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Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums edited by Dr. Villeneuve and Dr. Rowson Love

Published January 19, 2017

FSU Department of Art Education’s Dr. Pat Villeneuve, Professor and Director of Arts Administration, and Dr. Ann Rowson Love, Assistant Professor of Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Exhibitions (MEX) and Ringling Museum Liaison, have recently edited the book Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums, which will be released soon.


Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group provide a brief description of Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums, which is presented below:

Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums promotes balanced practices that are visitor-centered while honoring the integrity and powerful storytelling of art objects. Book examples present challenges and best practices that move beyond the turning point, where curation and education are engaged in full and equal collaboration.

With a mix of theory and models for practice, the book:

• provides a rationale for visitor-centered exhibitions;

• addresses important related issues, such as collaboration and evaluation; and,

• presents success stories written by educators, curators, and professors from the United States and Europe.

• introduces the edu-curator, a new vision for leadership in museums with visitor-centered
exhibition practices.

The book is intended for art museum practitioners, including educators, curators, and exhibitions designers, as well as higher education faculty and students in art/museum education, art history, and museum studies.


In addition to editing Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums, Dr. Villeneuve and Dr. Rowson Love authored and co-authored several chapters. Furthermore, MEX doctoral student Jay Boda served as the editorial assistant and one of the co-authors for the book, while Art Administration doctoral candidate and FSU alumna Alicia Viera co-authored one of the chapters included in the book.


Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums, which will be released in April 2017 and is already available for pre-order, will be a valuable art museum education and practice resource. The following reviews further describe its contents, as well as illustrate its potential, usefulness, and value:


This book tackles the sticky arena of art museum exhibition development with a compilation of essays by respected professionals who have long experience experimenting with new practices for developing visitor-centered experiences with art. The authors importantly predict new needs for visitor-centered museums and offer multiple examples of engaged practices between educators, curators, and interpretive planners that encourage them slip in and out of their disciplinary boundaries to support shared authority. Readers will come away with useful questions and models toward transforming the education, training and practices of museum professionals so they may serve audiences and communities in increasingly robust, meaningful ways.

— Swarupa Anila, Director of Interpretive Engagement at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums is a highly readable and informative introduction to the notion of edu-curation. The book is wide in its reach and is a must read for those interested in understanding more about how museum professionals are responding to the challenge of remaking the physical museum. Highlighting contemporary thinking around design and research-led methods of exhibition-making, individual chapters provide in depth case studies of change and detailed descriptions of key projects. Collectively, the chapters offer important insights into organizations in the midst of change and both the challenges and opportunities that any meaningful shift to a visitor-centered approach will entail.

— Suzanne MacLeod, Director and Head of School, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums is a breakthrough publication in the maelstrom that includes studies on audience engagement, museum education, free-choice learning, meaning-making, relevancy, and curatorial voice. Villeneuve and Rowson-Love masterfully weave together a mélange of educator, curator, interpreter, evaluator, museum director, and academic voices in a way that gives proportionate weight to each discipline. Ostensibly tailored for art museums and academics, Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums is broadly applicable to museums of many disciplines and international as well as national audiences. The authors highlight the urgency and the value in enabling informal learners to see the world through a non-normative lens. Further, they blur the false dichotomy between educators and curators finding common ground that gives us hope for the future of museums and their value in crossing borders, healing divides, and discovering newfound possibilities for developing sustainable, dynamic organizations that are an essential component of the fabric of our society.

— W. James Burns, Ph.D., Director, The University of Arizona Museum of Art