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The Development of Artistic Interest: Case Studies of Gallery Visitors in Taipei and London

Chung, LY; (2017) The Development of Artistic Interest: Case Studies of Gallery Visitors in Taipei and London. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis explores the development of artistic interest among gallery visitors in Taipei and London through qualitative research methods. The research focuses on the developmental trajectories of the artistic interest of 28 art enthusiasts – gallery visitors with a self-defined interest in visual arts – and how those visitors perceive the roles of museums in relation to the development of their interests. The thesis first establishes the theoretical framework for studying the development of artistic interest through a review of literature on interest development, motivation, leisure and cultural participation, and interest-driven pursuits. Art enthusiasts’ pathways to art – the developmental trajectories of artistic interest – are then analyzed through three developmental dynamics of interest: pivotal influences, interest-related resources, and perceived values and roles, drawing on semi-structured interviews and gallery observations. The research identifies a number of settings which are influential in sparking or sustaining artistic interest, and finds interest-related resources to be in active dialogue with these settings. The roles of museums, despite being reflected within the contexts of influences and resources, are perceived in wider contexts, e.g. education, social interaction, evoking authentic experiences, or identity building. The research identifies two general patterns: early pathways and late pathways. Artistic interest is found to develop through the following phases: an initiating phase, ‘a-ha moment’ (reflective awareness), maintaining phase, and stabilizing phase. A cross-group, comparative analysis is also presented, revealing some culturally specific observations of interest development among art enthusiasts in Taipei and London. The thesis concludes with a reflection on key findings regarding the development of pathways to art, and the roles museums play in the cultivation of artistic interest. I highlight, in particular, the cross-boundary nature of interest development, in which museums play a crucial role in nurturing early interest as well as forging late phase interest. Based on the research findings, I suggest that museums develop programs with individuals’ needs at different phases of interest development in mind.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Development of Artistic Interest: Case Studies of Gallery Visitors in Taipei and London
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1535392
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