INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
Background and Aims
he suggestion that museums should
become more like amusement
parks is not only absurd but pro-
vocative. These two forms are traditionally
diametrically opposed” (Chaumier, 2005
“What does a museum have in common with an
amusement park?” (Chaumier, 2011
). We chose
these comments by Serge Chaumier as a starting
point to explore a theme that has received little
attention – the prospect of closer ties between the
museum and the amusement park. This theme
raises a number of questions: Should we distin-
guish between places where we go to reﬂect
and places where we go to have fun? Should we
put high culture and popular culture in oppos-
ition? Should cultural institutions be free to experi-
ment with different forms – for example, to
combine genres – in order to be more appealing
to their audiences?
Radical changes are currently taking place in
heritage institutions, deﬁned broadly. These
changes are affecting not only traditional muse-
ums but also interpretation centres, planetariums/
astronomical observatories, science centres, his-
torical monuments, nature parks and ecomuse-
ums. Many heritage institutions, whether
architecturally distinctive or not, are key attrac
tions that play a role in reinforcing the image of
a city or in promoting a region. Often, they must
balance several different objectives, some of
which go beyond the function of a museum as
deﬁned by the International Council of Museums
– namely, the conservation of and research on
collections for the education and enjoyment of
the public (http://icom.museum/la-vision/deﬁ-
nition-du-musee/L/2/). For example, research
has demonstrated that new technologies that
stimulate the visitor’s senses make it possible to
“recreate” the content of a cultural message,
leading to its rediscovery (Kotler, 1999). This
applies in the case of both education and enter-
tainment and can also be understood from the
perspective of experiential marketing (Roederer,
2012). In this case, the aim of the institution is
to enhance the visitor’s experience by making it
a unique and memorable event.
The trend described above has led to a hybrid-
ization of museum offerings characterized by
growing porosity between the cultural and enter-
tainment spheres and even between museums
and amusement parks. Indeed, more and more
museums are turning to innovative, lively envi-
ronments that include recreational elements in
order to mediate content that is perceived as
serious. Conversely, amusement parks are seeking
to enhance the recreational experiences of their
visitors by including content that is more cultur
ally rich (Pulh and Mencarelli, 2010).
This dual trend raises a number of issues.
In their eagerness to boost attendance, museums,
like many other tourist attractions, risk falling into
the trap of “Disneyiﬁcation” (Disneylandization)
(Brunel, 2006) or “McDonaldization” (Ritzer,
2000). This issue is all the more urgent considering
that edutainment, an approach combining
The authors contributed
equally to this article and are
listed in alphabetical order.
Pierre Balloffet is an associ-
ate professor at HEC Montréal
in Canada. In his research
on marketing communication
and branding, he favours an
approach emphasizing origi-
François H. Courvoisier
(PhD, Economics) is a profes-
sor at Haute école de gestion
Arc in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
His areas of research include
cultural marketing and
(PhD, Marketing) is a professor
at Rouen Business School in
France. Her research focuses
on aesthetic perception
and experience in the arts
and cultural industries.
From Museum to Amusement Park:
The Opportunities and Risks of Edutainment
Pierre Balloffet, François H. Courvoisier, Joëlle Lagier
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
education and entertainment, appears to be a
current trend in the museum landscape (Rheingold,
1992; Mencarelli, Pulh and Marteaux, 2007).
In this article, we attempt to answer two
research questions: What are the risks and oppor-
tunities associated with the edutainment trend in
museums? What aspects of this trend put museums
in danger of causing confusion by becoming too
much like amusement parks?
dopting a traditional approach (Spiggle,
1994), we begin with a review of the litera-
ture. We extract several key lessons from previous
research in order to construct a conceptual frame-
work. This is followed by the presentation of a
ﬁeld study based on an exploratory qualitative
approach. Using a semi-directive interview guide
(see Appendix 1), we conducted nine interviews
with museum professionals (directors and cur-
ators) from different countries. We analyzed and
compared the interview data in order to explore
the diversity of professional viewpoints. Finally,
we present a critical discussion of this interpreta-
tive analysis in order to evaluate the importance
and pertinence of the ﬁndings. In the conclusion
we suggest future avenues of research.
The Concept of Edutainment
According to Addis (2005), edutainment is a
portmanteau word combining education and
entertainment. The emergence of this neologism
and its rapidly growing use reﬂect a convergence
of the two sectors, in what King (1993) calls “a
Authors such as Rheingold (1992) and
Mencarelli, Pulh and Marteaux (2007) examine
the phenomenon of edutainment. The latter high-
light the CREDOC study, which found that more
than half of visitors judged museums to be unwel-
coming. This ﬁnding suggests that there are still
shortcomings that museums must address in order
to build customer loyalty and attract new visitors.
Based on observation of the trends and on their
own analysis, the authors show that contemporary
museumgoers seek an experience that is shared,
user-friendly and interactive (in terms of other
visitors, staff, exhibits, etc.). The pursuit of sensory
and emotional stimulation is also a factor. Visitors
thus have an expectation of a co-produced experi-
ence that will enable them to play an active and
relational role within an exhibition that combines
playful and educational elements (De Barnier and
Lagier, 2012). The acknowledgement of this new
reality by some museum professionals has led
them to place greater emphasis on edutainment
by promoting a blend of entertaining and educa-
tional aspects. Other professionals and stakehold-
ers in the museum sector, however, continue to
believe that to accommodate the more experience-
centred expectations of their audience would be
to compromise their offerings (Mencarelli, Pulh
and Marteaux, 2007).
In his essay on virtual reality, Rheingold
(1992) points out that new communication tech-
nologies greatly increase the potential for con-
vergence of education and entertainment.
Multimedia applications can be used to present
the content of an exhibition within a virtual
environment such that it is an actual re-creation
of the exhibition. An example of this is the
Google Art project (http://www.google.com/
experience offered by a virtual edutainment
environment is an immersive and participative
one that can be understood through the concept
of ﬂow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1977). According to
Rheingold (1992), this convergence and the
expectations it fosters in the museumgoing public
Based on a literature review and exploratory interviews, this article examines the concept of “edutainment”
within the museum sector. Edutainment refers to the tendency of cultural institutions to incorporate elements
of entertainment and interactivity into their oﬀerings in order to attract new audiences, particularly young people.
Edutainment presents both opportunities and risks. One of the main threats associated with the trend is the
“Disneyiﬁcation” of cultural institutions. Following a theoretical and managerial analysis, the authors oﬀer recom-
mendations and suggest new avenues of research in the ﬁeld of museum management.
Museums, amusement parks, education, entertainment, edutainment, Disneylandization, Disneyiﬁcation
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
pose a serious threat to institutions intent on
preserving their history and the traditional mana-
We must point out here that one of the under-
lying reasons for the shift towards edutainment
by heritage and museum institutions is budget-
ary. The amount of funding these institutions
receive – if any – often depends on their atten-
dance levels, which puts them under constant
pressure to maintain or increase attendance
ﬁgures. Museums therefore strive to attract new
audiences, with an emphasis on younger visitors,
by offering more entertaining and interactive
displays, even though these may be more costly
to implement (Courvoisier, Courvoisier and
Museum Versus Amusement Park:
High Culture Versus Popular Culture?
This article and work published by Serge
Chaumier (2005, 2011) represent the perspective
on this topic of several French authors, most in
the museum sector. While these works reveal a
broad range of opinions, generally there is wide-
spread scepticism and concern about what is
seen as a too-rapid and excessive shift towards
entertainment on the part of cultural institu-
tions. According to these authors, this trend
distorts the primary function of cultural institu-
tions, which is the rigorous, if not scientiﬁc,
transmission of heritage.
We will discuss the main ideas set out in
Chaumier (2005, 2011) while also addressing
those of other, mainly Anglo-Saxon, authors.
While asserting that museums and amusement
parks are diametrically opposed, Chaumier (2005)
nevertheless underlines some points of conver-
gence. There is no denying the growing trend
among museums to adopt the techniques and
ethos typical of theme parks, frequently as a
response to pressure from local and regional
authorities eager to boost the image and visibility
of the region in order to attract more visitors. In
view of this trend, it appears urgent to examine
the consequences of the possible melding of the
museum and amusement park sectors as the lines
between the two grow increasingly blurred
(Chaumier, 2005). In support of his argument,
Chaumier cites works that describe the new exhi-
bition itinerary as “Disneylandian” (Prado, 1995)
or as drifting towards the amusement park
(Michaud, 2003) and that warn against display
designs that overshadow the works themselves
(Harouel, 1998). Mairesse (2002) argues that, for
better or worse, the “spectaculaire muséal” (spec-
tacular museum design) is the dominant trend.
Theoretically, three boundaries can be drawn
between the museum and the amusement park
(Chaumier, 2005). First, the two types of institu-
tion can be distinguished based on scientiﬁc
criteria. This raises the question of how far we
are prepared to go to simplify a work of art or
make it more accessible. Second, methodological
criteria can be applied, accompanied by the ques-
tion of how to deﬁne the educational challenges
and their relation to pleasure. A third distinction
can be made based on ethical criteria.
To gain a better understanding of the phe-
nomenon of convergence, a few historical con-
siderations are in order. After all, the culture of
entertainment is not a new phenomenon and
theme parks go back more than a century. In
fact, they trace their roots to the medieval fair,
although the recreational and liberatory func-
tions of these fairs, which also featured sideshows
and circus acts, have been reinterpreted to suit
20th-century tastes (Viel and Nivart, 2005).
Amusement parks, meanwhile, trace their origins
to the world of ﬁlm (Chaumier, 2005).
The term “Disneylandization,” in reference
to the ﬁrst theme park, opened by the Disney
group in Anaheim, California, in 1955, was
Cet article, fondé sur une recherche documentaire complétée par des entretiens exploratoires, porte sur le concept
d’edutainment (éduvertissement), soit la tendance qu’ont les musées à rendre leur médiation culturelle plus ludique et
interactive pour attirer de nouveaux publics, notamment de jeunes visiteurs. Ce phénomène récent présente, en eﬀet,
des occasions de même que des risques face à la menace de disneylandisation de ces institutions. Après une analyse du
sujet sur les plans théorique et et de la gestion, des recommandations et de nouvelles pistes de recherche sont préconisées
en lien avec le management muséal.
Musées, parcs d’attractions, éducation, divertissement, éduvertissement, disneylandisation
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
coined in France by Brunel (2006). Brunel’s
work describes the prevailing trend towards
capitalist-based mass tourism marked by glo-
balization and profit maximization and
grounded in consensual and stereotypical con-
tent (Casedas, 2011). Disneylandization also
refers to the commodiﬁcation of culture and
the boom in the mass leisure industry (Vander
Grucht, 2006). Art and culture experts describe
it as a universal and inevitable phenomenon
that affects not only tourism, culture and muse-
ums but society in general. The term has gained
particular currency in the museum community,
where it is used to describe certain changes that
are perceived as aberrations. A similar view is
taken of the gradual convergence of the museum
and the amusement park (Casedas, 2011, p. 43).
Despite the frequency of its use, however, the
word Disneylandization represents a complex
and poorly deﬁned notion. Although often
equated with a “nightmare” scenario, it covers
a number of different situations and realities
(Eyssartel and Rochette, 1992).
The relationship of the museum to the amuse-
ment park also raises the issue of the opposition
between high culture (museum as temple) and
popular culture (amusement park as pure enter-
tainment). However, many smaller, local muse-
ums can be seen as channelling popular
expressions of high culture without any apparent
contradiction or signiﬁcant divergence from
traditional curatorial discourse. Through his
analysis of cultural practices, independent of the
meaning given to them by their actors, Bourdieu
(1979) contributes to the relativization of the
line between museum and amusement park. For
example, how should one classify the Cité des
Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, or the
Futuroscope in Poitiers – as museums or as sci-
ence amusement parks? Indeed, it is not always
easy when visiting a cultural institution to deter-
mine whether one is in a park or a museum. The
lines between the cultural and the recreational
or entertaining are often blurred.
According to Montpetit (2005), theme parks
incorporate images and themes borrowed from
stories in popular culture. Walt Disney sum-
marized the idea for his park in California as a
cartoon in which the audience becomes
immersed. He conceived Disneyland as a place
for people to ﬁnd happiness and knowledge (Pine
and Gilmore, 1999). This objective is one that
is shared by many museums.
It should be noted here that, while museums
tend to inject elements of entertainment into
culture, conversely many businesses attempt to
incorporate culture into the area of consumption
and entertainment. For example, shopping cen-
tres open their doors to cultural institutions in
a bid to promote their offerings and attract new
customers. A case in point is the Ivry-Grand-Ciel
shopping centre in France, which played host to
the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in
order to reach a broader audience (Girault and
Lemire, 2000). Another example is when com-
panies offer their customers spaces that are not
easily classified, such as ESPN Zone
(Entertainment and Sports Programming
Network) (Kozinets et al., 2004) and Nike Town
in Chicago (Penaloza, 1998). As a growing num-
ber of museum activities ﬁnd their way into the
retail world (e.g., department stores and shopping
centres), it is becoming increasingly difﬁcult to
draw a clear boundary between the two domains
Emergence of the Experience Economy
In both the museum realm and the retail world,
the emergence of new, experience-based economic
forms is a clear trend. Traditional offerings of
products and services now come with an impor-
tant new ingredient. The “e-factor,” or entertain-
ment factor, has become a driving force in the
global economy. Wolf (1999), for example, refers
to the “entertainmentalization” of the economy.
This trend has increased the blurring of the lines
En el presente artículo, basado en una investigación documental complementada con entrevistas exploratorias, se estudia el
concepto de edutainment (educación diversión), es decir, la tendencia que hoy día muestran los museos en hacer más lúdica
e interactiva la mediación cultural para atraer nuevos públicos, principalmente jóvenes visitantes. Este reciente fenómeno
comporta, de hecho, riesgos y oportunidades frente a la amenaza de disneylización de estas instituciones. Tras un análisis del
tema desde una óptica teórica y de gestión, se preconizan recomendaciones y nuevas vías de investigación en el ámbito de la
Museos, parques de atracción, educación, entretenimiento, edutainment disneylandización
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
between entertainment and non-entertainment,
with more and more consumers looking for the
e-factor in everything that attracts their interest
(Wolf, 1999). In an increasingly competitive mar-
ket, offering entertaining content and a strong
experience has become imperative in the race to
capture the public’s attention. When people buy
an experience, they are paying for a memorable
event created by an organization that is eager to
connect with them on a personal level. The more
effective the experience in engaging all the senses,
the more memorable it is likely to be (Pine and
Gilmore, 1999). This context has placed museums
at the heart of a new economy that is based not
simply on contemplation and the acquisition of
knowledge, but also on the generation of creative
and memorable experiences (Mairesse, 2011).
of Museum Exhibitions
The movement known as Muséologie nouvelle
et expérimentation sociale (MNES; New
Museology and Social Experimentation) was
founded in the 1980s as a French-based European
association whose aim was to demystify museums
and make them accessible to a broader audience.
The movement promoted the incorporation of
storytelling and dramatic staging into exhibi-
tions, signalling a shift from the didactic to the
spectacular, or “from forum to decorum”
(Mairesse, 2002). The spectacular museum is
characterized by a preponderance of the image,
the event and techniques (including publicity
stunts) combined with playfulness. This approach
is often associated with the pursuit of a consen-
sual or unifying effect.
In Paris, the opening of the Centre Pompidou
in 1977 marked a milestone in museum history.
Large crowds turned out to visit this “factory of
multicoloured tubes,” ride its escalators up to the
exhibitions, sip coffee, browse through books or
attend a concert (Mairesse, 2011
). As would be
the case for many other museum institutions, the
spectacular dimension of the Centre Pompidou
was articulated ﬁrst and foremost in its architec-
ture and in the promotion of the venue itself.
Amusement parks have long been deﬁned by
their spectacular design. They offer spectacles
designed to trigger a strong experiential charge
supported by aesthetic concepts and principles
aimed at inspiring awe and surprise (Counts,
2009). Until very recently, few museum exhibi-
tions had succeeded in making effective use of
spectacle in their design, two of these being
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a touring show,
and Dinosphere, a permanent exhibition at the
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Later initia-
tives, such as the Star Wars Identities exhibition
in Montreal (Vigneault, 2012), illustrate that
the convergence of spectacle and museum design
can be extremely rewarding.
The attractions at Disneyworld, EPCOT,
Universal Studios and the like have a strong
appeal for the public. It is not surprising, there-
fore, that numerous other industries (sport, lei-
sure, retail) look to them for inspiration. Counts
(2009) identiﬁes four categories of technique
associated with the design of these spectacular
offerings: dramatic effects (e.g., sound and light);
plot (mainly through the development of a story
that builds to a climax); grand scale (e.g., the
use of IMAX or giant screens); and authenticity
(i.e., credibility of the effects used). In the case
of museums, authenticity is certainly a criterion.
If this condition is met, a spectacular exhibition
design can immerse visitors in the story, allowing
them to become witnesses and active participants
in some of the activities.
One of the criticisms made of spectacular
exhibitions is that they tend not to ask questions
or to offer a critical perspective on the subject
matter. It is because of this undemanding,
slightly enchanted aspect that these exhibitions
have been referred to as “Disneylandian mecha-
nisms” (Drouguet, 2005). In the absence of any
systematic, global system of evaluation for this
type of offering, attendance ﬁgures are the only
gauge of success or failure. The investment must
be amortized, leading to the frequent use of
sponsorships, which can have a questionable
effect on content and communication. Moreover,
there is no evidence that attending this type of
event – a museum-amusement park hybrid –
signiﬁcantly increases attendance at traditional
museums by people who are not predisposed to
visit museums (Drouguet, 2005).
According to Montpetit (2005), the visitor
experience has become a priority for museums.
In this regard, it is important to point out that
the crisis in education is in many respects insepa-
rable from the cultural crisis. By switching the
focus of learning from content to experience,
the new pedagogues have, since the 1970s, cul-
tivated a new relationship with culture. Learning
while having fun has become the mantra of many
an education department. People must not be
made to wait; pleasure must be immediate. By
the same token, it is growing increasingly obvious
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
that playfulness has become a watchword for
exhibition designers: Visitors must never be
bored, must not be aware of the passage of time
and must be given the opportunity to ﬁll their
leisure hours (Chaumier, 2005).
Some authors perceive in this trend a veri-
table paradigm shift – from museums whose
business is objects to organizations whose busi-
ness is information (Freedman, 2000). At the
same time, where museums once depended on
public funding or philanthropy for their sur-
vival, they now depend on fundraising efforts
whose success hinges on the extent to which
the museum is able to meet market expecta-
tions. Where a museum’s richness was once
measured by the objects it possessed, its true
value is now represented by the dissemination
of information related to those objects. The
museum has become a hub of information,
ﬁlled with objects that can be digitized and
governed by the principle of edutainment. It
can be seen as “a great packager of knowledge,
building seedpods and dispersing them into
the community” (Freedman, 2000).
Among other trends, four forces have shaken
the foundations of the great museums over the
years: the democratization of travel, the mass pro-
duction of cameras, the advent of radio and televi-
sion, and the digital revolution (Freedman, 2000).
These developments have provided individuals
access to previously closed worlds of “wonders,”
which they can easily discover in numerous ways.
Museums disseminate their collections in books,
brochures and the electronic media. Many of
today’s museums have Web sites offering an abun-
dance of rich and attractive content. It is easy to
see why museums that have chosen to follow this
path look to Disney as a model: No other company
has been able to take a single fairytale and package
it simultaneously in the form of a ﬁlm, DVD,
book, Web site and line of merchandise.
Whether it be museum or amusement park,
culture can be transmitted in numerous ways,
using a playful or educational approach, static
or interactive mechanisms, and a more or less
spectacular design. Experts in museography and
science parks are suspicious of forms of cultural
mediation that do not encourage visitors to ask
questions beyond the basic sensorial experience
they may have in a cultural venue, while promot
ers of cultural or commercial events no longer
hesitate to mix educational ingredients into their
As a result, there are increasing similarities
between the “Disneylandized” world and the
“museologized” world. After all, museums
and amusement parks both represent relatively
closed, secure worlds that are timeless and
subject to commercial constraints and that
use artiﬁce to create memorable moments,
a sense of awe and emotional experiences.
The distinction between the two worlds can
be subtle and even confusing. One thing is
certain: It is no longer possible to view them in
terms of a clear opposition between public and
commercial interest, culture and entertainment,
and elitist “scientiﬁcity” and popularization
(Casedas, 2011). As early as 1985 Umberto Eco
voiced concern that some American museums,
drawing their inspiration from fairgrounds and
circuses, had taken to lumping together original
pieces with facsimiles and reconstitutions, with
a penchant for decoration and lighting and
mirror effects. On the other hand, numerous
amusement parks were modelled after historical
sites associated with museums in order to make
their offerings more immersive. Due to their
early emphasis on the visitor experience and
interactivity, science museums were also a source
of inspiration (Eyssartel and Rochette, 1992).
Tobelem (2011) uses the phrase “grands
équipements de loisir culturel” (GELC – major
cultural leisure facilities) for large-scale projects
at the crossroads between theme parks and
conventional museums. He does not see any
continuity between museums, interpretation
centres, wildlife parks, water parks, science
centres and theme parks. According to Tobelem,
GELCs are above all a means to enhance
economic development at the local level through
facilities capable of attracting hundreds of
thousands of visitors a year, such as France’s
Futuroscope, Vulcania, Océanopolis and Le
Puy du Fou. These attractions clearly straddle
the line between entertainment and scientiﬁc
dissemination, leisure and culture, conventional
museum, and theme park.
In the next section we examine the perceptions
and attitudes of museum professionals regarding
the risks and opportunities of the edutainment
trend within their institutions. Our aim is to
provide insight into the concerns raised on this
topic and into the potential elements of confusion
between museums and amusement parks.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
n order to obtain input from professionals
associated with cultural institutions in the
museum ﬁeld, we carried out a qualitative study
in the form of semi-directive interviews. Nine
interviews were conducted with museum direc-
tors and curators in different countries using an
interview guide (see Appendix 1) based on our
Respondents were asked to give their opinion
on the different trends now being observed in the
museum ﬁeld. Our aim was twofold: to under-
stand how they deﬁne the mission of a museum
in the contemporary context, and to gather their
views on the advantages and disadvantages of the
edutainment trend within their organizations.
We designed the following research protocol:
In the initial phase of the interview, respondents
were asked to describe the mission of a museum
(based ﬁrst on the philosophy of the respondent’s
museum and then on a more global deﬁnition
provided later in the interview). In the middle
part of the interview, respondents were asked to
give their professional opinion on the trend
towards the theatricalization and spectaculariza-
tion of museum offerings. Finally, a discussion
was held on the experience of museum visitors
and on the potential forging of links between
museums and amusement parks.
A horizontal thematic content analysis was car-
ried out. This was followed by a cross-interpre-
tation of the results, leading to a discussion of
the ﬁndings (Spiggle, 1994).
An inductive-deductive approach was used
(Andréani and Conchon, 2002). Themes were
identiﬁed empirically using a coding grid based
on theoretical elements from the literature. The
unit selected was a phrase, sentence or paragraph,
depending on the homogeneity of meaning
(Miles and Huberman, 1994). The analysis was
conducted by distinguishing between the three
interview phases described above. Six themes
were identiﬁed: the mission and vocation of the
museum, the concept of leisure and entertain-
ment, the concept of spectacle and event, views
on experience and re-enchantment, the role and
impact of new technologies, and potnetial links
between the museum and the amusement park.
Mission and Vocation of the Museum
All of the professionals interviewed had a clear
view of the current mission of their museum.
However, a number of differences were observed
in how they deﬁned this mission.
Some cited a predominantly educational
approach: In my view, the vocation of a museum
is to educate before entertaining, since its mission
is to open people’s minds to the world of art and
help them develop an appreciation of it. Others
insisted on the need to introduce an element of
leisure and entertainment: The ﬁne arts have the
potential to become a leisure activity for many
people; The notion of pleasure must be present.
Respondents in the latter group pointed to the
strong links between art and society: The links
between life and art are multiplying to the point
where we are seeing a blurring of the boundaries
between genres. These respondents saw this trend
as fostering a form of cultural democratization:
It draws people in . . . it encourages people to reﬂect
while having fun; Playfulness and even irony are
excellent vehicles for communication.
None of the respondents voiced negative opin-
ions about the introduction of more attractive
displays aimed at fostering a better understanding
of the exhibited works.
The Concept of Leisure and Entertainment
Echoing these initial perceptions, the concept
of leisure and entertainment was brought up by
all of the respondents, although they approached
these themes in different ways.
Some respondents questioned the use of an
approach based on the idea of leisure or entertain-
ment as a constraint – a regrettable but unavoid-
able concept in a highly competitive world: Right
now, we’re clinging to entertainment as a lifeline to
help us cope with the growing challenge of changing
patterns of cultural consumption. Others took a
more positive view of the trend, seeing in it the
potential for fruitful change. They cited the ben-
eﬁts of offering a pleasant, emotional, amusing
experience in the museum environment as a way
of triggering an unforgettable experience and
memories for visitors.
All, however, expressed a need to set limits
in order to avoid excesses: A museum is a cultural
centre ﬁrst and an entertainment and event-based
centre second. Indeed, some activities or events
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
offered by museums were perceived as being too
spectacular and ephemeral: At the request of par-
ents, I’ve tried organizing children’s birthday parties
in my museum, but it isn’t ideal for their offspring,
who would rather be at McDonald’s.
There was consensus among all the museum
professionals that, if left unchecked, an approach
centred on the event and the spectacle could have
harmful long-term effects, distorting the mission
of their institution: You can’t emphasize the event
over the works. You have to strike a balance, creating
a museum that draws in visitors, that is user-
friendly, pleasant, human and welcoming.
The Concept of Spectacle and Event
The risk here stems from the fact that, by empha-
sizing style over substance, the spectacular effect
being sought can function in a way that is det-
rimental to the works. While the incorporation
of some elements of leisure and entertainment
into the museum experience seemed to be gener-
ally accepted, attitudes were divided on the
concept of spectacularization and an event-
Attitudes ranged from total resistance – The
most outrageous . . . use of spectacle can be seen in
the recent exhibitions of Jeff Koons and Murikami at
the Château de Versailles! The choice of artists has
become too easy . . . these days, you need “pompiers,”
artists who make people exclaim, “Wow, what a
show!” . . . In my view, this attitude is pathetic.
It’s a reﬂection of the current pop market – to more
moderate appraisals – A spectacular exhibition
must be combined with real objects . . . however,
it can still offer contrasts . . . contradictions. This
divergence of opinion reﬂects the key questions
raised by the spectacularization of museum offer-
ings: How far should museums go? What are
the limits? Should one let the focus shift away
from the works to serve purposes other than
those originally intended?
For museum professionals, the theatricalization
of the space or the event creates ambiguity between
the museum sector and the tourism or business
sector: Night at the Museum events such as that held
in Lausanne . . . work well, but many curators have
the impression that visitors come to the museum that
one time only and don’t return the rest of the year . . .
each time, only a few visitors are reached.
A museum curator who is enthusiastic about
one type of exhibition – In museology, there’s . . .
the notion of blockbusters, which are extremely lucra-
tive and have very broad appeal – might take
offence at another – The Bodies exhibition . . . can’t
be called a museum exhibition . . . its aim is purely
commercial. Have you seen the entrance fee? Twenty
dollars per child. That’s not how a non-proﬁt works.
It’s something else entirely. It’s not museology.
Thus, while the museum professionals were
in favour of edutainment, they questioned the
advantages of excessive spectacularization.
Indeed, they could be strong advocates of this
trend while at the same time expressing doubts
about its true beneﬁts.
Views on Experience and Re-enchantment
Clearly, the major concern of all the directors
and curators was to promote their works more
effectively in a traditional museum world that is
often perceived as drab and sterile. Many inter-
viewees expressed a desire to transform the
museum into a more playful and interactive place:
We want the experience to be enriching, pleasant,
and consistent with the visitor’s competencies.
However, they had different opinions about
what this renewed experience should look like:
We’re breaking out of the box within which muse-
ums have traditionally presented their exhibitions
– in other words, we’re attempting to offer the
consumer a richer experience; We’re moving towards
an experience-driven culture as a result of the
democratization of culture . . . we have to accept
this trend or we’ll be lost.
Within this dynamic environment, some
museum professionals were embracing innovation
and creativity. The curator of the Musée
d’Ethnographie de Neuchâtel had introduced
the concept of storytelling to help guide visitors
through their museum experience. The director
of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-
Fonds had published a small book titled Milton
au Musée (Milton at the Museum) giving young
readers an opportunity to visit the museum in
an entertaining way, accompanied by the humor-
ous comments of a black cat.
At the same time, they were extremely cau-
tious on this topic: Experience is a very important
aspect . . . it helps to demystify the museum and
engage the senses; We must be careful – the expe-
riential universe can distort the work, understood
in the strict sense; The experience-driven approach
could become dangerous if people start confusing
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
hyperreality and daily reality; Experience can dis-
tract visitors from the artistic reality . . . making
them forget what they came to see or discover . . .
they can become overwhelmed by the overly imagi-
nary or fairytale aspect of the environment.
The ambivalence of respondents’ comments
also reveals a reluctance to overstep boundaries.
The risk in cultivating entertainment or experi-
ence within the museum’s walls is that the public
will be able to feel sensations and emotions only
in an idyllic universe that is disconnected from
reality: We have to demystify art without confusing
everything; The limits are determined by the world
we want people to discover and the means used to
help them do so; Augmented reality is ﬁne if all we
have are fragments or if we want to evoke missing
elements; Hyperreality, such as that offered in
amusement parks, can be used to produce contrast,
but not as the basis for the entire exhibition.
The museum professionals agreed, therefore,
on the need to develop new experiential modes
and to introduce re-enchantment, but they were
acutely aware of the limits of this approach and
the danger of the public losing its bearings. They
clearly did not want ﬁction to overtake reality,
or reality to imitate ﬁction by sublimating the
works being displayed.
Role and Impact of New Technologies
The interactive devices (audioguides, tactile
panels, video screens, information kiosks, immer-
sive spaces, etc.) implemented by museums were
seen as presentation elements that facilitate access
to and complement the works but that must not
under any circumstances obscure them or eclipse
their true meaning: Interactive devices are ﬁne
when they encourage people to discover the work
but without straying too far from the artist’s dis-
course. The exasperated comments of some
respondents reveal genuine concern: I ﬁnd [inter-
active displays] irritating . . . they distract from
the work . . . being in front of a screen gets in the
way of sensations and emotions; Touch screens, visits
via the Internet? Those are virtual visits. Nothing
can compare with the sensation of standing in front
of a real painting or sculpture.
At the same time, all of the respondents agreed
on the informative and practical value of the
new technologies: People nowadays are accustomed
to always having information at their ﬁngertips . . .
when they ﬁnd themselves in a museum that gives
only the artist’s name, the title of the work and the
date, it’s no longer acceptable . . . and since you
can’t put reams of text up on the walls, the only
[alternative is] these new technologies. This
acknowledgement does not mean, however, that
they saw technology as playing a primary role:
Technology is just one means behind the concept . . .
the exhibition design . . . all of the team’s efforts
were focused on giving meaning to all of this, and
we used a bit of technology to do so but [mainly]
we used exhibition design.
The adoption of interactive devices is there-
fore not something to be taken lightly. The
main objective remains to convey information
essential for an understanding of the works
being displayed. However, the implementation
of these devices – whether on site or off site
(via Web sites, blogs, applications or social
networks) – must not overshadow the nature
and philosophy of the objects presented, because
the museum professionals ﬁrst want to consider
the signiﬁcance of the devices they will be
Potential Links Between the Museum
and the Amusement Park
The issue of potential links between the museum
and the amusement park did not seem to be a
signiﬁcant concern for the directors and curators.
In their view, the museum is still primarily a
space that encourages questioning and artistic
exchange: Exhibiting [works] means disrupting
harmony and taking the visitor out of his or her
Only one respondent mentioned a problem
in this regard: The architecture of a venue such as
the Guggenheim Museum can shift the focus . . .
people come more to discover the beauty and gran-
deur of the building than to admire the works . . .
An exhibition is appealing only if it’s compatible
with the work of the artist . . . otherwise it’s of no
interest whatsoever. The reference here is to cases
where the building becomes at least as important
as the exhibitions or collections presented.
Parallels can indeed be drawn between this
approach and amusement parks, where the design
of the space is paramount.
Other respondents mentioned possible links
with the works on display: The work itself can be
an attraction, as in the case . . . of a sound or visual
installation that attracts a very large number of
spectators; The work can . . . become the true spec-
tacle by virtue of its size or scale.
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
None of the museum professionals appeared
to be concerned that convergence of the museum
and the amusement park might be dangerous or
negative, as they all believed they were acting in
an ethically responsible way by ensuring that
the work remained central at all times.
Interpretation of Results
One of the aims of these nine face-to-face qualita-
tive interviews was to determine the views of
museum professionals on the advantages, disad-
vantages and limits of the principle of edutainment
in relation to their institution. There appeared to
be consensus on the inevitability of the edutain-
ment trend in a globalized world that prioritizes
entertainment and the experiential. Once again,
while some respondents expressed grudging accep-
tance of this new reality, others had adopted a
more positive and spontaneous attitude. In the
view of the latter group, there is nothing inherently
reprehensible about developing a happy, pleasant
and sensory relationship between the audience
and the works on display.
On the other hand, all of the museum profes-
sionals voiced extreme caution regarding the
dangers of edutainment initiatives. Their wari-
ness can be linked to a concern that an emphasis
on the spectacular or the ephemeral will result
in the works having only a passing effect on
visitors and that the use of technique and artiﬁce
will overshadow the artistic approach. They
agreed unanimously that every effort must be
made to ensure harmony with the main focus
– that is, the work, its discourse and its inception.
The setting and design (including any interactive
devices) must not be allowed to obstruct the
discovery of and access to the work.
Content, in this context, takes precedence
over form, which is viewed simply as a facilitator.
The respondents believed that this constitutes
the main strength of a museum; while the visit
may incorporate elements of entertainment and
leisure, the focus must be on the conservation
and enhancement of the works on display. Given
this imperative, the establishment of closer ties
with the world of amusement parks is still a long
way off, and even highly uncertain in some cases.
Whereas amusement parks are perceived as places
to have fun, museums are conceived as places
for learning and cultural development.
While a clear dichotomy continues to exist
between these two worlds, the museum
professionals did not appear to feel threatened by
the potential Disneylandization of their activities
and were even cautiously optimistic. At the same
time, however, there was consensus on the need
to guard against the commodiﬁcation of culture
and to avoid excessive spectacularization, especially
where the sole aim is to boost attendance.
Though some divergences could be noted,
the views of the museum professionals are con-
sistent with those presented in the literature. In
a number of cases, the vision of the museum
experience and potential sources of re-enchant-
ment seemed to be well developed. This suggests
that museum professionals are receptive to the
inﬂuences of edutainment, in keeping with the
inescapable logic of the blockbuster shows that
has taken root in our society.
onducting a mainly exploratory qualitative
study is always a difﬁcult undertaking.
Adding to the difﬁculty in our study was the
sensitive nature of the issues for the interviewees.
Indeed the very concept of the museum and the
deﬁnitions of the roles and responsibilities of
those who work in them are called into question
by the seemingly unstoppable edutainment trend.
In order to validate our results it would be bene-
ﬁcial to interview a larger number of museum
directors and curators and to seek greater varia-
tion in the types of institution and positions
within them. The research would also be enriched
by interviews with reperesentatives of companies
specializing in the implementation of edutain-
ment devices. Finally, surveying the different
publics for their reactions would contribute to
our understanding of the edutainment trend.
We use “publics” in the plural here to emphasize
the fact that, like museum professionals, visitors
can have varied views on the phenomenon of
edutainment. The studies and indicators cur-
rently available do not allow us to capture the
reactions in all of their diversity.
We can assume, however, that the process by
which visitors apprehend and assimilate the
museum and amusement park experience is based
on different mechanisms: While a visit to an
amusement park generates a highly emotional,
family-centred memory that is mainly temporary,
a visit to a museum leaves a deeper, more reﬂec-
tive mark that contributes to the individual’s
enrichment over a longer period (Gob, 2011).
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
In spite of these limitations, a number of con-
clusions can be drawn from the results. First,
while museum professionals did not always agree
on the appropriateness or potential risks of
edutainment, they did not seem to harbour any
strong or direct hostility towards it. Their atti-
tude usually depended on the conditions as well
as on the different forms of the new edutainment
tools, including whether commercial brands were
being promoted. We are now seeing the emer-
gence of an interstitial space between the museum
in the traditional sense and the amusement park
with its vocation of pure entertainment. This
new intermediate space forms a continuum along
which our respondents can be positioned based
on the speciﬁc characteristics of each situation.
It is clear that the attitude of museum profes-
sionals depends, globally, on the nature of the
museum, its history, its strategic direction and
the type of collections or exhibitions it presents.
All indications are that this continuum will
inform the broad trend that museums can be
expected to follow in the future.
Some institutions that are more ambiguous in
status opt for a “third way.” They reject the image
of the museum as boring while remaining faithful
to their educational role. At the same time, they
borrow recreational elements associated with the
amusement park in order to offer their visitors
cultural leisure experiences. Two examples from
France will serve to illustrate. In its press kit, the
Nausicaa Sea Center in Boulogne-sur-Mer is
touted as “neither a museum nor an aquarium.”
On its Web site, it is described as “a place to learn
and to dream. . . . Powerful, emotive experiences
at Nausicaa give you unique insights about the
world’s seas and oceans” (http://www.nausicaa.
co.uk/). The other example, Paléosite in Saint-
Cézaire, is promoted as a “new, interactive, the-
matic concept devoted to prehistory and
combining education and fun, without the static
collections typical of museums” (Casedas, 2011
With regard to our two research questions,
several criteria appear to inﬂuence how a museum
positions itself on the museum–amusement park
continuum: a credible scientific posture as
opposed to a purely entertainment approach
based on an inclusive, mainstream orientation;
a heritage mission, whether explicit or implicit;
the display of objects according to a predeter-
mined arrangement, or, conversely, openness to
combinations based on an interactive approach;
the natural topography of the venue, or an arti-
ﬁcial or even hyperreal topography; the presence
or absence of spectacular and immersive displays;
and the popularity of the region as a tourist
destination (Gob, 2010, 2011). While these cri-
teria alone do not allow us to establish a clear
typology of edutainment, they can nonetheless
help us to better understand the world of edutain-
Finally, our ﬁndings suggest some avenues
for future research. First, each of the limitations
cited carries the potential for interesting work
beyond this exploratory analysis. The topicality
and importance of the phenomenon more than
justify further efforts. Second, a more detailed
study of edutainment in the museum ﬁeld could
provide a rich illustration of increasingly hybrid
cultural and commercial strategies, as evidenced
by the intersection of art with science, games,
entertainment and business. Beyond the cultural
sector, the convergence of marketing, entertain-
ment and art seems to be a key element in many
of today’s branding and positioning strategies,
as suggested by Wolf’s (1999) concept of the
“entertainmentalization” of the economy. An
in-depth exploration of this complex issue and
the challenges it poses for society should include
a closer look at the redeﬁnition of models for
museums and cultural management in order to
gain a better understanding of their effects. One
of the questions raised, for example, is how to
ensure that the strategy of openness pursued by
numerous museums does not amount simply to
a “form of imitation of the leisure and entertain-
ment sector” (Tobelem, 2005
Our ﬁndings lead us to offer a number of
managerial recommendations for museum profes-
sionals. Cross-fertilization between the museum
sector and the entertainment sector through
partnerships, conferences and educational pro-
grams could prove very useful. One of the beneﬁts
might be an opportunity to offer edutainment
experiences to audiences who are hungry for
creative and entertaining activities. A more
detailed study of visitor expectations would
deepen our understanding of the level of engage-
ment sought by visitors in order to form new
economic relationships, such as those encountered
on eBay or My Major Company, where the user
becomes a veritable actor-entrepreneur in the
economic models developed. Web 2.0, for
instance, allows visitors to become co-contributors
in museums’ online communications, in the pro-
cess turning them into co-curators and co-creators
of works (Mencarelli and Pulh, 2012).
1. Translated from the original French.
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
Addis, M. 2005. “New Technologies and Cultural
Consumption – Edutainment Is Born!” European
Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, n
7−8, p. 729−736.
Andréani, J.-C., and F. Conchon. 2002. “Les techniques
d’enquête expérientielles : vers une nouvelle généra-
tion de méthodologies qualitative.” Revue française
du marketing, n
189/190, 4−5, p. 5−15.
Bourdieu, P. 1979. La distinction : critique sociale du
jugement. Paris: Éditions de Minuit.
Brunel, S. 2006. La planète disneylandisée : chronique d’un
tour du monde. Auxerre: Éditions Sciences Humaines.
Casedas, C. 2011. “La disneylandisation des musées :
expression en vogue ou concept muséologique?”
Expoland. Ce que le parc fait au musée: ambivalence
des formes de l’exposition, S. Chaumier, ed. (p. 41–63).
Chaumier, S. 2005. “Introduction.” In Du musée au
parc d’attractions, S. Chaumier, ed. Culture et Musées,
5 (June), p. 13–36. Arles: Actes Sud.
Chaumier, S., ed. 2011. Expoland. Ce que le parc fait
au musée: ambivalence des formes de l’exposition. Paris:
Counts, C.M. 2009. “Spectacular Design in Museum
Exhibitions.” Curator, Vol. 52, n
3, p. 273−288.
Courvoisier, F.H., F.-A. Courvoisier and S. Jungen.
2010. “Les nouvelles technologies dans les activités
culturelles.” In Recherches en marketing des activités
culturelles, I. Assassi, D. Bourgeon-Renault and
M. Filser, eds. (p. 239–255). Paris: Vuibert.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1977. Beyond Boredom and
Anxiety. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
De Barnier, V., and J. Lagier. 2012. “La résistance à
l’art contemporain : des attitudes et représentations
des publics aux implications marketing.” Décisions
68 (October–December), p. 47−57.
Drouguet, N. 2005. “Succès et revers des expositions
spectacles.” Du musée au parc d’attractions,
S. Chaumier, ed. Culture et Musées, n
p. 65–90. Arles: Actes Sud.
Eco, U. 1985. La Guerre du faux. Paris: Grasset
Eyssartel, A.-M., and B. Rochette. 1992. Des mondes
inventés : les parcs à thème. Paris: Editions de la Villette.
Freedman, G. 2000. “The Changing Nature of
Museums.” Curator, Vol. 43, n
4, p. 295−306.
Girault, Y., and F. Lemire. 2000. “Quand un centre
commercial se fait l’hôte de la Grande Galerie de
l’Evolution.” La Lettre de l’OCIM, Université de
85, p. 3−9.
Gob, A. 2010. Le musée, une institution dépassée? Paris:
Gob, A. 2011. “Entre parc et museum : unité et diversité
de musées de science et de technique.” Expoland.
Ce que le parc fait au musée: ambivalence des formes
de l’exposition, S. Chaumier, ed. (p. 99–117). Paris:
Harouel, J.-L. 1998. Culture et Contre-culture. Paris:
Presses universitaires de France.
King, M.J. 1993. “The American Theme Park: A
Curious Amalgam.” In Continuities in Popular
Culture: The Present in the Past and the Past in the
Present and Future, R.B. Browne and R.J. Ambrosetti,
eds. (p. 49–60). Bowling Green, OH: Bowling
Green State University Popular Press.
Kotler, N. 1999. “Delivering Experience: Marketing
the Museum’s Full Range of Assets.” Museum News,
May/June, Vol. 78, n
3, p. 30−39.
Kozinets, R.V., J.F. Sherry Jr., D. Storm, A. Duhachek,
K. Nuttavuthist and B. DeBerry-Spence. 2004.
“Ludic Agency and Retail Spectacle.” Journal of
Consumer Research, Vol. 31, n
3, p. 658−672.
Mairesse, F. 2002. Le Musée, temple spectaculaire. Lyon:
Presses de l’Université de Lyon.
Mairesse, F. 2011. “Brève histoire du musée spectacu-
laire.” Expoland. Ce que le parc fait au musée :
ambivalence des formes de l’exposition, S. Chaumier,
ed. (p. 29–39). Paris: Complicités.
Mencarelli, R., and M. Pulh. 2012. “Web 2.0 et musées,
les nouveaux visages du visiteur.” Décisions
65, January–March, p. 77−82.
Mencarelli, R., M. Pulh and S. Marteaux. 2007.
“Quand l’offre muséale fait écho aux grandes tend-
ances de consommation.” LEG-CERMAB Cahier
de recherché, 2007−01, Université de Bourgogne.
Michaud, Y. 2003. L’art à l’état gazeux : essai sur le
triomphe de l’esthétique. Paris: Éditions Stock.
Miles, M.B., and A.M. Huberman. 1994. Qualitative
Data Analysis, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Montpetit, R. 2005. “Expositions, parcs, sites : des
lieux d’expériences patrimoniales.” Du musée au
parc d’attractions, S. Chaumier, ed. Culture et Musées,
5 (June), p. 111–134. Arles: Actes Sud.
Penaloza, L. 1998. “Just Doing It: A Visual Ethnographic
Study of Spectacular Consumption Behaviour at
Nike Town.” Consumption, Markets and Culture,
Vol. 2, n
4, p. 337−465.
Pine, B.J. II, and J.H. Gilmore. 1999. The Experience
Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business a Stage.
Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Prado, P. 1995. “L’ethnologie de la France au musée ?
Ou un nouveau musée de l’ethnologie de la France ?”
25. Paris: Éditions Mission du patri-
Pulh, M., and R. Mencarelli. 2010. “Muséo-parcs et
réenchantement de l’expérience muséale : le cas de
la Cité des Arts et des Sciences de Valencia.”
Décisions Marketing, n
60, p. 21−31.
Rheingold, H. 1992. Virtual Reality. New York:
Ritzer, G. 2000. The McDonaldization of Society: An
Investigation Into the Changing Character of
Contemporary Social Life, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Pine Forge.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
Roederer, C. 2012. Marketing et consommation expér-
ientiels. Cormelles-le-Royal: EMS.
Spiggle, S. 1994. “Analysis and Interpretation of
Qualitative Data in Consumer Research.” Journal
of Consumer Research, Vol. 21, n
3, p. 491−503.
Tobelem, J.-M. 2005. Le nouvel âge des musées : les
institutions culturelles au déﬁ de la gestion. Paris:
Tobelem, J.-M. 2011. “Les sites culturels au risque du
loisir : ou l’émergence des Grands équipements de
loisir culturel.” Expoland. Ce que le parc fait au
musée: ambivalence des formes de l’exposition,
S. Chaumier, ed. (p. 133–148). Paris: Complicités.
Vander Grucht, D. 2006. Ecce homo touristicus : identité,
mémoire, patrimoine à l’ère de la muséalisation du
monde. Loverbal: Labor.
Viel, A., and A. Nivart. 2005. “Parcs sous tension.”
Du musée au parc d’attractions, S. Chaumier, ed.
Culture et Musées, n
5 (June), p. 135–156. Arles:
Vigneault, A. 2012. “Star Wars identités : l’expo dont
vous êtes le héros.” La Presse, 18 April.
Wolf, M.J. 1999. Entertainment Economy: How Mega-
media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives. New York:
Times Books/Random House.
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 • WINTER 2014
The aim of this interview is to learn about the philosophy of your museum and to gain an understanding of its objectives and its mission.
To this end, I will ﬁrst ask you to describe your museum, its history and its educational strategy. I will then ask several questions relating
to current trends in the museum ﬁeld and ask for your professional opinion about these trends. The interview should take no longer than
one hour. Do you agree to start?
1. Begin by describing your museum – its history, philosophy, personality, etc.
– What type of museum is it (art museum, contemporary art museum, art and science museum, other type of institution, entertainment
or recreational site, etc.)?
– Is your museum’s mission primarily entertainment-oriented or educational?
– Has this mission changed over time? If so, why and how?
2. What do you think of the following deﬁnition of a museum: “A museum is a non-proﬁt, permanent institution in the service of society
and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible
heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment” (International Council of Museums)?
– What do you think of the term “enjoyment” as used in this deﬁnition? Can it be associated with the ﬁeld of leisure and entertainment?
Within what limits?
– In your expert opinion, what techniques or devices can a museum use to achieve these (its) objectives?
– For example, should museums consider having commercial activities to ensure their viability and meet their needs (merchandise,
accommodation, restaurant services, etc.)?
– In your view, is there a diﬀerence between the promotion of elitist, “legitimate” culture (whose understanding requires a certain amount
of eﬀort and reﬂection) and a more accessible or popular culture (acquired through experimentation and sensitive reason)?
– What type of culture should a (your) museum promote? Why and how?
3. Can you tell me what you think of the current trend towards the “spectacularization”
of the oﬀerings of museums (or museum institutions)?
– What are the advantages and disadvantages of the thematization, spatialization and incorporation of storytelling in the oﬀering?
– What should be oﬀered to visitors in a museum? What is expected of visitors to a museum?
– Cultural learning? An experience rich in emotions and sensations? A moment of unforgettable discovery? A return to one’s roots?
– In your opinion, what is (are) the best and most intelligent way(s) to make art more accessible?
– What do you think of the scandal (or success) surrounding recent and current exhibitions at the Château de Versailles
(Jeﬀ Koons, Murakami, etc.)?
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARTS MANAGEMENT
4. Do you believe that visitors to a (your) museum should be oﬀered a speciﬁc type of experience?
– If yes, how and why? In the form of a special route through the museum? A certain type of discourse? Interactivity?
– Is the emotional, sensorial dimension the most important one in this experiential context?
– If not, why?
– Does the work of art itself not suﬃce to generate this emotional experience?
– Is there not a risk of distorting the work in an overly experience-oriented universe? Of creating distance between the visitor
and the artistic reality?
5. Do you think that links can be drawn between certain museums (or museum institutions) and certain amusement parks today?
– In your opinion, are these links normal or dangerous?
– Are there limits to this trend? If so, what are they?
– Do you think there is a great need on the part of visitors for re-enchantment and to see the world through the eyes of a child?
– What are the main reasons for this?