Philadelphia Museum of Art

Bringing audiences into the picture

Where did we start?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is regarded as one of the USA’s great museums with a world class collection and dedicated, passionate staff. But visitor numbers were falling and the museum was perceived as inaccessible to the people of Philadelphia. The internal culture was disjointed, unconfident and inward looking. We had to find a way of making the collections more relevant to a newer and much more diverse audience.

What did we do?

We took inspiration from Marcel Duchamp, who said that “the creative act is not performed by the artist alone” and this formed the basis of our guiding idea - ‘dare to find the art within you’ - inviting the public to become part of the creative experience. We repositioned the museum as Philadelphia’s place for creative play - where there are surprises at every turn. Over the last year we have been working with individual museum departments to help them understand how use strategy in practice in order to be more participatory, by creating two-way dialogues, taking the art to the city, involving living artists, and communicating in a much more engaging and compelling way.

What's the impact?

Many changes have now taken place across the museum, from new working practices to major strategic initiatives. Staff are feeling a strong sense of motivation and joint purpose and the museum’s confident new attitude is already having an impact with audiences and stakeholders.

“The brand strategy that Jane Wentworth Associates developed for PMA and the engagement and implementation work that followed has been a huge catalyst for change - they helped us define our vision and purpose, identify strategic priorities, create a new visual identity, and be bolder and more confident than ever before, and we’re really starting to see the results. The deep insight, fresh approach, professional expertise and support structure that they bring to the table is unique and valuable.”

Jennifer Francis, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Design: Pentagram