The role of storytelling in art museum experiences
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Art, design and media have a common dimension on which this article aims to shed light: Experience. Within this topic, the article suggests storytelling as a possibility for art museum experiences and present a study on possible impacts of storytelling to enhance educational, aesthetic, social and transformative aspects of artwork experience for novice visitors. The first part of the article discusses concepts of storytelling to enhance novices’ experience of art, based on a literature review. The second part gives suggestions developed in a collaboration project with the national museum for decorative arts and design (NKIM) to improve the museum experience for its novice visitors. The authors will here argue for the value and challenges of storytelling in museums and present a crime mystery storytelling concept, which was prototyped and tested during the project. While the concept was well received by most participants, test results showed that some participants found the prototype too steering regarding their museum experience. Findings from the study indicate that storytelling is of cross-disciplinary interest for art, design and media in improving experiences, communication and interaction, by providing a common ground for laypeople and experts. Storytelling also has a huge potential to give novices the context they need to experience art. Further, it may contribute to generate long-lasting memories and possibly relationships with artworks. However, storytelling comes with certain challenges, which are discussed in the final section of the article.