Slow Art Day: Sharing Impressions

Arthur G. Dove. Red Sun, 1935. Oil on canvas; 20 1/4 x 28 in. The Phillips Collection

Last weekend, a group celebrated Slow Art Day at The Phillips Collection. It was a new experience for all of us, and it led to fun questions and insights, sometimes about pieces many of us had breezed by before.

Here’s how it worked: Alex Pergament and I were the hosts, so we chose nine artworks and marked them on a map. Participants visited each piece in small groups or on our own, in whatever order we felt like. The only rule was that we were to spend five to ten minutes with each piece.

I thought that would feel too long, but once I settled in and started looking at a piece and talking it over, the time flew by. We spent ten minutes with The Road Menders by Van Gogh before we knew it. And we had to hurry away from As Time Goes By by Hodgkin to be on time for lunch. Continue reading

Slow Art Day: A different way to enjoy The Phillips Collection

Slow Art Day is based on the idea of experiencing art slowly. It’s said that when visiting a museum, most people spend only about eight seconds at each piece of art — and leave exhausted.


For Slow Art Day, we do it differently. Volunteer hosts choose a small number of works. Participants spend five to ten minutes experiencing each one on their own. Then the group gathers to discuss the experience over lunch.

Slow Art Day 2011 is this Saturday, April 16, and Alex Permagent and I are hosting at The Phillips Collection (sign up here!).

We’ve both been visiting the museum for four or five years now and independently decided it would be a great place for Slow Art Day.

For me, the Phillips was an obvious choice. It’s big enough to provide wide variety, small enough to feel intimate and approachable. Alex adds, “It’s an inviting museum, and it feels like the people who care for it do so with love.” Even more important, the Phillips can sometimes get overlooked with all the big museums on the Mall. So I jumped at the chance to invite others to enjoy it.

Alex and I had a great time choosing pieces to enjoy…slowly. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you.

Please RSVP here, then join us at 11 am this Saturday!

Kira Marchenese, Guest blogger and co-host of Slow Art day at The Phillips Collection