Seeing Art Slowly: Part I

Images of paintings viewed on Slow Art Day 2013

(left) Willem de Kooning, Asheville, ca. 1935. Oil and enamel on cardboard, 25 9/16 x 31 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1952 (right) Bradley Walker Tomlin, No. 8, 1952. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 65 7/8 x 47 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1955.

On Saturday, April 27, Slow Art Day came to The Phillips Collection. Slow Art Day is an annual event that happens all over the world. This event challenges museum visitors to see art differently. In organizing the Phillips iteration, I was excited about the potential discussions a slow art visit would generate. At the Phillips, participants were invited to view works like Willem de Kooning‘s Asheville and Bradley Walker Tomlin‘s No. 8, slowly.

I encourage you to make every day Slow Art Day. Challenge yourself to look at art differently. Slow down and spend time looking. Hopefully this will lead to a meaningful discussion about the pieces of art you see. You can do it right now! Spend 5-10 minutes looking at the Willem de Kooning and Bradley Walker Tomlin paintings above and share your reaction in the comments. Then stay tuned for a guest post by Gallery Educator Lana Housholder who led the tour at the Phillips.

Mackenzie Good, DC Emerging Museum Professionals Co-Officer, Washington, D.C. 2013 Slow Art Day Organizer