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.