Revealing Bodies: Summative Evaluation

Friday, December 1, 2000
Resource Type:
Summative | Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: 
Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Art, music, and theater | Education and learning science | Health and medicine | Life science | Social science and psychology

Revealing Bodies was an experimental exhibition that explored the messages and meanings found in biomedical and anatomical representations of human bodies. It further explored what happens when these images are removed from their original context and reinterpreted for other purposes such as arts, advertising and politics. The exhibition also examined how the culture and point of view of the original creator may have shaped the image and what happens to this intent with the iterations of time and societal change. The exhibition was approximately 4000 square feet. It was a mix of artworks, specially commissioned art installations, artifacts, medical specimens, interactive exhibits, and new technologies incorporating controversial biometrics software and texts. The exhibition ran for six months and showcased objects ranging from contemporary prosthetics made in the developing world to newspapers and periodicals, artists works, contemporary photographs of human dissections, and a rare 18th century wax anatomical model from the collection of Museo La Specola in Florence. To evaluate the Revealing Bodies exhibition, we conducted two separate studies after the exhibition opened. The first was a tracking and timing study in which we followed 50 visitors as they moved through the exhibition, and recorded the amount of time they spent at each exhibit. The second study involved interviewing 43 visitors as they left the exhibition. The focus of the interview was on visitors' impressions of the exhibition: what they remembered, what they found surprising and disappointing, and what they felt related to their own lives. The visitors were different in the two studies (i.e., we did not interview the visitors who were tracked).


Team Members

Josh GutwillEvaluator

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