This program is based on the methodology developed by Amelia Arenas (*) and others in the education department of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. To date, the total participation has included 130 schools and more than 10,000 children.
(*) Amelia Arenas is an art historian from Venezuela who lives in New York. While publishing books on viewing education, Arenas leads lectures, gallery talks and one-on-one viewing education programs at museums and schools in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Spain and Japan. Her leading methods do not require prior knowledge of art.
The purpose of this program is not to teach facts of art history such as the names of artists or meanings of artworks. It is to encourage students to see artwork carefully and let them talk about their own ideas and opinions. Furthermore, students realize that "art is something that can be viewed freely and enjoyed without a dependence on one’s knowledge." The role of a teacher is to create an atmosphere for students where they can talk openly while navigating their statements. Participation in this process is possible for teachers who teach other subjects besides art. The program has the potential to create multilateral studying effects.
To know the joy of art viewing from an early age is an asset to enrich one’ life, but the purpose of this program is not limited to this. According to research done in the United States, conversational viewing education is one of the techniques to cultivate a child’s power of observation, imagination, attentiveness, expression in language, communication ability and abstract and philosophical thinking. It also has a beneficial influence on subjects other than art.
Our staff will introduce the program to a teacher and gives a tour of the galleries beforehand.
Our museum staff will bring slide images of artworks (or image data) to the school for use in the classroom and to encourage comments from students. It is important to create an atmosphere of enjoyable conversation in preparation for actual viewing at the museum.
Bring a class to the museum and encourage conversations as students see the artworks carefully in person. The teacher stays as a moderator and summarizes the opinions of the students at the end.
Let the participating students continue to exchange their ideas, share their thoughts and congeal the memory of the session.