Artefact or art? Perceiving objects via object-viewing, object-handling, and virtual reality
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In the past two decades museums have sought increasingly to engage audiences with their collections through digital media (ARNOLD-DE SIMINE 2013a), yet there is little empirical data on how the digital experience itself affects visitor perceptions of objects. To address this issue, the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) and the School of Classics conducted a series of experiments comparing visitor responses to archaeological material presented in four different formats: 1) 3D digitisations 2) A display case 3) A sensory box 4) Artefact handling This article discusses key findings in relation to visitor interest, enjoyment and understanding, and analyses whether objects are more likely to be perceived as ‘art’ or ‘artefact’ in different contexts. Finally, it outlines implications for museum policy on the use of digital media and exhibition design.
Sweetman , R J & Hadfield , A L 2018 , ' Artefact or art? Perceiving objects via object-viewing, object-handling, and virtual reality ' , University Museums and Collections Journal , vol. 10 , pp. 46-66 .
University Museums and Collections Journal
Copyright © International ICOM Committee for University Museums and Collections. This is an open access publication. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at http://umac.icom.museum/resources/umac-publications/conference-proceedings/
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