After writing my blog article on star appeal that was finished at 23.39 I went to bed for some good night sleep. Right before my eyes shut down totally I was thinking about my article and saw that I mixed up some things. My conclusion was that not all celebrities are equal in the museum world. There are two possible ways to measure celebrity appeal. The first way is the image of the star: is he well known? Does he have a positive or interesting angle to offer to the exhibition? Is his brand name so well known that this immediately means the exhibition has to be good or interesting? The other way is artistic value. Artistic value means that the artifacts or collection associated with this person are esthetically or historically appealing.
While considering this I came up with a star appeal matrix loosely inspired by the bcg matrix. This star appeal matrix has two axes. The first axis is the strength of the image of the person. The second axis is the artistic value of the artifacts which are linked to that person. As you can see below some of the dots are already filled in. The chart has four quadrants.
– Mice, this is the lower left quadrant. In this quadrant you will find the nobodies or artistic wannabe’s. The have a lack of any artistic or pr value
– Question marks, this is upper left quadrant. In this quadrant you will find artists with high artistic value. They are very good at what they do but are not a household brand. They can probably grow into stars but with bad luck return to mice.
– PR kings, this is the lower right quadrant. In this quadrant you will find artists with a lot of PR/marketing value. The artists are well known brand but lack artistic value for the museum.
– Stars, this is the quadrant in the upper right corner. If you can make an exhibition with objects who are related too, uses by or made by these persons you have a blockbuster exhibition.
No relevant science is used in determining the spot of the persons in this chart. I just made up the numbers to give an example. But I think it is possible to make a chart like this. It could for example be useful in choosing for a certain exhibition. Do you want for example to make an overview of the work of Madonna (the singer) in your museum? It will give you a lot of PR but the risk is your museum will be taken less seriously. Or do you want to show the bright young and upcoming artist who nobody knows. This matrix could probably also be used for themes instead of persons.