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Getting the Most Out of a Visit to a Museum

Nothing gets me more excited than visiting art museums and over the years I’ve learned that there are some things to do to prepare for a full day at the museum. I use museums to gather inspiration not just for jewelry, but to learn more about culture and art history. To feel that magical feeling of inspiration with every visit, I have a few things that I always bring with me and prep so that the experience is as fulfilling as possible.

Visit the Museum’s Website Beforehand

Most museums are fantastic resources of information. Many have blogs with interesting articles about the pieces in their museum, they share maps of their museum, and they also have an online catalog that explains the history behind each piece. Look at their most famous pieces and learn why they’re so famous. This usually leads me to Google searches where I can get an outside-the-museum perspective as well. There is nothing like walking into a museum, knowing where you want to go and having knowledge of the pieces you’re looking at. I also use the online maps to decide what I truly want to see. This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed but allows me to really enjoy the subjects that pique my interest the most.

Dress Comfortably

Your favorite pair of shoes (flats or sneakers), clothing that makes you feel good, a cross-body bag, and a hairstyle that doesn’t distract, are the recipe to being able to be in a museum all day. I like to wear clothing that makes me feel happy but not worry about whether I can handle being on my feet all day. I don’t want to think about what I’m wearing, I want to see and enjoy the art.

What to Have in Your Handbag

I love to carry with me a hard-shelled notebook (floppy will make it impossible to take notes while standing), a fountain pen, a mechanical pencil, my good camera, my phone, a hand-fan and a shawl. The camera is so that I can focus in on the details of a painting or sculpture, have a nice sharp image and to add it to my archive of inspiration. I use my phone to take a broader photo of the piece, or to capture a sign to remember to do a little research later. It’s so helpful to be able to record the title of the work, the author, and any other info. A hand-fan and shawl may seem contradictory but I’ve always found that museums either have no air conditioning, or are super frigid cold. These two things are compact enough to put in your purse and to be ready for either.

Do you have any tips to share? What are some things you bring with you to a museum? Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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