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Slow-Looking: In-Depth Experiences with Art and Museum Objects

Much has been written about the power of art works, objects, artefacts to inspire, provoke curiosity and interest. It is generally accepted that looking at objects stimulates critical thinking through comparing and contrasting, identifying and classifying, describing and summarising and so on. Indeed, museums are increasingly using objects and art to help individuals learn what is variously called slow-looking, close-looking or viewing-skills. How Long Does the Average Visitor Spend Looking at an Object or Artwork? Looking is central to the museum experience. When we enter a museum, we are presented with a huge array of objects for us to look

More than a Strategy: Building a Culture of Thinking

I was recently talking to a fellow museum docent about how they were given a 10 minute training on how to use thinking routines (from Visible Thinking) in another museum. A few routines were enthusiastically explained to them and they were told that these routines could be inserted 'ad-hoc' into tours to inject a little more participation and conversation. Whilst this may provide a quick-fix for those moments when you want to enliven a tour, this is not how thinking routines are intended to be used nor how I personally envisage their use or potential for use in the museum.

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss

The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss by Danielle Carter featured image: Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman, 1656 If you can’t get enough of Dutch Golden Age art at the Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage Amsterdam is a wonderful additional option to expand your knowledge with the exhibition: Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age. image: Elvert Ezinga From late 2014 through to the end of this year, the Hermitage Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Museum, is hosting an array of portraits from the Dutch Golden Age, including some of the

The Lucas van Leyden Altarpiece in the Rijksmuseum

Danielle Carter Images courtesy of Olivier Middendorp Presentation in the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum is taken very seriously.  Only the most famous of Dutch artists are displayed here, often with their names adorning the arches and capitals of the hall when the museum was built in 1885, and again during its subsequent renovation from 2003 to 2013. Thus, each time a new piece is hosted in the Gallery of Honour, it is a notable event. This year alone, Anish Kapoor’s works were hosted in the Gallery of Honour, opposite Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride and The Syndics; and a newly acquired

The Significance of Rembrandt’s Marten and Oopjen

We are delighted to welcome Danielle Carter, owner of Tangible Education and museum educator for Thinking Museum, to write for us. You can learn more about Danielle’s research, educational and practical experience here.   There have been numerous images of Rembrandt's Marten and Oopjen (1634) splashed across billboards and walls throughout Amsterdam for the past few months. Some solely featured Marten’s extravagant shoe. Some featured Oopjen’s coy half-smile and smouldering eyes. However, it’s hard to really understand the significance of these portraits without more context. This is where we, at Thinking Museum, can assist: the importance of Marten and Oopjen from the museological,

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