Boston Athenaeum Hosts First Slow Art Day

For their first Slow Art Day, Boston Athenaeum in Massachusetts invited participants to join one of four 30-minute slow looking and discussion sessions. (Note: As well as being a museum and cultural center, the Athenaeum is also one of America’s oldest member supported libraries.)

Slow Art Day participants being led in discussion by a docent. Photo by Fritz Holznagel.

The slow looking sessions were led by volunteer docents as well as the children’s librarian. The docents selected the works of art for slow looking, including works by Bradley Phillips, Allan Rohan Crite, and Polly (Ethel) Thayer.

The Empire City, 1987. Bradley Phillips (American, 1929–1991).

Marble Players, 1938. Allan Rohan Crite (American, 1910–2007).

Self Portrait, 1943. Polly (Ethel) Thayer (1904–2006).
Donald Starr, 1935. Polly (Ethel) Thayer (1904–2006).

Visitors to the Athenaeum who didn’t participate in the scheduled slow looking sessions were offered a slow looking hand-out (attached below), and were invited to select a piece of art for their own slow looking. They also received a blank piece of paper, clipboard and pencil to help them sketch and/or list what they were noticing.

We are so glad to welcome the Boston Athenaeum to the global slow looking movement and are eager to see what design they come up with for Slow Art Day 2025.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl.

PS. You can find details of other events at the Boston Athenaeum via their Instagram or Facebook page.

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).