I did a project this semester that involved creating museum labels for objects that I had researched and curated to fit a theme. This was challenging and so much fun for me to explore! I have never been the person who goes to an art museum and looks at the labels (unless I have absolutely no idea what I’m looking at). This project allowed me to have a much deeper appreciation for these labels and I promised myself I would actually read them the next time I visit a gallery! Recently, however, I found out that there is another type of museum label that is displayed with artwork: a label titled “for kids”.
Most art galleries will include a label that accompanies an artwork that is written specifically for children. Often, they are written by the museum’s art education staff instead of the curatorial staff. This particular staff is responsible for providing engagement and accessibility to all who step foot in the gallery, so this task is right up their alley! Sometimes curators, who either write or oversee the writing of museum labels, don’t offer enough accessibility in these labels through assuming that one already has some understanding of the artist or context of the work. A “for kids” label doesn’t assume any of this, but instead allows people (not just kids) to engage with art even if they have absolutely no idea why it was created.
The importance of a label like this is undeniable. Why show art if not everyone can engage with it? Why restrict art or the knowledge of art from a specific group coming to view it? Labels like these that present information about an artwork in a clear and accessible manner allow for a wider audience to make a meaningful connection with the art that they are seeing. It made me so happy to learn about this kind of museum label and inspired me to look for them the next time I’m at a gallery.
Thanks for reading! Have a great week!