I don’t really like big lists of ‘good’ or ‘great’ questions – for example, 50 questions to ask about art. These lists are OK for a quick source of inspiration or for a boost now and again, but it’s the list part that I don’t like – you’re not going to be carrying around a list with you in the museum.
Instead it’s much better to work on your questioning technique with exercises and experimentation rather than trying to memorise or use big lists of questions. Working on your technique yourself will help you to phrase questions better in the moment, instinctively and naturally. And this will always work better than parrot-phrasing a question you read on a list.
But there are some questions that I think are worth remembering. And these are the types of questions that have a really powerful effect when they are asked. So today I’m sharing 4 simple questions that will supercharge your art experiences.
These are questions that can be used at any moment during your experience or guided tour to great effect. I’ve chosen questions that work for me time after time with all sorts of different groups, different artworks or objects, different types of museums and different situations. These are universally powerful questions – listen to episode 64 to find out what questions I’ve chosen!
The 5 Golden Rules for Asking Brilliant Questions (Episode 4)
10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Asking Questions (Episode 10)
How to use artworks to improve your questioning skills (Episode 15)
Quick ways to improve your questioning technique (Episode 36)
‘Bad’ questions – questions to avoid in your art experiences (Episode 48)
Autumn Effect at Argenteuil (1873), Claude Monet, Courtauld Gallery, London, UK, Public Domain https://courtauld.ac.uk/highlights/autumn-effect-at-argenteuil/
Reyhan Hassanzadeh (2004) from the series: Terrorist, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, NL