Page Header Logo
TEI of Athens eJournals

Everyday photos as tools to enhance the museum experience

Angeliki Antoniou, Susana Reboreda Morillo, Eftychia Vraimaki



Purpose - Inspired by a recent museum visit, the present work wished to study the effect of the use of photos in cultural technologies.

Design/methodology/approach - We used ancient museum objects with contemporary photos, showing people performing similar activities in antiquity and today. Qualitative data from interviews were collected and analyzed to study the participant's reflections when they saw the images of ancient objects and contemporary photos.

Findings - Results revealed the importance of contemporary photos and the possibility of including them in cultural heritage technologies since they assist visitors in understanding and reflection processes.

Originality/value - Photos can function as interpretation aids and also allow participants to make multiple connections between past and present, across societies and cultures, between current and prior knowledge, and permit connections to personal experience, leading to the conclusion that critical constructivist approaches take place when people are presented with the two images and meaning-making processes.


museum contextualization; visitor meaning making; photography; constructivism; design requirements


Lending, M. Landscape versus Museum: JC Dahl and the Preservation of Norwegian Burial Mounds. Future Anterior 2009, 6(1), xi-17.

Lending, M. Negotiating absence: Bernard Tschumi's new Acropolis Museum in Athens. The Journal of Architecture 2018, 23(5), 797-819.

Duffy, T. M.; Jonassen, D. H. Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Routledge: New York, USA, 2013.

Ellis, R.' Without decontextualisation': the Stanley Royd Museum and the progressive history of mental health care. History of Psychiatry 2015, 26(3), 332-347.

Gheorghiu, D.; Ştefan, L. A fractal augmentation of the archaeological record: the time maps project. In Augmented Reality Art, 2nd ed; Geroimenko, V., Ed.; Springer, Cham, 2018; pp. 297-316.

Montusiewicz, J.; Czyż, Z.; Kayumov, R. Selected methods of making three-dimensional virtual models of museum ceramic objects. Applied Computer Science 2015, 11(1), 51-65.

Kamcke, C.; Hutterer, R. History of dioramas. In Natural history dioramas; Tunnicliffe, S., Scheersoi, A. Eds.;. Springer: Dordrecht, Netherlands, 2015; pp. 7-21.

Serrell, B. Exhibit labels: An interpretive approach. Rowman & Littlefield: New York, USA, 2015.

Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G.; Kastritsis, A.; Diakoumakos, J.; Aggelakos, Y.; Platis, N. " Take me Home": AR to Connect Exhibits to Excavation Sites. Proceedings of AVI²CH@ AVI, Salerno, Italy, September-October 2020.

McMahon, M. Social constructivism and the World Wide Web-A paradigm for learning. Proceedings of the ASCILITE conference, Perth, Australia, December 1997.

Di Vesta, F. J. The cognitive movement and education. Historical foundations of educational psychology 1987, 203 -233.

Hein, G. E. The constructivist museum. Journal of Education in Museums 1995, 16(1), 21-23.

Hellin-Hobbs, Y. The constructivist museum and the web. Proceedings of the Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA), London, UK, July 2010.

Fosnot, C. T. Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice, 2nd ed.; Teachers College Press: New York, USA, 2013.

Sandifer, C. Technological novelty and open‐endedness: Two characteristics of interactive exhibits that contribute to the holding of visitor attention in a science museum. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 2003, 40(2), 121-137.

Bitgood, S. An attention-value model of museum visitors. Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education: Washington, DC, USA, 2010.

Bitgood, S. Attention and value: Keys to understanding museum visitors. Routledge: New York, USA, 2016.

Antoniou, A.; O'Brien, J.; Bardon, T.; Barnes, A.; Virk, D. Micro-augmentations: situated calibration of a novel non-tactile, peripheral museum technology. Proceedings of the 19th Panhellenic Conference on Informatics, Athens, Greece, October 2015.

Alachouzakis, K.; Veneris, N. D.; Kavvadias, S.; Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G. A study of micro-augmentations: personality, gender, emotions and effects on attention and brain waves. Proceedings of the 22nd Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics, Athens, Greece, November 2018.

Edwards, E.; Lien, S. Museums and the Work of Photographs. In Uncertain images: museums and the work of photographs; Edwards, E.; Lien, S. Eds.; Ashgate: Farnham, UK, 2016; pp. 3-20.

Edwards, E.; Mead, M. Absent histories and absent images: Photographs, museums and the colonial past. Museum and Society 2013, 11(1), 19-38.

Edwards, E.; Lien, S. Uncertain images: Museums and the work of photographs. Ashgate Publishing: Farnham , UK, 2016.

Edwards, E.; Morton, C. Photographs, museums, collections: between art and Information. Bloomsbury Publishing: London, UK, 2015.

Edwards, E. Raw histories: photographs, anthropology and museums. Routledge: London, 2021.

Crane, S. A. Photographs at/of/and Museums. In The Handbook of Photography Studies; Pasternak, G, Ed; Routledge, 2020 pp. 493-512.

Weilenmann, A.; Hillman, T.; Jungselius, B. Instagram at the museum: communicating the museum experience through social photo sharing. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, Paris, France, April 2013.

Villaespesa, E.; Wowkowych, S. Ephemeral storytelling with social media: Snapchat and Instagram stories at the Brooklyn Museum. Social Media+ Society 2020, 6(1), 2056305119898776.

Poulsen, S. V. Becoming a semiotic technology–a historical study of Instagram's tools for making and sharing photos and videos. Internet Histories 2018 2(1-2), 121-139.

Fors, V. Sensory experiences of digital photo-sharing—"mundane frictions" and emerging learning strategies. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture 2015, 7(1), 28237.

Steier, R.; Pierroux, P.; Krange, I. Embodied interpretation: Gesture, social interaction, and meaning making in a national art museum. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 2015, 7, 28-42.

Pauwels, L. Photography in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Intersections, Research Modes, and Prospects. In The Handbook of Photography Studies; Pasternak, G. Ed.; Routledge, 2020, pp. 122-138.

Gube, J. Photo-eliciting technique as an integrated meaning-making practice: An introspective look at diversity, identities, and voice-giving. Visual Studies 2021, 37(1-2), 116-127.

Insulander, E.; Selander, S. Designs for learning in museum contexts. Designs for Learning 2009, 2(2), 8-20.

Marcus, A. S.; Levine, T. H. Knight at the museum: Learning history with museums. The Social Studies 2011, 102(3), 104-109.

Britsch, S. Photo-booklets for English language learning: Incorporating visual communication into early childhood teacher preparation. Early Childhood Education Journal 2010, 38, 171-177.

Markham, K. Two-dimensional engagements: photography, empathy and interpretation at District Six Museum. International Journal of Heritage Studies 2017, 25(1), 21-42.

Drew, S.; Guillemin, M. From photographs to findings: Visual meaning-making and interpretive engagement in the analysis of participant-generated images. Visual Studies 2014, 29(1), 54-67.

Loeffler, T. A. A photo elicitation study of the meanings of outdoor adventure experiences. Journal of leisure research 2004, 36(4), 536-556.

Gauthier, L.; Staszak, J. F. Framing Coloniality: Exotic Photographs in Swiss Albums, Museums, and Public Spaces (1870s–2010s). Photography and Culture 2015, 5(3), 311-326.

Tucker, J. Photography and the making of modern science. In The Handbook of Photography Studies; Pasternak, G. Ed.; Routledge, 2020, pp. 235-254.

Dockett, S.; Einarsdottir, J.; Perry, B. Photo elicitation: Reflecting on multiple sites of meaning. International Journal of Early Years Education 2017, 25(3), 225-240.

Wright, D.; Sharpley, R. The photograph: Tourist responses to a visual interpretation of a disaster. Tourism Recreation Research, 2017, 43(2), 161-174.

Fawns, T. Cued recall: Using photo-elicitation to examine the distributed processes of remembering with photographs. Memory Studies 2022, 17506980211073093.

Kontiza, K.; Antoniou, A.; Daif, A.; Reboreda-Morillo, S.; Bassani, M.; González-Soutelo, S.; ... López-Nores, M. On How Technology-Powered Storytelling Can Contribute to Cultural Heritage Sustainability across Multiple Venues—Evidence from the CrossCult H2020 Project. Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1666-1692.

Wyman, B.; Forbes, J. ArtClix: The High Museum of Art's foray into mobile aps, image recognition, and visitor participation. Proceedings of MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013, Portland, USA, April 2013.

Liao, M. H. One photo, two stories: Chinese photos in British museums. East Asian journal of popular culture 2015, 1(2), 177-191.

Papakostopoulos, V.; Vaptisma, A.; Nathanael, D. Narrative Structure of Museum Guided Tours. Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, Belfast, UK, September 2019.

Paivio, A. Dual coding theory: Retrospect and current status. Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie 1991, 45(3), 255-287.

Hargood, C.; Millard, D. E.; Weal, M. J. A semiotic approach for the generation of themed photo narratives. Proceedings of the 21st acm conference on hypertext and hypermedia, Toronto, Canada, June 2010.

Sandelowski, M. Sample size in qualitative research. Research in nursing & health 1995, 18(2), 179-183.

Cid López, R. M. El género y los estudios históricos sobre las mujeres de la Antigüedad. Reflexiones sobre los usos y evolución de un concepto. Revista de Historiografía 2015, 25-49.

Morillo, S. R. La maternidad: de la infancia a la adolescencia en la Grecia antigua. In Los trabajos de las mujeres en el mundo antiguo: cuidado y mantenimiento de la vida; Delgado Hervas, A.; Picazo Gurina, M., Eds.; Institut Català d'Arqueologia Clàssica: Tarragona, Spain; 2016, pp. 119-128.

Morillo, S. R. Chilhood and motherhood in Ancient Greece: an iconographic look. In Motherhood and infancies in the Mediterranean in antiquity; Cid Lopez, R.; Sanchez Romero, M., Ed.;, Oxbow Books: Oxford, UK, 2018, pp. 135-151.

Morillo, S. R. Dialogar con las divinidades en femenino: Espacios y ritos relacionados con la maternidad en la Antigüedad griega. In Cartografías de género en las ciudades antiguas. Editorial Universidad de Granada; Martine Lopez, C.; Ubric Rabaneda, P., Eds.; Universidad de Granada: Granada, Spain; 2017, pp. 181-206.

Morillo, S. R. Emociones en femenino, de madres a hijas. El ejemplo de los rituales fúnebres en la Grecia antigua. In Madres y familias en la Antigüedad: patrones femeninos en la transmisión de emociones y de patrimonio; Cid Lopez, R.M.; Dominguez Arranz, M-A.; Saez, R.M.M., Eds.; Trea: Spain, 2021, pp. 21-38.

Miller, G. A. The magic number seven plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review 1956, 63, 91-97.

Soren, B. J. Museum experiences that change visitors. Museum Management and Curatorship 2009, 24(3), 233-251.

Antoniou, A.; Morillo, S. R.; Lepouras, G.; Diakoumakos, J.; Vassilakis, C.; Nores, M. L.; Jones, C. E. Bringing a peripheral, traditional venue to the digital era with targeted narratives. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 2019, 14, e00111.

Poulopoulos, V.; Vassilakis, C.; Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G.; Theodoropoulos, A.; Wallace, M. The Personality of the Influencers, the Characteristics of Qualitative Discussions and Their Analysis for Recommendations to Cultural Institutions. Heritage 2018, 1(2), 239-253.

Poulopoulos, V.; Vassilakis, C.; Antoniou, A.; Lepouras, G.; Wallace, M. Personality Analysis of Social Media Influencers as a Tool for Cultural Institutions. Proceedings of the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 2018.

Gash, H. Constructing Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 2014, 9(3), 302-310.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.26265/jiim.v8i1.4514


  • There are currently no refbacks.

The application for presenting electronic journals TEI developed within subproject 2 "electronic publishing service" the Act "Development Services Digital Library of TEI" and financed by the operational program "Digital Convergence", NSRF 2007-2013.