Slow Puzzles at the Eskenazi Museum of Art 

For their second Slow Art Day, the Eskenazi Museum of Art in Bloomington, Indiana, offered visitors a wide range of activities, including in-gallery sketching, snacks, self guided tours, discussion, and an art-based puzzle contest. Note that the museum is part of the growing Bloomington city-wide Slow Art Day event – which this year included more than 20 museums and galleries across the city (remarkable!).

For the slow looking activity, three artworks were highlighted by Eskenazi, though guests were encouraged to pick any piece in the collection:

Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis

“Matter” video by Adam Magyar
Below is a still image from the video.

“Flight of a Thousand Birds” by Anila Agha

To facilitate individual slow looking and discussions, the museum re-used their slow looking hand-out from last year (with a few tweaks). We invite all museum curators and Slow Art Day hosts to view the particularly well-designed hand-out below.

Keaton Clulow, Public Experiences Manager, shared that the puzzle contest was particularly popular. For that, guests were asked to spend at least ten minutes with “Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis before attempting to put together a giant 3D puzzle of the piece from memory. 

Visitor viewing “Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis.

The museum was also successful at involving all generations, including young people (see below).

Slow looking participant viewing an artwork in the museum. Photo by Shanti Knight.

At Slow Art Day HQ we love the creativity the Eskenazi brings to designing its Slow Art Day activities. We know we would enjoy working on the “slow-puzzle.”

We can’t wait to see what the Eskenazi Museum of Art comes up with for next year’s Blooming citywide event (which may turn into a statewide event – stay tuned).

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. You can follow @eskenazimuseum on Facebook and Instagram.

P.P.S. The museum asked us to include this statement: The museum wishes to acknowledge and honor the myaamiaki, Lënape, Bodwéwadmik, and saawanwa people, whose ancestral homelands and resources Indiana University Bloomington occupies.

Slow Art Day in Köping, Sweden

For their second Slow Art Day, Köpings Museum in Sweden organized both an in-person as well as an online slow-looking event. Additionally, this year the local library in Köping participated in Slow Art Day by borrowing a painting from the museum to use for slow looking.

Visitors to Köpings Museum were invited to join a slow-looking guided tour in the exhibit “A picture – a story” (“En bild – en historia”) by Ulf Rehnholm and Inger Holmberg.

Exhibition poster for the exhibition “A Picture – A History”

Visitors were also offered the below slow-looking instructions (in Swedish) for a self-guided option, as well as paper binoculars to help focus on details in the art.

The museum also offered an online slow-looking alternative through their Facebook page, where they shared instructions and the below photo of “Solar Altar” by Lars Lindeberg from the museum’s collection.

“Solar Altar” by Lars Lindeberg (1925-2011). Color lithograph, 1999. The artwork belongs to Köping municipality’s art collection. The image was used for Köpings Museum’s digital Slow Art Day event.

At Slow Art Day HQ, we love seeing the library and museum work together – this is a great partnership that should inspire other museums around the world to work with their local libraries. Perhaps next year we will see more such partnerships develop.

In the meantime, we look forward to what Köpings Museum and the Köping Library come up with for 2025.

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. Stay up to date with future events at Köpings museum via their Facebook page

P.P.S. There is no possessive apostrophe in Swedish – so Köpings Museum is written without that apostrophe (in English it would be Köping’s Museum).

Slow Art Day Across Generations at MART, Italy

For their fourth Slow Art Day, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART) in Italy, hosted a slow looking event aimed at creating a multi-generational experience.

Denise Bernabè, the Membership Coordinator at MART, selected five pieces from the Galleria Civica di Trento, the museum’s venue for temporary exhibitions and a hub for local Trentino artists. These works are part of the exhibit titled “Allegoria della Felicità Pubblica” (“Allegory of Public Happiness”), featuring pieces by Maurizio Nannucci, Diango Hernandez and Nan Goldin. The selected artworks were sent to participants via email a few days ahead of Slow Art Day, so that they could take their time and contemplate them slowly on their own in advance.

Participants engaging with Maurizio Nannucci’s “Moving Between Different Opportunities and Open Singularities,” 2017-2018
Participants engaging with Anna Esposito’s “Prima e dopo il concerto,” 1982
Participants engaging with “Tired Stop” by Diango Hernàndez, 2008

On Slow Art Day, participants were divided into two groups, each guided by a coordinator who engaged them in conversation about the artworks. They re-titled the works based on what each group felt they should be named and assigned scores from 0 to 5 based on the level of emotion evoked and aesthetic pleasure. They also discussed if they would put the artwork in their own home.

Further to make the inter-generational conversation work, an old “Amico del Museo” (literally ‘friend of the museum’), who is a professor at the University of Enology in San Michele all’Adige, brought a group of students to join Slow Art Day. These students were then invited them to engage with their “Amici del Museo” (lit. ‘friends of the museum’), mainly made up of older participants.

Discussions between and across generations were inspiring, and many said that they enjoyed the experience.

“Slow Art allows me to truly see the artworks, to see them through my own eyes. I visit so
many museums that I often walk through the galleries without really looking. But Slow Art
reminded me that artworks have meanings, even if there are multiple interpretations. It’s
my task as an art advocate to capture at least a couple of those meanings.”

MARIAGRAZIA, Slow Art Day participant


“What I appreciate about Slow Art is the opportunity it gives me to listen to different
opinions, often enriching my own understanding of the artwork. It sparks discussions and
inspires me. I’ve also noticed that I’m now influenced by slow looking even when I visit
other museums on my own.”

GIUSEPPE, Slow Art Day participant

Slow Art has become a well-established practice at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento (MART). Every month since 2020, a selection of artworks is presented to the Friends of the Museum (“Amici del Museo”), MART’s Members. They view the artworks together and share their perspectives both online and in person.

At Slow Art Day HQ we are always excited to hear about events at MART and how they continue to engage the wider community of museum members, including across generations, in slow looking activities throughout the year as well as for Slow Art Day itself.

We can’t wait to see what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2025.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

First Official Slow Art Day in Bordeaux

On April 13th, Simone Raskin, art consultant and trainer at the Gallery L’Art de Regarder, organized the first official Slow Art Day in Bordeaux, sponsored by the Mairie de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Town Hall) and hosted at the Espace Saint Rémi.

The Espace Saint Rémi was a church before the French Revolution and has over the centuries transformed into what is now a cultural center for exhibitions. Since 1991, the space has hosted a yearly photography exhibition titled Itinéraires des Photographes Voyageurs, which was created and organized by Nathalie Lamire-Fabre and Vincent Bengold as part of the first Mois de la Photo de Bordeaux (month of photography in Bordeaux).

The slow looking focused on the following 6 works from the photography exhibition:

  • Patrick Cockpit, “Pasaran, une dystopie franquiste” 
  • Lise Dua, “Les loyautés & Une vie”
  • Charlotte Auricombe, “Cau Del Llop” 
  • Benoît Capponi, “Toutes les heures blessent”
  • Sladjana Stankovic, “La Douce
  • Thierry Girard, “The Tenjin Omuta Line” 
Photo credit: Simone Raskin

The Slow Art Day event was not promoted separately, so Simone greeted the 250+ visitors with an explanation of slow looking, and invited participants to sit in chairs that were arranged in front of the works. She provided them with the following prompts to guide their experience:

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What is it that attracts you in this particular photography?
  • What is the mood of the photo?
  • What are the colors? What do they evoke to you?
  • What is the composition of this photo?
  • If you were to say one word about this photo, what would it be?
  • Does it remind you of a painting, a souvenir, a memory, a personal experience?

Below are some of the works in the event:

“Pasaran, une dystopie franquiste” by Patrick Cockpit

Les loyautés & Une vie” by Lise Dua

Cau Del Llop” by Charlotte Auricombe

La Douce“by Sladjana Stankovic

“The Tenjin Omuta Line” by Thierry Girard

Simone reported that many of the participants thanked her for the event, and they were quite appreciative for the prompts that she provided. Several mentioned that they would try slow looking at future museum visits.

At Slow Art Day HQ we are so glad to hear that the event was so well-received and look forward to whatever Simone Raskin, Mairie de Bordeaux, or Espace Saint Rémi plan for Slow Art Day 2025!

– Jessica Jane, Johanna, Ashley, and Phyl

Slow Art Day 2024 is Today!

Yay!

Slow Art Day is *today* around the world – Silicon Valley, Berlin, New York, Cleveland, Boston, London, Singapore, Philadelphia, Australia, Washington D.C., Miami, South Africa, Rome, Paris, Brazil, Mexico, Los Angeles, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium…Bloomington, Indiana (where 20 galleries and museums are participating) to name just a few of the hundreds of museums, galleries, sculpture parks, universities hosting Slow Art Day today.

Small galleries (like the 20 in Bloomington, Indiana), small museums (like the Foster in Palo Alto), and big museums (like the Met in New York, The AGO in Toronto, or The Altes Museum in Berlin) are all hosting.

We started this movement 15 years ago with a simple aim: help more people learn how to look at and love art (and to support the educators and curators who share the same passion).

We are proud of how this movement has grown and created cultural space in the art world for the simple act of slowing down and looking.

So – happy Slow Art Day to all of you at all the museums, galleries, sculpture parks, universities, street art organizations who make Slow Art Day happen around the world. You are the heroes of the art world doing the important work of helping everyone slow down with art.

We look forward to getting your reports – photos, descriptions, etc – so we can continue to help you learn from and inspire each other.

Best,

– Phyl, Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, and Maggie

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day 2024 with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

Euro Slow Art Day 2024

Slow Art Day 2024 is tomorrow, Saturday, April 13 and yet again there are an amazing variety of museums, galleries, churches, cities, sculpture parks joining us from around the world (see the full list) – including across Europe.

To name just a few across that continent…

There are three cities hosting citywide Slow Art Days – Antwerp, Belgium (*8* locations), Reims, France (*4* locations), Rome, Italy (*3* museums).

Some countries are hosting multiple sites including Belgium (*11* locations including Antwerp), Sweden (*8* locations), Italy (*7* locations including Rome), England (*6* locations), Germany (*5* locations including 2 in Berlin), Spain (*4* locations), Ireland (*3* locations), Denmark (*2* locations).

Then Ukraine, Slovenia and several other countries have single sites for Slow Art Day 2024.

Here’s details on just two of these locations:

Altes Museum – Berlin

The Altes Museum (English: Old Museum) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally built between 1825 and 1830. It’s in the heart of Berlin on the museum island. For their Slow Art Day they are running a workshop in the Greek and Roman galleries.

And I love this – the “prerequisite” for participation in this workshop is “curiosity and goodwill towards yourself.” Lovely. Led by the art therapists Naira Bloss and Ulla Utasch, the workshop includes a short guided relaxation exercise, slow looking at selected ancient art, then followed by an in-depth discussion.

Sweden Nationalmuseum

The Swedish Nationalmuseum is hosting another art chill in their beautiful Sculpture Courtyard. They are providing yoga mats and an optional soundtrack.

These are just a few of the hundreds of places hosting events around the world this year.

And, of course, you can run your own personal Slow Art Day anywhere anytime. 

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024.

– Phyl 

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

Slow Art Day across the U.S. East Coast

Slow Art Day 2024 is coming up this Saturday, April 13 and yet again there are an amazing variety of museums, galleries, churches, cities, sculpture parks joining us from around the world (see the full list) – including across the East Coast of the United States.

To name just a few across the East Coast…

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Cloisters will be hosting again in New York City.

Mass MoCA will be hosting again in North Adams, MA while the Worcester Art Museum will yet again produce a Slow Art Day in that city. The beautiful and wonderful Athenaeum will be hosting in Boston. Connecticut and New Jersey supports several locations including the Grounds for Sculpture.

Philadelphia has a nascent citywide including The Barnes Foundation, Glenn Foerd, and the Magic Gardens.

In Washington D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts is hosting yet again (they are one the founding museums for Slow Art Day). Virginia and North Carolina have multiple locations across those states while Florida hosts *7* different venues including the Frost Art Museum and the Lowe Art Museum both in Miami.

Here are a few locations –

Mass MoCA

This year, Mass MoCA has created two ways to experience Slow Art Day:

  1. Slow Looking Tours
  2. A paired audiowalk they are calling “Where I End & You Begin,” which requires advance reservations.

The museum has had a close relationship with artist James Turrell and with the now-deceased Professor Arden Reed who wrote a terrific book, “Slow Art : The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell”, which talks about Slow Art Day (and for which I gave a blurb on the back cover).

James Turrell, “Once Around, Violet (Shallow Space),” 1971.

Barnes Foundation

The Barnes always produces a thoughtful and interesting Slow Art Day (and we are in conversations with them about a conference – stay tuned for more details).

This year, when participants arrive, they will receive a list of five paintings for self-guided slow looking. They will be encouraged to spend an hour or so looking, and then will be invited to a discussion in the Herbert and Joyce Kean Family Classroom. That discussion will be led by Barnes senior instructor Michael Williamson.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Before the Bath (detail), c. 1875. BF9. Public Domain.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

We love the National Museum of Women in the Arts – they are founders of the Slow Art Day movement and they have led the global re-awakening to the centuries-old role of women artists.

Their event this year is sold out. So, if you live in Washington, DC then plan ahead for their Slow Art Day 2025.

Deborah Butterfield, Big Horn, 2006; Cast bronze, 92 x 114 x 41 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Jacqueline Badger Mars in honor of Wilhelmina Cole Holladay; © Deborah Butterfield; Image courtesy of L.A. Louver

Boston Athenaeum

The Boston Athenaeum, which combines a library, with a museum and cultural center, is hosting Slow Art Day in their landmark building.

They will be focusing on a single painting by Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite.

Worcester Art Museum

Our friends at Juniper Rag are co-sponsoring a Slow Art Day at the Worcester Art Museum. The WAM will be focusing their slow looking event on the new Terrain Exhibition, which features 21st-Century landscape photographers and how these contemporary artists use different photographic processes to explore the idea of landscape.

Frost Art Museum

For their *13th* Slow Art Day (Frost is one of the founding museums of this slow looking movement), Frost will feature performances by Miami-based artists Smita Sen (pictured on the right – below), who explores the relationship between the body and memory through sculpture and technology, and Agua Dulce (left – below), a Miami-based artist who uses organic materials to blur the line between the mystical and mundane.

These are just a few of the hundreds of places hosting events around the world this year.

And, of course, you can run your own personal Slow Art Day anywhere anytime. 

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024.

– Phyl 

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

From Athens to South Africa to Toronto and Beyond

Slow Art Day 2024 is coming up this Saturday, April 13 and yet again there are an amazing variety of museums, galleries, churches, cities, sculpture parks are joining us (see the full list) – including places in Athens, South Africa, and Toronto.

Athens

The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens is premiering the first Slow Art Day in the Greek capital (other Greek cities have hosted – but this year is a first for Athens). The collection features the amazing modern art collected by now-deceased shipowner Basil Goulandris and his wife Elise Karadontis (read this article for more information on their event).

Here’s the simple image they are using to promote their Slow Art Day:

South Africa

The Melon Rouge Gallery in South Africa always produces a great Slow Art Day – and a great poster.

Here’s their 2024 poster:

Toronto – Art Gallery of Ontario

The AGO, one of the largest museums in North America, will be hosting their 9th Slow Art Day and have chosen this terrific image.

These are just a few of the hundreds of places hosting events this year.

And, of course, you can run your own personal Slow Art Day anywhere anytime.

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024.

– Phyl 

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

Rome Joins the Citywide Slow Art Day Movement

Rome (Italy) has joined the citywide Slow Art Day movement!

Valentina Gnesutta, the Art Historical Curator for the Directorate of Civic Museums for the city of Rome, reached out to let us know that they are hosting special events in three of their museums for Slow Art Day 2024.

The three Roman museums participating in their coordinated citywide Slow Art Day are:

The citywide movement began in Antwerp, Belgium with museums, and now churches, and then took a big leap in Bloomington, Illinois, which is now hosting 20 museums and galleries for their coordinated Slow Art Day (they deserve a lot of credit for building the largest citywide, which is likely to go statewide soon).

Taking inspiration from Bloomington and Antwerp, other cities like Rome and California’s Saratoga are embracing the citywide movement.

And, of course, this year’s Slow Art Day is coming up this Saturday, April 13. There are major museums, sculpture parks, galleries, churches, and cities all coming together to help the world slow down and learn to look at and love art.

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024 wherever you are in the world – and that you take inspiration from Valentina Gnesutta and hundreds of others across every continent who are leading the efforts to expand our movement.

– Phyl 

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

Antwerp’s Church-Based Slow Art Day Movement

Slow Art Day 2024 is coming soon and will be happening all over the world and in every kind of setting – including but not limited to museums, galleries, sculpture parks, colleges and universities, street art, and a small but growing number of churches.

Further, more cities are hosting citywide Slow Art Days – from Bloomington, Illinois to Philadelphia, PA, to Antwerp, Belgium, and for the first time, Rome (more on Rome next week).

Antwerp has a total of 8 museums and churches participating this year.

In fact, the churches participating in Antwerp represent the beginnings of the church wing of the Slow Art Day movement – for which we must give credit to Armand Storck, scriptor for Sint-Pauluskerk (St. Paul’s) in Antwerp, Belgium.

Storck has hosted *six* previous Slow Art Day events and passionately believes that churches are a natural home for Slow Art Day. “Not only are many churches brimming with works of art, but the locations themselves naturally invite reflection. The slow, sensory perception is a way to arrive at the (religious) meaning of a work of art. Time runs almost noticeably slower in our churches than in the world outside,” said Storck.

We at Slow Art Day HQ couldn’t agree more.

And we are happy to report that as a result of Storck’s efforts to evangelize Slow Art Day to other churches, this year there are *four* churches in Antwerp participating, each of which have gone through preparation and training coordinated by an organization called the Tourism Pastoral and Monumental Churches Antwerp.

Storck wisely decided to expand to more churches in Antwerp first and then find ways to bring more churches around the world into the Slow Art Day fold in future years.

Below is Storck’s description of what each of the four Antwerp churches are doing for Slow Art Day.

Slow Art Day in 4 Churches in Antwerp
by Armand Storck

Sint-Andrieskerk (St. Andrew’s) unveils the painting The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew by Otto Van Veen and compares it to his modello. Children go in search of the mother and grandmother of Jesus, at the altar of Saint Anne.  The sessions are free and start at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

St. Charles Borromeo focuses on the paintings of the St. Francis Xavier altar. Slow Art Day sessions will be held at 2:15 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. This activity is included in the entrance ticket to the church.

Sint-Jacob goes for three works of art: a sculpture, a funerary monument of the Marquis de Velasco (Pieter I Scheemaekers), a painting, triptych The Last Judgement (Jan Sanders van Hemessen) and a stained-glass window, The Last Supper (Draeck – anonymous). The Slow Art sessions are free and start at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm. There will also be a unique viewing moment at 4 p.m., when the shutters of the triptych The Last Judgement will be closed for fifteen minutes, making the back exceptionally visible.

In St. Paul’s, the guides will bring visitors to the pulpit of the Antwerp sculptors De Boeck & Van Wint (see photo below). They became famous for their later Stations of the Cross, made the large church furniture in 1874 and decorated it with beautiful Bible scenes. Fascinating for young and old. The church (see second photo below taken during the 2024 Easter services) is open free of charge from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the guided sessions start every half hour (last at 4:30 p.m.).

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024 wherever you are in the world – and that you take inspiration from Armand Storck and his colleagues in Antwerp who are leading the efforts to expand our movement.

– Phyl

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!