visiting the MFM (Barcelona)

Muriel Garreta Domingo murielgd at
Thu May 14 20:11:54 UTC 2009

Hello all,

Today I went to my second museum visit. The Museu Frederic Marès (MFM) was
created in 1946. Frederic Marès was a sculptor and a collector. He gave his
collection to the city of Barcelona and the museum was created in a
historical building in the old part of Barcelona. He even lived in one of
the floors of the museums for some time.

*The location*

- The museum is located in the city centre, near the cathedral.
- It is an old stone building which was initially a palace.
- It has lots of different spaces with different sizes and structures. As a
result, it is hard to find one's way around.
- The museum will undergo several architectonic changes and will be closed
for more than a year, starting October 2009.
The collection*

- Since it is a personal collection created following his tastes and
interests, the museum has a wide variety of objects. This fact makes it
quite hard to create an explanation about the museum contents.
- The collection is divided into a sculptor collection and the "collector's

*The website*

- The current website was created in 1999. (
- Since the museum belongs to the city of Barcelona, it forms part of a
network of museums centrally managed from the Institute of Culture of
- In June they will release a new version of the website. It won't have any
2.0 features.
- While the museum will be closed, they want to have interactive screens
showing some of the artifacts of the museum. They will be placed in the
- They do not have a CMS yet.
- The public administration does not promote a higher usage of technology.
They are just now starting to consider implementing a CMS.
- Once the museum reopens, they would like to place interactive screens in
some parts of the museum.

*Their audience*

- Mainly older and retired people, most come in groups.
- Children from schools but not many
- Students
- Adults in groups (generally between 55-65 years-old)
- Groups tend to ask for guided visits. They do not see the advantage of
using an individual mobile device, since groups prefer a more collective
experience. However, the mobile device would be useful for the guide.
- They talked about "new audiences", mainly referring to all the immigration
Barcelona currently has; people with different backgrounds and different
cultures that don't tend to visit the city's museums.
- The museums' night. To celebrate the International Day of Museums (May
18th), all municipal museums will be open this coming Saturday from 7 pm to
1 am. Last year was the first the MFM participated and it was a very
successful experience. Many people came and specially a younger adult
audience that do not tend to visit them.

*The audio guides*

- The have traditional analogical audio guides since February 2009.
- They have 30 devices and they would probably need some more but not many
- The guide lasts 90 minutes in total and it offers explanations about the
artifacts, information about the building itself and a lot of location
information. Since the collection is such a mixture and the physical space
so complicated, the audio guide helps visitors to find their way around.

*General comments*

- The technology is not a main issue to them, they feel far from it and they
have other more important problems.
- All technology-related stuff needs to be out-sourced since there is no-one
in house with that knowledge.
- The contents of the museum are key since they mark the kind of audience a
museum has. For example, the museum of natural sciences receives lots of
- Their audience is older and they do not ask for technology. They prefer
the collective experience and the guided visit option.

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