Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Margaret Lindauer


This museum thesis project considers the challenges involved in developing engaging museum tours. The purpose of this project was to develop a fifty-minute, guided gallery tour that uses inquiry-based instruction to engage participants in dialogue and critical thinking about artworks. The tour was designed specifically for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia, using artworks selected from the museum’s twenty-first-century art collection that relate to the theme hybridity. This project contributes to the museum studies field by exemplifying how gallery tours can stimulate active learning, encourage visitors to find meaning in artworks, and form their own conclusions about objects in the museum. The project provides a model for integrating inquiry-generated dialogue within the gallery tour structure. Finally, it demonstrates that dialogue-based teaching can be used with teens and adults, audiences that some educators perceive as more reticent than younger learners to engage with this style of education.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011