Why We Should Go to Art Museums More Often

For most people, their earliest memories of going to museums involve school field trips, a potentially monotone tour guide, and a short attention span. Museums were often something we were forced to go to, and therefore have grown to form a less-than-fond connotation associated with them. As an energetic child with a fairly short attention span, this was true for me, too. It wasn’t until I came to college that I realized how great the experience of going to a museum can be. Getting down to the MFA while at school or checking out a museum when you travel is a beneficial experience, and I’m here to tell you why.

The William I. Koch Gallery at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Going to a museum is a unique experience that changes each time as exhibits move in and out. Each time you go, you get to immerse yourself in a new setting, and get the chance to look into the minds and hearts of artists. You can enter the world an artist wished to create, expanding your understanding, or misunderstanding, on a particular subject. People often feel they have to fully understand the work in order to enjoy it, which isn’t true. One of my favorite Henry David Thoreau quotes is, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Everyone’s experience will be different, and everyone will get something different out of it. Even if you don’t have the slightest idea of the artist’s message, that doesn’t mean your trip was a waste. Sometimes it’s beautiful to not fully understand; to just observe, wonder, contemplate, and appreciate something that an individual created is enough.

Stepping into the silence heightens the experience. No matter where you are, or how loud your surroundings, an art museum will maintain its quiet atmosphere. You are left with your thoughts, to contemplate the subjects surrounding you. You step out of our busy, media-filled, world for a moment. The building itself is also usually impressive architecturally, and something to admire. One of my favorite parts of going to new art museums it seeing the building itself. I especially enjoy this when going to museums in new places I am visiting. It allows me to learn about that country or city’s architectural preferences and developments.

The British Museum in London

I love getting the chance to spend time in a museum, and wish I did so more often. Here at Emmanuel, we are given extremely easy access to this experience. We are down the street from both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! We also get into these museums for FREE! Especially with the cold weather encroaching upon us, I encourage us all to keep a trip to a museum in mind as a way to spend an afternoon. The MFA also host events such as movie nights to heighten our experience of exploring culture and creativity. So take a break, head down the street, step into another world, and enjoy.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum