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Configuring reception: (Dis-)Regarding the 'spectator' in museums and galleries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)43-65
Number of pages23
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


King's Authors


Despite the growing sociological interest in the object, and the long-standing tradition in the humanities and social sciences concerned with the creation of art and artefacts, there is relatively little research about how people in ordinary day-to-day circumstances explore and respond to exhibits in museums and galleries. In this article, we address the conduct and interaction of visitors to museums and galleries and consider how they examine and experience objects and artefacts in collaboration with each other. In particular, we address the ways in which one participant shapes, through gesture and talk, how those they are with look at and respond to exhibits. The article is based on the analysis of audio-visual recordings gathered in museums and galleries both in the UK and abroad.

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