Volker Kirchberg Why Do People Visit Art Exhibitions?

Volker Kirchberg is Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Before this, he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, William Paterson University, in Wayne (New Jersey). His research focuses, among other topics, on theoretical issues of arts consumption and arts production, the social and economic impact of cultural institutions, and the organization of arts and culture. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Speaker Award from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence.

Area of Research

Cultural Sociology

Volker Kirchberg. "Museum Sociology." Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Art and Culture, Laurie Hanquinet and Mike Savage (Eds) (2016): 232-246.  
Volker Kirchberg and Martin Tröndle. "Experiencing Exhibitions: A Review of Studies on Visitor Experiences in Museums." Curator: The Museum Journal 55 (2012): 435-452.  
Volker Kirchberg. "Cultural Consumption Analysis: Beyond Structure and Agency." Cultural Sociology 1 (2007): 115-135.  
Volker Kirchberg. Gesellschaftliche Funktionen von Museen: Makro-, Meso-und Mikrosoziologische Perspektiven. Springer-Verlag, 2005.  

since 2004

Professor

Leuphana University, Lüneburg

Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization

2010-2012

Deputy Dean for Research

Leuphana University, Lüneburg

Faculty of Cultural Studies

2006-2010

Director, Institute of Cultural Theory, Research and the Arts

Leuphana University, Lüneburg

2000-2004

Assistant Professor

William Paterson University, New Jersey

2003

Habilitation

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)

1992

PhD

University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg)

Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy

- Chairman of the "Fachverband Kulturmangement", Association for the Scientific Analysis of Arts Management in Austria, Germany and Switzerland (since 2016)

Prizes

- Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, Distinguished Speaker Award (2013)

- German Marshall Fund (1992)

- Cooperative Lower Saxony – Israel Research Grant, “Critical Art(ist)s and Urban Development” (2016)

- VW Foundation Research Grant for Sustainable Development, “The City as Space of Possibilities” (2014)

- Swiss National Research Grant, Museum Visitor Study (2008)

The research question presented in this video focuses on the experiences and motivations of visitors to an art exhibition or museum. In order to establish the motivation for exhibition visits, VOLKER KIRCHBERG explains, the research team combined a variety of methodological approaches: questioning the visitors, measuring their cognitive and emotional responses, and tracking their movements through the exhibition. They found three different visitor types – corroborating earlier studies – and also realized that long-standing assumptions about the motivation of people to visit an exhibition might be wrong. In contrast to established beliefs, the contemplative visitor type who wants to see and decode the actual art is by far a minority among the attendants of an exhibition. The researchers’ realization could have a practical influence on the decisions of exhibition curators who want to increase the number of visitors.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10390

The Museum Experience: Mapping the Experience of Fine Art

  • Volker Kirchberg and Martin Tröndle
  • Curator: The Museum Journal
  • Published in 2015

Chicago

Volker Kirchberg and Martin Tröndle. "The Museum Experience: Mapping the Experience of Fine Art." Curator: The Museum Journal 58 (2015): 169-193.

An Integrative and Comprehensive Methodology for Studying Aesthetic Experience in the Field: Merging Movement Tracking, Physiology, and Psychological Data

  • Martin Tröndle, Steven Greenwood, Volker Kirchberg and Wolfgang Tschacher
  • Environment and Behavior
  • Published in 2014

Chicago

Martin Tröndle, Steven Greenwood, Volker Kirchberg and Wolfgang Tschacher. "An Integrative and Comprehensive Methodology for Studying Aesthetic Experience in the Field: Merging Movement Tracking, Physiology, and Psychological Data." Environment and Behavior 46 (2014): 102-135.