Independent museum scholar Kiersten Latham is conducting a study on what it means to experience “the real thing” in a museum. Contact her if you’re interested in participating!
Can you think of a time when you visited a museum to see something real? How did it feel? What does it mean to you when a museum object is real? How do you know it is real? Does it make a difference in your experience if it is not? Join me in a research study about the meaning of real things in museums.
In previous investigations on museum objects and visitor experience, I have found that a common explanation for a strong reaction to a museum object is that it is “Real.” It left me curious as to what people mean by this. What is it like to experience something real? The issue about “the real thing” is especially pertinent in today’s digital age where the majority of Americans have joined in a lifestyle that involves a large amount of time in virtual and electronic worlds. With technology supplanting many physical things in our lives, how important is it to see the real thing? If you can think of specific encounters with real things and would like to describe these encounters to me, please contact me, Kiersten Latham, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about participating in this study.