Touching the Art: A Guide to Enjoying Art at a Museum

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Has it ever occurred to you that you might not be making the most of your museum visits? Oftentimes, visitors find themselves aimlessly shuffling from one wing to the next, staring at numerous works, reading the attached informational plaques, then moving on. You’re seeing the art but not experiencing it. You might as well be staring a postcard of the work for all the good this visit is doing you.

Thankfully, Luc Travers has a solution to your quandary in Touching the Art, his guidebook for igniting (or re-igniting) your interest in our artistic treasures. His handbook hopes to marry a critical eye and observational skills with a resurgent passion for interacting with great art, and his enthusiasm for the subject is obvious.

Some of the exercises are quite similar to those from a composition course I took in college, and I found them just as effective here. Travers encourages the reader to not just look at the art, but to study it, to put oneself in the place of the artist or the characters, and to really delve into the purpose of the piece. What was it about this particular scene, this person, this location, that the artist deemed so necessary to express?

Travers’ advice is well supported by the high-quality reproductions of example works in the book — the photo paper offers wonderful depth and liveliness of color — which allow the reader to practice the author’s techniques and suggestions as they read.

Touching the Art is a testament to how important our artistic past is, and how we can better share in its gifts. What a marvelous read.

(Note: The author is not responsible for any art actually touched during the exploration of your burgeoning sense of artistic appreciation. So don’t try to blame it on him.)

Also available as an e-book at for $14.99.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 69 pages
Publisher Touching The Art
Publish Date
ISBN 9780615401911 Buy this Book
Issue December 2011
Category Architecture & Photography


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