Are you really engaged with the artwork when you walk into an art museum? Or are you too busy thinking about what you know about the art and artist? Perhaps you’ve even noticed other people reciting facts and background on a piece of art to whomever they’ve brought along. When I was younger, I was that person. I’d be all about the artist’s life, the colors and brush strokes used, the behind-the-scenes story I knew, and on and on.

We art teachers know a lot of stuff. We’ve taken art history classes and engage students in all sorts of ways. So when we go into a museum, we can fall into this way of engaging quite easily and automatically. In this episode, I talk about one of the most meaningful things for me when it comes to works of art, the emotional connection, and how knowing too much history can get in the way of it.

This episode was part of the Art Class Curator before we rebranded to Art and Self.

3:15​ -Why I decided to study art education instead of art history

8:39 – An excerpt from my essay about a Picasso painting that knocked me off my feet

11:03 – The magic that happened when I looked at that Picasso art again 10 years later

15:25 – The lesson I learned from a squirrel that held my curiosity for an hour

19:22 – Choosing which way you want to engage with artwork

This episode was published before we moved the full show notes over to Transcript and full show notes are available at