info@thinkingmuseum.com

What is Visible Thinking in the Museum?

WHAT IS VISIBLE THINKING IN THE MUSEUM (AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME TO ENGAGE MY AUDIENCE?) Way back in 2011, I discovered the magic of thinking routines and Visible Thinking whilst working at a museum in Amsterdam. It was at this point that I started developing a new approach for educators, what became Visible Thinking in the Museum or VTM for short. Visible Thinking in the Museum is an easy-to-follow method that allows educators like you to confidently design and lead engaging inquiry-led sessions with art, objects and ideas for any

Inspiring Creative Writing through Art with Mary Hall Surface

INSPIRING CREATIVE WRITING THROUGH ART WITH MARY HALL SURFACE INTRODUCTION  Today I’m delighted to be talking to playwright, theatre director, teaching artist and museum educator Mary Hall Surface about her work. We’re talking all things creative and reflective writing through art. As a museum educator, Mary Hall uses both theatre and creative writing to expand perspective, uncover complexity and deepen understanding. She is the founding instructor of National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon in Washington DC, and a six-summer faculty member of Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.  Her plays have been produced at major professional theatres, museums, and

Art and Dementia with Catherine Chastney

ART AND DEMENTIA WITH CATHERINE CHASTNEY INTRODUCTION  For our thirtieth episode, I’m delighted to be talking to Catherine Chastney. Catherine is an art educator and owner of social enterprise I Picture This. Catherine’s work focuses on bringing art and the joy of discussing art to older people, from creating conversations in care homes, to creating art cards during lockdown and working with people living with dementia. In this chat we explore the strong values that guide Catherine's work - she is passionate about that anyone can look at and discuss art, she loves using art to bring people

Quick Guide to Stress-Free Museum Visits with your Kids

How can you make museum-visiting with kids a stress-free experience? Here's my quick guide to stress-free museum visits with kids - perfect for the school holidays! Museums can seem quite daunting places for families when you are unfamiliar with them. So, before you visit, do some planning to get the most out of your visit: 1. Do your research. In order to make your visit as stress-free an experience as possible, do spend a bit of time choosing your museum and doing your research. Ask your children where they want to go. Look online to check transport links, admission prices,

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

Impressions of Landscape: Daubigny, Monet, and Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh is largely known for still life paintings such as Sunflowers or small landscape paintings created from the view from his window such as Starry Night; however, Van Gogh felt most at peace when he was in nature, and many of his paintings depict rural landscapes. After living with his brother in Paris for about two years (1886-1888), Van Gogh escaped to the more rural town of Arles, positioned in the south of France. This is where he painted many of his most acclaimed paintings. He was more inspired by the landscape and environment of southern France than he was

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,

Teenage Kicks at the Stedelijk

www.stedelijk.nl Teenage Kicks at the Stedelijk In August I was asked to lead a private tour for a group of teenagers at the Stedelijk, a museum of modern and contemporary art and design in Amsterdam. This was to be a small group of participants aged between 11 and 18 years old. All of the group were German, but some lived in Amsterdam and went to a local international school, whilst others were visiting from Berlin where they attended a bi-lingual secondary school. The tour would be in English but all of the group were non-native English speakers. Two of the