Labels that Stimulate Exploration
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) collection features artists from Nova Scotia, as well as Canadian, American, British, and European works. As at many art museums, the issue of whether or not to include written material (extended labels) in exhibitions, and the related issue of who was responsible for the writing, editing, and presentation of labels created tension among educators, curators, and artists. Thus a Labels Project at the AGNS was intended to address this issue, and stimulated a summative evaluation study during 1996. The visitor study reported is a portrait of an institution of that time period. The directorship and education staff has since changed, and current practices reflect the new staff's ways of thinking about interpretation.
The Labels Project was to enhance the casual visitor experience with the art on exhibition through a program of sectional and object labels that provide information, and encourage and stimulate further exploration. The primary reason for this project was to encourage looking, and thus to enrich the aesthetic experience of AGNS visitors