Summative Evaluation: Glass of the Architects Exhibition

October 1st, 2018 | EVALUATION

The Corning Museum of Glass contracted RK&A to conduct a summative evaluation of the temporary exhibition Glass of the Architects: Vienna 1900-1937. The goal of the study is to explore visitors’ experiences in the exhibition, which is a 1900-square foot exhibition situated within an expansive museum campus.

RK&A collected 100 timing and tracking observations to provide an objective and quantitative account of how visitors experience the exhibition. The museum has historically collected timing and tracking observations for temporary exhibitions so the method allowed for comparisons to past results. Additionally, RK&A collected 30 in-depth interviews with visitors after they completed their visit to the exhibition to understand the meanings they constructed from their experience.

As museum staff are aware, Glass of the Architects is one of many experiences visitors have at the museum. Interviews revealed that visitors may have been in the museum from anywhere between minutes and over three hours by the time they reach the temporary exhibition—rarely is it visitors’ first stop in the museum. Given the exhibition’s positioning in a visit to the museum, as well as the exhibition’s relatively small size compared to the rest of the museum, we are not surprised that the dwell time for the exhibition is a median of 3 minutes 9 seconds. Comparisons with past temporary exhibitions indicate that this dwell time is fairly typical for the space. Notably, despite a short amount of time in the exhibition, interviews reveal visitors’ experiences to be quite rich. In particular, visitors’ responses highlighted a positive aesthetic experience. Furthermore, about one-half of visitors took away some understanding of the big ideas behind the exhibition. As discussed with staff, the design of the exhibition’s entrance, which differed from past exhibitions, as well as the interpretation seemed to be highly successful in supporting visitors’ meaning making.



Team Members

Amanda Krantz, Evaluator, Randi Korn & Associates


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Summative
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits