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Woodson Art Museum - Audio Tour

Page history last edited by Erin Narloch 11 years, 5 months ago


Project Title:  Woodson Art Museum - Audio Tour 

Museum/ Institution: Woodson Art Museum - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Wausau, WI

Media Category: Audio Tour

Program Created: Audio tour consistently produced every ten weeks since the summer of 2006.

Program URL:  



Project Image(s) and/or Video





Media Source(s)/Credit(s):

Images taken by Erin Narloch on 2/11/11 via iPhone


Program Description:

Free audio tour for museum visitors. Audio tours are available on low-tech MP3 players. Players are checked out at the Greeter Desk, then visitors are sent to an orientation center where the audio tour begins. Each artwork label has a audio tour icon above it denoting which track it is. All tracks include voice narration, background music, and directions to the next artwork. Each track lasts between 45 seconds and two minutes. 



Firsthand or secondary review/critique: (150-250 words)

The audio device itself looks something of a homespun object, the player has been tagged with bright orange stickers indicating "play," "reverse," "forward."  This makes the device look kind of cheap for lack of a better term. The barely readable screen provides information on the track number and title, however because it is hard to see, we field many questions on track a visitor is on.


The information on the tracks are great, some are interviews with exhibition insiders, for instance, a representative of Herman Miller Inc, for the Good Design section of the audio track and the organizing curator for the Google Doodles exhibition.


I find the transition between artworks a little awkward and difficult to find, I push the "play/pause button" to find my desired artwork. I also notice a variation in the sound levels from one track to the next.


Overall, it was a value added experience – it is free and available with every changing exhibition (every ten weeks).


These audio tours have been produced in this format since 2006, we are currently under a “rethinking” of their production. Could we produce different types of audio pieces that could be more relevant in the long term? Right now we have only utilized the permanent collection in one of the audio tour because of its physical location (it’s off of the beaten path). It just seems like more content is available, we just need to figure out the way we should present it and produce it. While this method has worked for about five years, it’s time to make a change.


Technologies incorporated: Audio Recording 


Internally or externally produced: The audio tour is internally produced 


Entry Contributor and Date: Erin Narloch 2/11/11 updated: 3/1/11


Related projects: Woodson Art Museum Electronic Singnage: Main Lobby and  Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller Exhibition


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