I’m the kind of person that enjoys creating art more than viewing it in a museum.  So when I heard that we were going to the Museu Nacional D’Arte de Catalunya (MNAC), an art museum, I wasn’t too thrilled. I assumed we would just walk around, look at art pieces, and discuss the history of the art.  Boy was I wrong!  We were actively describing, analyzing, and interpreting the artworks.  We started with a memory activity involving the artworks Retaule del Corpus Christi and Frontal del Corpus Christi to see how much attention to detail we had.  I found myself recalling smaller details that stood out such as colors and repetition.  I realized I need improvement on bringing details together to form better interpretations or “the big picture.”

Retaule del Corpus Christi at MNAC. By Mestre de Vallbona de les Monges.

Frontal del Corpus Christi at MNAC. By Mestre de Vallbona de les Monges.




We then challenged our visual thinking strategies with the artwork Adoració dels pastors.  We first focused on facts such as what figures and objects we saw.  We had to refrain from anything subjective, which I caught myself often doing.  We then shifted to our interpretations of what we were looking at.  Why did I point out what I saw?  What did I think it meant?  I was able to hear what others thought and their different views allowed me see things I didn’t pick up on, furthering my outlook on the artwork.

Practicing visual thinking strategies with Adoracio dels pastors at MNAC. Artwork by Anonim. Arago.

Finally we worked on presenting artwork from our perspective.  I had to present a piece with the assumption that I was an expert on it.  As Dr. Expert, I chose to describe an artwork by Josep Maria de Sucre.  I found myself struggling to make a believable presentation with a piece I essentially knew nothing about.  This taught us that when we eventually present our real projects we need to know what they are all about.  Taking these steps to analyze artwork instead of just looking and reading an information card about it really made me more interested in what I was viewing.  I was able to take in as much visual information as I could and actually get a feeling from it.

Various artworks that we presented as “experts.” I chose the portrait by Josep Maria de Sucre (right).