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Tips for Looking at
Art Together

Pick a Theme

Experiment with looking at works of art together and connecting them using a “big idea,” such as places, people, or materials.

Find a work of art that interests you both. Don’t look for the wall label right away! What can you see in the work of art without any additional information?

Explore the galleries to find and discuss works of art that relate to your theme. Even an object that does not seem to relate can start a conversation about why it might not fit.

Use a work of art to create an imaginary story based on your theme.

Ask questions

See what you can come up with together by looking carefully at the work of art and asking questions.

Ask your child to share what they notice about a particular work of art. Questions such as “What colors do you see?” and “What objects are in the picture?” are great conversation starters.

Make it fun!

You can turn observation into a memory game by seeing how many details you remember when you are not looking at the work of art.

Encourage close looking by making a list of the colors, shapes or lines you can find in an work of art.

Circle all the elements on your list that you can also find in a different work of art and compare the two.

For a work of art that involves people, imagine a conversation between two figures. What might they be saying to each other? Why?

Imagine a thought bubble over a single figure. What could they be thinking?

For an work of art that depicts a place, imagine what it might be like there. What could you hear, feel or smell in that place?

Create a descriptive title for an work of art, then look at the wall label for more information. Compare the information on the label to your initial ideas about the work. Is it made from different materials than you thought? Does the artist’s title change your opinion about the work of art?