful to museum professionals as museums broaden their audience demographic and market themselves as suitable for meeting leisure time needs, as well as researchers interested in public perceptions of museums.

Claudio, M. N. I. (2019). Come Here Often? Nonfrequent Visitor Perceptions of Art Museums. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.


Art, leisure, audience research, museum, visitor perception, museum studies