Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Visitor Segmentation and Public Value Research

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard

Team: Alan Brown, Rebecca Ratzkin, Zachary Kemp

Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum engaged WolfBrown to assist in developing a clearer understanding of the Gardner’s public value and to support staff in deliberating how its programming might best leverage public support.

An extensive program of qualitative and quantitative research included:

  • Research on non-users and their perceptions of the Gardner before, during, and after visiting.
  • Interviews using metaphor elicitation to elicit deep thoughts and feelings about the Gardner.
  • In-home ethnographic interviews with current supporters to make connections between the Gardner and daily life.
  • A paired entrance/exit visitor survey, for the purpose of developing a holistic segmentation model of Museum visitors. 

Staff members were engaged throughout the research as co-investigators. Results of the research were provided to staff and the board’s Long Range Planning Committee as key input to strategic planning efforts.