From October 2007 to January 2008 an evaluation was conducted to determine the use of Gallery Cards (GC) in non-rotational areas of the permanent collection (painting, sculpture, and decorative arts). Gallery cards are large tablet-sized boards located in select galleries to provide information about materials, processes, and techniques, or focus on subjects specific to a historic period represented in the gallery where the GC is found.

In every gallery where a Gallery Card (GC) is located (8–10 galleries) the evaluator conducted two one-hour sessions. During the sessions the evaluator counted the number of people who entered the gallery, and the number of visitors who looked at the GC, read the GC, and/or moved around the gallery with the GC. Observations of 2,342 visitors were completed.

Download the evaluation report:
Gallery Cards Evaluation (10pp., 180KB)


  • Of all visitors entering the gallery, 2.2 % looked at the GC, while 1.6 % of these visitors read the GC.
  • GC users overwhelmingly read the card near its distribution point and did not move around with it, or reference it as they looked at other objects in the gallery.
  • Distribution points of GCs are camouflaged so as not to distract visitors' attention from the artworks. However, this causes the GCs to be under-utilized.

As a result of these findings, the education department has limited its reprinting of current GCs and only developed new GCs for permanent collection objects included in special exhibitions. When the exhibition closes, the new GCs are placed in the permanent collection galleries.