Close Looking at the MFA

Sometimes the most rewarding way to enjoy your experience is to spend time with one work of art. Follow this close looking guide to connect with our collection.

1. Find a work of art

As you move through the galleries, are you drawn to any particular works or style? Take a moment, with no distractions, to look closely.

2. What do you see?

Don’t try to interpret meaning; simply take in what is in front of you. Look at the details and the bigger picture. What ideas or feelings come to mind? How do your ideas change as you move around the work?

3. What do you see that makes you say that?

What visual evidence can you find to support your ideas? (For example, if you think this is a happy painting, the evidence could be the vibrant and warm colors.) What meaning can you find here?

4. What more can you find?

Continue looking deeply at the work. What are some additional observations you hadn’t made before?

Created by the 2021 cohort of MFA Teen Docents reflecting on exploring art with Visual Thinking Strategies: