The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Monday, March 8, 2021

How Have Museums Adapted to Attract More Working-Class Visitors?

Museums aren’t a modern phenomenon. It might come as a surprise to learn that the first museum is believed to have been established by a Babylonian princess, Ennigaldi around 530BC. The remains of the museum – with artefacts neatly laid out and labelled – was discovered by the archaeologist, Leonard Woolley in 1925. No one is sure who was entitled to visit the museum. It’s certainly possible that its visitors were invited members of the aristocracy and ruling classes. This is very reminiscent of the first European museums which opened from the 17th century (the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) up to the early 19th century (the Museo del Prado).

Although all of these major museums boost that they allowed free access to the general public, it’s questionable about how many members of the working classes visited them considering their working hours.

It was only in the late 19th century that efforts were made to actively encourage more working-class people to visit UK’s museums by organising talks and guided tours. This was part of a general social and political policy which argued that workers would only stop their reliance on ‘demon drink’ if they were exposed to culture. Without changes to their working conditions, this policy was only of limited success.

The 20th century saw the greatest change in how museums were viewed and promoted to the working classes. This was fuelled by two major changes: the gradual increase in the age of compulsory education from 12 to 16 and the establishment of the welfare state. By the 1960s, the emphasis was on lifelong learning and a flexible education (as epitomised by the Open University from 1969). There was also a major change in the type of exhibits on show in the latter part of the 20th century with many exhibitions devoted to the lives of ordinary people rather than key political figures.

As a result of these changes, it might be expected that more working-class people would now be visiting UK museums as they have become more accessible. However, the last research (carried out by the Warren Commission) found that 87% of visitors to British museums tended to come from the country’s higher social groups and didn’t reflect the country’s demographics.

The key to encouraging working-class visitors starts in school with regular trips. One of the reasons why this isn’t happening has been the gradual disappearance of the arts from the school curriculum in favour of more ‘relevant’ subjects.

One of the recommendations of the Warren Commission was the establishment of a free digital ‘cultural library’ easily accessible from the home and that organisations receiving public funding should be able to prove they were looking for ways to attract visitors from a variety of socio-economic groups.

Online personal loans for bad credit are available with a streamlined application procedure. However, this money doesn’t have to be spent on family outings since so many of the UK’s museums are still completely free.

Today's News

January 27, 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts brings together the work of Bill Viola and Michelangelo

Banksy work stolen from Paris terror attack venue

'Discriminating Thieves: Nazi-Looted Art and Restitution' opens at Nelson-Atkins

Bob Dodge to debut Jan. 28 as guest appraiser on HISTORY Channel's 'Pawn Stars'

Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand dies aged 86

Journalist, screenwriter donates his papers to the Harry Ransom Center

Exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of American artist Jacob Lawrence's printmaking oeuvre

Underground in Jerusalem, a rare look at an ancient tomb

A complete archive of Supreme skate decks sells for $800,000

Phoenix Art Museum presents global exhibition on art and Islam spanning a millennium

Medieval Africa as a cultural force is subject of major exhibition at Block Museum

Kamel Mennour opens its third solo exhibition of the work of Liam Everett

Exhibition features works from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Collection with a focus on new acquisitions

HOME opens a new solo exhibition by British artist David Bethell

Exhibition features huge canvases, expansive, room-filling installations and exceptionally large drawings

Exhibition brings together works by 6 artists who trace their origins to India, Pakistan and Iran

Kunsthaus Centre d'art Pasquart opens an exhibition of works by Zara Idelson

Gosport Gallery opens exhibition of works by Martin Snape

Exhibition revisits the controversial 1968 showing at the de Young Museum of 'Black Panthers'

Lunds konsthall opens 'Remembering What Is: Chile's Recent History in Film and Art'

The Grand Rapids Art Museum exhibits works of art acquired in the past five years

Ponti Art Gallery presents Italian masterpieces from 18th century to 20th century

New York-based painter Richard Tinkler opens exhibition at Team (gallery, inc.)

Focus Iran 3 offers views into the lives of contemporary Iranian youth through photography and video

How Have Museums Adapted to Attract More Working-Class Visitors?

Driving in UAE: Travel safety & road rules

Why Student Travel Is More Important Than Ever Before

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful