Comics Art in Museums and Galleries
: New Methods for Engagement and Education

  • Zu Dominiak

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Abstract

This thesis explores how comics can enhance engagement with visitors at museums and galleries and how comics creators and institutions can use the educational potential of comics art through exhibitions and publications. It sets out to answer three main questions:

• What are museums and galleries’ benefits of displaying and using comics art?
• In what ways can comics art be used to create an engaging, educational environment?
• What issues or problems arise when displaying comics art in a museum and a gallery context, and what can be learned from previous examples?

This research establishes the three main ways of interaction with comics: through exhibitions and publications, printed and digital. One of the goals of this research is to provide a toolkit for curators looking to include comics. This thesis focuses on exhibitions and publications in English, which are put in an international context. Additionally, this work has practical and creative elements, demonstrating that comics can be used as a method of interaction with the audiences of arts institutions, both in-person and remotely.

Comics have often prompted questions about the nature of art and popular culture, amplified in the context of museums and galleries. This research shows that aside from this conversation, the medium can be used to engage the public, triggering discussions and enhancing the educational mission. Comics art is used with increasing frequency for these purposes, but the methods employed to create these works have not been studied in depth, nor have the aims and outcomes of such collaborations. It is noted in this study that problems often arise due to the lack of experience of institutions in terms of this medium and from the lack of expertise of creators working with such institutions. This research identifies the most common issues and offers solutions.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsScottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities
SupervisorChris Murray (Supervisor), Gregor White (Supervisor) & Paul Jennings (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • comics studies
  • comics
  • graphic novels
  • exhibitions
  • museum studies
  • Curating
  • Curatorial Practice
  • Curators

Cite this

'