In the early nineties, general museum practice, particularly in science and natural history settings, shifted to a team approach to exhibition development. The makeup of the team varied from institution to institution, but in all cases a broad range of staff were involved in deciding which stories to tell and how to tell them. Generally, in these settings, such work is referred to as exhibition development. For some reason, this move to a team-based approach did not spread to art museums (with some notable exceptions). Today however, we are aware of approximately thirty art museums that have adopted this team-based approach, and added the associated position, interpretive planner, to their ranks.
Why are interpretive planners becoming more common in art museums now?
Increasing sensitivity to visitor expectations. The museum field as a whole is becoming more sophisticated about what visitors want, and art museums are following that trend.
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