It’s a museum, but not as we know it: Issues for local residents accessing the Museum of Old and New Art

Kate Booth, Justin O'Connor, Adrian Franklin, Nikos Papastergiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), in Australia's island state of Tasmania, bears all the hallmarks of the new museology and a flagship museum. Located in a largely working class area, there are expectations of visitors from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, particularly local residents. However most visitors are tourists, middle-class, and highly educated. In this article, the authors ask, “What are the issues affecting accessibility to MONA for local residents?” In asking this, they aim to better understand local engagement with MONA and shed light on potential socio-cultural transformation. Using a survey, interviews, and focus groups with local residents, the authors found that accessibility at MONA is defined along familiar socioeconomic lines, though there are indications of change that warrant further investigation. The expense of food and beverage, concern about children's behavior, and the explicit nature of some art all impact on accessibility, particularly for those with less cultural capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-32
Number of pages23
JournalVisitor Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

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