This post was inspired by a conversation with my cousin, who expressed frustration about feeling that she doesn't know how to approach art museums. I'm sure she's not the only person to struggle with this, so I've come up with a few strategies that I hope will help.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located in Richmond, Virginia. Its highlights include the McGlothlin collection of American art, the Gans collection of English silver, and works by Faberge.
Want to enjoy great architecture from your couch? I recently discovered a host of virtual tours of famous works of architecture. How cool is that? While you can never truly experience a place from a computer screen, it's nice to have the option when travelling to the site in person isn't in your schedule (or budget). All of the tours listed are 360° experiences, not just pictures.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a small art museum on the campus of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The museum contains a little bit of everything, but its claim to fame is probably its many Hudson River School paintings. The rest of the collection ranges from ancient to contemporary works in small quantities.
The Cloisters is a museum of medieval art, but I think it's more than that. To me, it's also a sort of medieval fantasy land (in a good way). The museum building is neo-medieval structure that incorporates genuine pieces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture within it. Spending time there is a little like being transported to another time and place.
It's easy to assume that you know what you're going to enjoy and only look at that, passing by other artworks without paying much attention. It's all too easy to pre-screen your experience, even if you don't mean to, but I would suggest trying to keep an open mind. You may find a new favorite where you least expect it.
What is Romanticism in art? Learn about the different themes and stylistic attributes of Romantic painting, sculpture, and architecture. Find out how it's different from Neo-Classicism, the style that preceded it.
A few quick thoughts on Michael Findlay's book Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art, about enjoying modern and contemporary art.
My thoughts on Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, a really excellent and informative book about twelve, world-class medieval manuscripts.
Museum fatigue is the what happens when you overwhelm yourself during a museum visit. It can happen to anyone from causal tourists to art professionals. Here are some ways to deal with it.