Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Art Museum Tour: Learning to Appreciate Art

As Daily Vacationer has been traveling Greater Philadelphia visiting art museums, we have begun to appreciate art in ways that we didn't before.  To truly make the most of your art experience, there is something very important you need to do as often as possible in as many places as you can.  Stop, find the little card or plaque on the wall near a piece, and read it.

It sounds like it should be obvious,  but it's not always the first thing that you think of when perusing the galleries.  We get caught up admiring the pieces we like or making sure that we get through the whole museum, but if you don't read about the artwork, you miss the majority of what the museum has to offer.  A beautiful landscape is pleasant to look at, but it becomes something else entirely to you once you discover the location it was painted at.  A piece of modern art might have you scratching your head or sniggering with a friend until a backstory helps you see if from a new perspective.  Sometimes it makes us like something more, sometimes it makes us like something less, but it almost always helps us to understand that art is more than what we first see.

A few of Daily Vacationer's "ohhhhh" and "wow!" moments so far during The Art Museum Tour:

Hmmmm... someone took a photograph of Salvador Dali and taped it in a frame.  Wrong! Apparently this is a painting (a PAINTING?!) by Otto Duecker, and even at close inspection, it still looks like a photograph.  (Brandywine River Museum)


Bizarre modern art....possibly a fish.....weird, moving on.  Oh wait! Woman With Packages, huh? We see her! How about that! (PAFA)


Another Abraham Lincoln...another marble bust.... But, hmmmmm... Lincoln actually posed for this female sculpture making this particular bust remarkably close to getting a look at the real guy! (Woodmere Art Museum)


Well that's a pretty picture: ships, waves, sun low in the sky -got it.  Hey - View of the Port of Philadelphia!  It's like a historical snapshot of a place we know! (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Once you start visiting Art Museums while really paying attention to what's in front of you, the experience changes completely.  You begin to recognize artists names, find connections between pieces, and discover the stories behind the art.  Art is much more than you think it is, and it could mean a lot more to you than you originally thought.
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  1. The first one is really cool - never saw it before - it really looks like its a photo! Gonna go practice with my kids crayons now....

  2. I would have put money on the first one being a photograph. That's amazing!

  3. Pretty cool! I love the Duecker painting, amazing!

  4. I love this advice - stop and READ about what you are looking at! It absolutely makes the art museum experience so much more informative and enlightening.

  5. We go to the Art Museum once a month. And I alway read the little signs. By the time I am finished reading aloud, my family has disappeared. HAHA

  6. Wow! That picture is amazing! I love these wow moments. Thanks for sharing!

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