Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Ina Wesenberg

A research project based on the new mediation methods in the National Museum collection exhibition.

This research project, conducted by the National Museum, examines the ways in which new meditation methods are being used and experienced by the audience. A driving force in the development of the mediation strategies, has been to make the museum accessible to many different audience groups.

Research on new mediation methods is a priority in the National Museum strategy for research and development (2021–2025), in which art-based mediation is being highlighted as a particular priority. Art-based mediation entails audience involvement through activities directly related to the art on display. This mediation practice has been developed in order to cater to a sensory, visual and practical approach to art. In the National Museum, these mediation activities have been directed towards a broad range of audiences, across different age groups.

Mediation concerns in the collection exhibition of the National Museum

The research project examines the various mediation methods which have been developed for the museum collection exhibition. Placed throughout approximately half of the more than 80 different exhibition rooms, the audience can interact with custom made benches, equipped with mediation activities, drawing stations and philosophical conversational prompts.

All of the mediation activities have been created in conjunction with the exhibited artworks and the various themes of the exhibition spaces. The audience can for instance create their own vase patterns, experience smells of tar and the sea, and assemble words of political character. The unique aspect of this mediation strategy is that these activities take place inside the actual exhibition space. A broad spectrum of sensory, visual and practical approaches activates the audience in many different ways. The goal is to increase audience interaction and to a enable a higher sense of ownership to art experiences.

Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

Research methods

The research methods used in examining the mediation, are both qualitative and quantitative. These entail in depth interviews, observations, and statistics. One of the goals in using practice-based research methods is to gain new insight into art-based mediation throughout the exhibition spaces. Another goal is to establish an accurate base for mediation in general – which can be of use in the National Museum and elsewhere. The development of different mediation methods for future exhibitions, may contribute positively to making informed decisions about how to apply art-based mediation. The research project also examines the significance of sensory activities in a wider societal perspective, considering matters such as health, learning, critical thinking, and democracy.

Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland


The two-year research projects, which is led by Anna Carin Hedberg, involves both internal and external contributors. In the development of the mediation strategies, Mariken Kramer, Jeanette Eek Jensen, Brynhild Slaatto, Guri Guri Henriksen, and Eli Solsrud, have contributed. The philosophical conversational prompts have been developed by Camilla Frøland Sramek and Anita Rebolledo. The research conducted on the drawing stations as a mediation tool, is led and developed in collaboration with Rikke Lundgreen.


The results will be presented in various peer-reviewed articles and books, including the forthcoming publications Drawing as Data, Methodology, and Pedagogy (which will be published by Intellect Books in 2024) and Estetiske fag i samfunn (which will be published by Cappelen Damm Akademisk in 2024).