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Walk, Look, Remember: The Influence of the Gallery's Spatial Layout on Human Memory for an Art Exhibition.

Krukar J - Behav Sci (Basel) (2014)

Bottom Line: In the museum context, where spatial layout is one of the most powerful curatorial tools available, attention and memory can be measured as a means of establishing whether or not the gallery fulfils its function as a space for contemplating art.In this exploratory experiment, 32 participants split into two groups explored an experimental, non-public exhibition and completed two unanticipated memory tests afterwards.The results show that some spatial characteristics of an exhibition can inhibit the recall of pictures and shift the focus to perceptual salience of the artworks.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University, NE1 8ST Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; E-Mail: jakub.krukar@northumbria.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
The spatial organisation of museums and its influence on the visitor experience has been the subject of numerous studies. Previous research, despite reporting some actual behavioural correlates, rarely had the possibility to investigate the cognitive processes of the art viewers. In the museum context, where spatial layout is one of the most powerful curatorial tools available, attention and memory can be measured as a means of establishing whether or not the gallery fulfils its function as a space for contemplating art. In this exploratory experiment, 32 participants split into two groups explored an experimental, non-public exhibition and completed two unanticipated memory tests afterwards. The results show that some spatial characteristics of an exhibition can inhibit the recall of pictures and shift the focus to perceptual salience of the artworks.

No MeSH data available.


Pictures used in the study.
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behavsci-04-00181-f001: Pictures used in the study.

Mentions: Images used for the study were artworks of equal dimensions (portrait-oriented A3), created by local artist, Susi Bellamy (Figure 1) [34]. A non-public art gallery was arranged in a building otherwise used as a studio and exhibition space for fine arts students. Two experimental conditions were employed. The arrangement of the walls was identical in each condition, but the placement of pictures’ locations differed (Figure 2). Note that (as it will be shown quantitatively in Section 2.2) this is sufficient to create the diversity in visual measures, which are the main scope of this paper. After all, “it is this ordering of space that is the purpose of building, not the physical object itself. The physical object is the means to the end. (...) Buildings are not just objects, but transformations of space through objects.” [35] (p. 1). Therefore, the effect of this modification of spatial and visual relations (of the ordering of space) can be generalised to spatial layouts per se.


Walk, Look, Remember: The Influence of the Gallery's Spatial Layout on Human Memory for an Art Exhibition.

Krukar J - Behav Sci (Basel) (2014)

Pictures used in the study.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4219265&req=5

behavsci-04-00181-f001: Pictures used in the study.
Mentions: Images used for the study were artworks of equal dimensions (portrait-oriented A3), created by local artist, Susi Bellamy (Figure 1) [34]. A non-public art gallery was arranged in a building otherwise used as a studio and exhibition space for fine arts students. Two experimental conditions were employed. The arrangement of the walls was identical in each condition, but the placement of pictures’ locations differed (Figure 2). Note that (as it will be shown quantitatively in Section 2.2) this is sufficient to create the diversity in visual measures, which are the main scope of this paper. After all, “it is this ordering of space that is the purpose of building, not the physical object itself. The physical object is the means to the end. (...) Buildings are not just objects, but transformations of space through objects.” [35] (p. 1). Therefore, the effect of this modification of spatial and visual relations (of the ordering of space) can be generalised to spatial layouts per se.

Bottom Line: In the museum context, where spatial layout is one of the most powerful curatorial tools available, attention and memory can be measured as a means of establishing whether or not the gallery fulfils its function as a space for contemplating art.In this exploratory experiment, 32 participants split into two groups explored an experimental, non-public exhibition and completed two unanticipated memory tests afterwards.The results show that some spatial characteristics of an exhibition can inhibit the recall of pictures and shift the focus to perceptual salience of the artworks.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University, NE1 8ST Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; E-Mail: jakub.krukar@northumbria.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
The spatial organisation of museums and its influence on the visitor experience has been the subject of numerous studies. Previous research, despite reporting some actual behavioural correlates, rarely had the possibility to investigate the cognitive processes of the art viewers. In the museum context, where spatial layout is one of the most powerful curatorial tools available, attention and memory can be measured as a means of establishing whether or not the gallery fulfils its function as a space for contemplating art. In this exploratory experiment, 32 participants split into two groups explored an experimental, non-public exhibition and completed two unanticipated memory tests afterwards. The results show that some spatial characteristics of an exhibition can inhibit the recall of pictures and shift the focus to perceptual salience of the artworks.

No MeSH data available.