Practice-led Research in the Art Museum

Research on Education Practices Led by the Practitioners


  • Line Engen The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design



As art museum education practices get more ambitious in form and content, and to a higher degree inform the overall audience strategies, the need for a research framing is required. The art museum is facing new and high expectation from society and policy makers in terms of being a relevant social and democratic platform inclusive for everyone. To manifest the changes, the institution must draw on all the different museal knowledges, not least the one about the audience. There has been a history of professional hierarchy and knowledge hegemony inside the art museum, where the object-based knowledge has trumped the practice-based. An important reason for this imbalance has been the lack of adequate practice related research methods and a theoretical framing within art museum education. Research in art museum has to a large extent operated within the classical art historical field, but more and more museums are looking to and are drawing on other models outside the museum disciplines to develop new adequate research standards. One of the museums that have undergone a profound change much due to a change in how they think about practice and research, is Tate with research leader Emily Pringle in the lead. Inspired by models within the arts and school system, they have developed a practice-led research method. In this article I will reflect on how and why it is important for art museum educators to do research on their own practice, drawing on both the Tate model and my own experience from working at the National Museum for over ten years.

Author Biography

Line Engen, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

Education curator and researcher at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo.




How to Cite

Engen, L. (2021). Practice-led Research in the Art Museum: Research on Education Practices Led by the Practitioners. Nordic Journal of Art & Research, 10(2).



Articles, peer reviewed