I like strolling around museums and absorbing the art. But a recent New York Times article, The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum, suggests slowing down—waaaaay down—while visiting a museum:
“When you go to the library,” said James O. Pawelski, the director of education for the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, “you don’t walk along the shelves looking at the spines of the books and on your way out tweet to your friends, ‘I read 100 books today!’” Yet that’s essentially how many people experience a museum…
Instead, Pawelski encourages his students to choose a painting that speaks to them and then spend 20 to 30 minutes gazing at it. “What happens, of course, is you actually begin to be able to see what you’re looking at,” he says. The experience can also lift your mood, since, Pawelski theorizes, it’s similar to meditation. But you’re not just focusing on your breath, he says: “You’re focusing on the work of art.”
Thoughts? Would you do this? I’ve walked though many museums, but I’ve never approached one like this. It makes me want to sneak off to the Met this weekend and see what strikes.