The vast majority of Americans agree that the arts add something valuable to the world. One study revealed that more than 70% of people say that the arts provide them with "pure pleasure."
But at the same time, there are also many Americans who are intimidated when it comes to visiting fine art museums and checking out the latest artwork that's on display. They don't feel 100% comfortable walking around in these museums and looking at all the artwork inside of them.
Do you feel a little bit uncertain of yourself when you're making your way through fine art museums? You shouldn't let this stop you from taking in as much culture as you can during your next trip to a museum.
Let's take a closer look at several tips that you can put to good use prior to visiting a fine art museum to help you make the most of the experience.
Do Your Research
If you're a devoted lover of the arts, you might find it fun to spontaneously walk into a museum and explore it. You'll enjoy experiencing artwork for the first time without any prior knowledge of it.
But if you're the type of person who doesn't always "get" art, you should do some homework ahead of time so that you know what you're walking into when you visit one of the many fine art museums.
You should check out which artists are going to be on display in a museum and read up on them. You should also see if there is a specific type of art that a museum is focusing on at the time of your visit and read up on that style, too.
By doing these things, you'll understand exactly what you're going to be looking at when you walk into a museum. You won't have to spend a bunch of time huddled over your phone trying to do research on the fly when you should be enjoying the beautiful artwork in front of you.
Visit at Quieter Times
In addition to researching which artists and art styles are going to be on display at a fine art museum, you should also try to gauge which days are the least busy days at the museum.
Often times, you can tell which days are the slower days of the week for a museum based on the prices they charge. The less expensive days are usually the days when you won't find many people wandering around inside of a museum.
You should try to show up at a fine art museum on these days since you won't have to fight through crowds to see the pieces of art that you want to see. You also won't have to rush through the museum and ruin your experience.
Take Your Time
As we just alluded to, you do not want to rush through a museum if you don't have to. That's no way to experience all of the art that lines the walls inside of it.
Ideally, you should set aside at least a few hours to make your way through a fine art museum. The longer you give yourself to spend in a museum, the more time you'll have to appreciate the art that you see.
You should spend at least a minute or two standing in front of the various pieces of artwork that you see in a museum. It might not be possible to devote that much time to every single piece of artwork. But you should make it a point to spend time gazing at the works that catch your eye and intrigue you the most.
Get Inside an Artist's Head
A lot of people spend a minute or two standing in front of a piece of art and staring at it simply because they think that's what they're supposed to do. But in their minds, they're not always sure about why they're doing it or what they're supposed to be thinking about.
Do you find yourself doing this from time to time in fine art museums? There is a much better way to experience the artwork that you see in these museums.
While you're standing in front of a piece of artwork, try to get inside of the artist's head by asking questions about their art. Some of these questions might include:
- "Why did the artist make the sky that color in their painting?"
- "What was the artist thinking when they left that part of the painting blank?"
- "Is there some kind of special meaning behind the looks on everyone's faces in this artist's painting?"
This process is what makes looking at art so much fun for many people. They enjoy trying to climb into an artist's head to see what they might have been thinking when they created their art.
Figure Out Your Favorite Types of Art
You're not going to love every piece of artwork that you see in fine art museums. In fact, you might not like a lot of the things that you see.
You will, however, find that you're drawn to very specific types of art. You might love newer art that has a pop culture feel or appreciate older art that has religious undertones attached to it.
As you walk around in a museum, try to identify what types of artwork attract your eyes the most. You'll usually find that the artwork you like has a certain style that is used to create it.
Explore Those Pieces Further
More often than not, fine art museums go above and beyond to educate people about the artwork that they put on display.
Some of these museums will include explanations of the art posted alongside it. Others have used technology to their advantage by starting to include audio recordings that feature explanations of different works of art.
In a perfect world, the artwork that you like the most will come with some kind of explanation. But just in case it doesn't, you should jot down the names of your favorite artwork so that you can learn more about it later.
You might find that all the artwork you love was made during the same time period. Or you might find that it was all done by a group of artists that ran in the same circle.
Don't pass up on the opportunity to learn more about the artwork that stirs your soul. You might be able to learn a lot about yourself in the process.
Visit the Same Fine Art Museums Repeatedly
If you're going to be visiting a very tiny fine art museum, you might not have any trouble seeing everything it has to offer in one trip. You can walk around and spend more than enough time looking at each piece of art in a small museum.
But most fine art museums are filled with more artwork than people could possibly see in a single visit. It's why you should make every effort to go back to museums over time to immerse yourself in everything they have to offer.
In some cases, you can make it a point to visit these museums when they have a special batch of artwork on display. You can see this artwork as well as some of the regular artwork in the museum during your trip.
In other instances, you may be able to make a return trip to one of the museums that also doubles as one of the event venues in your city. You can show up early for a wedding, a corporate event, or another celebration and walk around in the museum to see what you may have missed during your initial trip.
But whatever you do, don't just visit a museum once and then think that you don't have any reason to go back. It takes most people years to soak up all the culture that a single museum has to offer to the world.
Start Exploring Your Local Art Scene Today
Do you have a fine art museum in your city that you've been dying to check out? Even if you're a little nervous about doing it, take a leap of faith and visit it as soon as possible.
You might be worried about feeling overwhelmed at fine art museums. But as long as you follow the tips listed here, your museum trip should be a total success.
It'll allow you to gain a new appreciation for art. It'll also open you up to visiting other fine art museums in the future.
Would you like to find out which fine art museums are in your area? Browse through the articles on our blog to see which museums you need to check out.