I have always enjoyed visiting the Nevada Museum of Art, but I found that I was uncomfortable on the day that we went on the class trip. I am usually the quite wanderer when it comes to museums and galleries, however during this trip I was quiet with a purpose. I wanted to observe my fellow patrons and how they interacted with the space, keeping in mind that it was a free day at the museum with a Maurice Sendak exhibit. I found that while the displays were well rounded, with elements that could interest a wide range of people, the overall installation design sent mixed signals and created some confusion with the guests.
One of the first discontinuities was within the Maurice Sendak display involving the beautiful boat in the middle of the mini gallery. It seemed to be incredibly child friendly and built to withstand a playground like setting, and yet it looked to be untouched by the large group of children. I understand that the parents impressions of a display within a gallery could result in ushering the children away from possibly "messing it up," but then where were the docents or the signs to let the guests know what was allowed.
I also don't understand why a museum would schedule a child-aimed display at the same time as a brightly colored collaged room with explicit content, so closely spaced together within the building. I feel that if you need to post signs, and station a docent within the space to "warn" parents to read a sign, then the locations of the installation should be re-evaluated. I also don't appreciate the way that the docents hovered over the guests, especially within the collaged installation.
Overall, a visit to the NMA is educational and provides an access point to some wonderful collections. My critique is that the day to day execution of operations could use some improvements. Better planning of the layout within the gallery, and better directional clues via docents or signs. I would still recommend the NMA to others, and return again myself.