Featured Projects

All images in the following publications, presentations, and reports are provided courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The Viewing Project

With the support of a grant from ART MENTOR FOUNDATION LUCERNE, the IMA was able to implement The Viewing Project, a series of 10 experimental installations devoted to activating its encyclopedic permanent collection by encouraging longer looking and supporting visitors as they find meaning in art. These installations were provided in a three-year series throughout the Museum with the final installations closing in fall 2012. An observational study was designed to test whether The Viewing Project encouraged longer looking as compared to the object’s original location. The study was conducted to determine how time spent looking compared with time spent consuming information about the objects, and to evaluate visitors’ behaviors, responses and feedback to the installations.

Viewing Project Evaluation Report

My Snapshot Online Photography Competition Summative Evaluation

In connection with the Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard exhibition the IMA developed an online photography competition encouraging museum visitors, as well as people interested in photography to submit “snapshots” that they have taken with their cameras or mobile devices. A summative evaluation of this project was undertaken to better understand who participated in the competition and whether the learning outcomes defined for the project had been met.

My Snapshot Competition Evaluation Report

FLOW: Can You See the River? Summative Evaluation

The IMA contracted Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to study the public art installation and project FLOW: Can You See the River?. The project was conceived by visual artist Mary Miss to engage Indianapolis residents with the White River. The study, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, was designed to determine the effects of the FLOW project on Indianapolis residents, particularly in regards to their awareness and perceptions of the White River.

FLOW: Can you see the river? Evaluation Report

Learning How Visitors Look: Applications of Eye Tracking Research

Funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services Sparks! Ignition grant, the Indianapolis Museum of Art undertook a research project with the aim of exploring whether or not eye tracking technology can be useful to museums seeking to better understand how in-gallery visitors actually “see” the objects in the IMA’s collection. These issues have been addressed and tested in the context of three separate experiments that were conducted at the Museum between July 2011 and June 2012. The results of the first experiment are described in detail in the following paper: Evaluating the Practical Applications of Eye Tracking

Eye Tracking Evaluation Report

IMA Summer Camps Summative Evaluation

In the summer of 2012 the Audience Engagement Department reinstated summer camps at the IMA. This was made possible in large part due to a generous grant from the The Lacy Foundation. During these sessions, camp participants created works of art, explored the IMA gardens and grounds, visited the galleries, and spoke with staff from various departments in the Museum. In an effort to evaluate the camp program from multiple perspectives, surveys were administered to the students, their parents, and to camp instructors.

Summer Camps Evaluation Report

Visitor Study in the Contemporary Galleries

In partnership with the IMA’s Department of Audience Engagement, a student team from IUPUI’s Museum Studies Program carried out an evaluation to gain a better understanding of visitor movement through the reinstalled Contemporary galleries, visitor behavior in the galleries, preferences for viewing contemporary art, and methods of interpretation. The evaluators designed data collection tools to better understand the visitor experience with the hope that this information could help inform future installations. The evaluation was carried out in the spring of 2012 and included two methods of data collection—tracking participant behaviors and open-ended interviews. Twenty participants representing a range of ages and social groups took part in the study.

Contemporary Galleries Evaluation Report

Perspectives After-School Program Summative Evaluation

The IMA after-school initiative Perspectives offers young people the opportunity to explore Art, Nature, and Design as new ways of seeing their environment and the world. With the assistance of a grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation, IMA staff collaborated with classroom teachers of students in grades 3-10 to provide access to interdisciplinary experiences that develop and utilize students’ creative problem-solving skills. IMA staff carried out an evaluation of this program focusing on the design of the program, as well as student, parent, and teacher satisfaction to help inform future programming such as summer camps and subsequent sessions of the after-school program.

Perspectives Evaluation Report

Star Studio Formative Evaluation

To aid in informing decisions about the redesign of Star Studio, an interactive drop-in space for families with children ages 2-12, two focus groups were held in spring of 2012. This method allowed participants to test prototypes, activities, and materials that were planned for Star Studio and then to give their feedback and suggestions on how to improve the activities.

Star Studio Evaluation Report

Family Guide Formative Evaluation

A joint effort between the Audience Engagement and Marketing Departments at the IMA, the Family Guide to Visiting the IMA was created with the goal of supporting families during their visit to the Museum. The term “family” is defined broadly, and for our purposes, we assume “family” to mean any multi-generational group that includes children and adults. A prototype of the Guide was developed, which provided pointers on how to engage children, suggestions for works of art to see, as well as prompts and discussion ideas for parents. These ideas were broken into different age categories: 3-5 years, 6-9 year, and 10+ years. In March 2012, ten families with children ages 3-10 came to the IMA to test the Family Guide. Group behavior was observed as each family used the Guide, and families also participated in more in-depth interviews to discuss their experience.

Family Guide Evaluation Report

Gloria, The 54th International Venice Biennale Summative Evaluation

The IMA conducted research with visitors to the Gloria installation at the US Pavilion of the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia held in Venice, Italy June 4 - November 27, 2011 and at related programming that occurred at the IMA. The exhibition was created by Puerto-Rico based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, organized by the IMA, and presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Feedback was collected from three primary audiences: students participating in the Teen Global Exchange Program from Indianapolis, Indiana, Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Venice, Italy; visitors to the U.S. Pavilion; attendees to Venice Biennale-related public programs held at the IMA.

Gloria Exhibition Evaluation Report

Understanding Family Audiences

In order for the IMA to begin implementing programs and services that would appeal to a family audience, primary data about the behaviors and opinions of its actual family visitors was needed. In partnership with the IMA’s Department of Audience Engagement, a student team from the Kelley School of Business carried out a study to better understand the needs, awareness, level of satisfaction and interest in future services for audiences visiting the Museum with children.

Family Audiences Evaluation Report

Speaking Out on Art & Museums

This joint study was carried out by the Museum of Science, Boston Research and Evaluation Department (MOS) and Art Beyond Sight (ABS, formerly Art Education for the Blind) with museum visitors who are blind or have low vision. The purpose of this study was to gather information that can inform the development of pilot museum programs that meet the needs and interests of visitors who are blind or have low vision and to provide professional development for museum professionals. Focus groups were used as the primary data collection method, as they enable idea sharing and discussion in a group format where educators can unobtrusively listen to and observe the conversation. Focus groups with participants who are blind or have low vision occurred during 2010 at seven major art museums across the country including the Brooklyn Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Seattle Art Museum.

Speaking Out on Art and Museums Evaluation Report

Steve Project

The research project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services explored whether social tagging could enhance access to, and create engagement with, museum collections. One element of the research was the development and administration of a survey which probed the motivations and experiences of the tag contributors. This analysis focuses on reasons for tagging and the effect of institutional affiliation. To address the research question surrounding the effect of institutional affiliation, the study compares the responses from two groups of participants: those who tagged in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s community-specific tagger and those who tagged in the public site at http://tagger.steve.museum.

The results of the study are described in detail in the following paper: Steve: The Art Museum Social Tagging Project: A Report on the Tag Contributor Experience.