When was the last time you visited an art museum? If your response is to say, “I just don’t understand art,” it might be time to give yourself another chance. You don’t need a degree to simply enjoy a work of art; all you need is a little time, some patience, and a pair of eyes. Here are some helpful guidelines for getting the most out of your next visit to an art museum.
Try to give yourself as much time as possible to walk around and enjoy the different exhibits at the museum. If you spend more time looking at a certain work, you don’t want to then have to rush through the other rooms. Go at your own pace, and give yourself time to fully take in everything that you see.
As you walk by the paintings, find a comfortable distance to stand and observe them. You don’t want to get too close, of course, but you also don’t want to be standing on the other side of the room. Give yourself enough space to see the painting in full, and lean in a little more closely to enjoy the details.
After looking at a painting, be sure to read the label provided by the museum. This usually includes the name of the painting, the artist, and the year it was completed. Often, there will be a short text describing the painting and its intent. While you will certainly have your own observations and reactions to the work, it may enhance your appreciation of the painting to learn about its origin and context.
For more than 50 years, the work of the late John Ford Clymer brought back the spirit and beauty of the pre-modern American West. You and your family can discover that world for yourself by visiting the John Ford Clymer Museum & Gallery in Ellensburg, WA. For more information about the museum, call (509) 962-6416.