Despite the recent proliferation of art galleries, auction houses, and art fairs around the globe, New York remains a key capital of the art world. One of its greatest assets is its museums, which together house an almost unparalleled embarrassment of riches. These museums draw millions of international visitors each year; happily, many of us don't have to travel quite so far to take in a special exhibition or revisit a permanent collection. Yet museum-going can be daunting, whether or not you consider yourself an art lover: the sheer volume of objects on display can be overwhelming (not to mention the volume of the crowds, or the volume of the noise!). Even when we’re brave enough to jump in, it's easy to get fatigued—if we're really looking, a single room of art can last us all day, and many of us try to manage much more than that in just a few hours.
In order to help you make the most of your museum-going time, this talk suggests not just what you should be looking at, but how you should be looking at it. We will use as examples four of the most important, stunning, moving, and innovative paintings in New York—the ones that are worth your time, every time. It is designed for both the newly curious and those of you who have made museum-going part of your regular routine. If you're new to looking at art, it will help you find your bearings as you begin to explore the greatest of our city's permanent collections. If you're already familiar with these collections, it will help you see old favorites with fresh eyes, as we spend the morning learning what makes these masterpieces so marvelous.