Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Bloch Galleries Summative Evaluation
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art recently completed a renovation of its 19th- and early-20th-century European art galleries (the Bloch Galleries). The renovation includes the incorporation of the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection, a major gift of 29 masterworks by leading Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. As part of this renovation project, the museum took the opportunity to experiment with new visitor engagement and interpretation strategies, including both digital and print approaches.
The museum identified three desired visitor outcomes for the galleries: 1) Visitors will understand the key concepts articulated in the galleries; 2) Visitors will find that the interpretation in the Bloch Galleries is appropriate to and helps expand their level of knowledge surrounding European art from 1750 to 1945; and 3) Visitors to the Bloch Galleries will experience an emotional connection to the art. To understand the extent to which the newly-renovated Bloch Galleries achieved these outcomes and to identify best practices that can potentially be incorporated throughout the museum, the Nelson-Atkins contracted with MWA Insights to conduct a summative evaluation of the renovated galleries.