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" I'd rather play than look at statues ": The Experiences of Children with Art Works and Interactive Devices at an Art Exhibition

Listed author(s):
  • Stéphane Debenedetti


    (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Florence Caro

    (Musée du Louvre - Musée du Louvre)

  • Anne Krebs

    (Musée du Louvre - Musée du Louvre)

Young children have been largely neglected in research dedicated to the art museum experience. The art exhibition "Tête à tête" ("Face-to-Face"), designed for 5-12 year olds, became an opportunity to bring an exploratory contribution to three research issues: the relationship that the young child has with works of art and interactive devices, the role the adult plays in this relationship and the benefits derived from the visit. Building on observation and interviews, the article shows that children's attention is clearly drawn more towards interactive devices than art works, yet at the same time, the hypothesis that interactive devices are directly detrimental to children's reception of art works could not be confirmed. The results also emphasize the limited role that adults play in guiding the children towards the art. In the end, both adults and children appear to be satisfied overall with the playful and interactive dimension of their experience. Following this, art museums should questions themselves on how to specifically help families to better guide the young child's perspective towards the art works themselves, and also rely on the adult to encourage, in the child, a more active approach to the art work.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00635790.

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Date of creation: 2009
Publication status: Published in International Journal of Arts Management, HEC Montréal. Chair in Arts Management, 2009, 11 (3), pp.46-58
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00635790
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