ERIC Number: ED351242
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The Audience for American Art Museums. Research Division Report #23.
Schuster, J. Mark Davidson
This study uses data from the 1985 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) to explore the composition of the audience for art museums and art galleries in the United States. Organized into four parts, part 1 reports that when asked if they had visited an art museum or art gallery in the 12 months preceding their 1985 SPPA interview, 22 percent of the adult population said that they had. The report goes on to present art museum participation rates across a variety of demographic variables--income, education, age, gender, race, geographic distribution, and occupation. This section also compares the 1985 SPPA participation rates with those of the Americans and the Arts Studies, and with participation rates from Great Britain, France, Sweden, and Quebec. A statistical model designed to predict the probability of attendance based on demographic factors also is developed in part 1, but this model's low predictive ability leads to the conclusion that other variables need to be examined. Part 2 of the report focuses on three SPPA socialization questions that are most likely to be linked to attendance at art museums: whether or not, and at what ages, the respondent had ever taken lessons in the visual arts; whether or not, and at what ages, the respondent had taken art appreciation classes; and whether or not, and the frequency with which, parents had taken the respondent to museums. An analysis of these questions reveals that all three of these factors show a strong relationship with increased attendance. Part 3 of the report examines unsatisfied demand and barriers to attendance. Part 4 presents a profile of the museum audience and examines how the demographic characteristics of the SPPA respondents are distributed among the museum audience and how this audience profile compares to the profile of the general population. An appendix that presents the mathematical results from the three logit analyses (a variation of regression analysis) that were conducted with the SPPA museum attendance data also is included. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.