Mindful Eye, Playful Eye: 101 Amazing Museum Activities for Discovery, Connection, and Insight (Paperback)

Mindful Eye, Playful Eye: 101 Amazing Museum Activities for Discovery, Connection, and Insight By Frank Feltens, Michael Garbutt, Nico Roenpagel Cover Image

Mindful Eye, Playful Eye: 101 Amazing Museum Activities for Discovery, Connection, and Insight (Paperback)


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Experience art and design as you've never experienced them before with 101 imaginative, mindfulness-based practices that will engage your senses, open your mind, and transform your next museum visit

Switch off your phone, take a deep breath, and prepare for adventure. Mindful Eye, Playful Eye invites readers on a thoughtful journey through museums, with 101 practices designed to nurture the development of attention, creativity, and compassion. This book encourages a playful and reflective approach to the museum experience of viewing art, sculptures, fossils, jewelry, aircraft, and more, including suggestions to:

  • Imagine an object features prominently in a film or novel. What role does it play in a love story, thriller, and sci-fi?
  • Pose to mirror a piece and consider the sensations that arise.
  • Encounter as many objects as you can while holding your breath.
  • Switch between scientific and empathic modes of viewing an object.

Activities include instructions for both individual and partnered exploration. Whether frequenting a favorite museum or exploring an unfamiliar one, this book will enrich solo trips and add a unique element of connection to romantic or friend dates. Practices are divided into 5 categories:

  • Body: explores how your body responds to museum objects.
  • Vision: challenges established visual habits and encourages experimentation.
  • Mind: focuses on thoughts and feelings that animate your inner world.
  • Imagination: encourages you to imagine new ways of being.
  • Action: transforms you into an art maker and performance artist.

The practices can be performed in any museum in the world. Mindful Eye, Playful Eye empowers museumgoers to encounter museum collections, themselves, and each other with heightened awareness, centeredness, and a sense of unabashed joy.
MICHAEL GARBUTT is a senior lecturer in the School of Art & Design at UNSW Sydney where he teaches spatial experience design and researches the embodied visual behaviors of art museum visitors. NICO ROENPAGEL is a meditation teacher and expert on mindful leadership whose research highlighted the role of spirituality in art museum education. FRANK FELTENS is curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and author of Hokusai's Brush.
Product Details ISBN: 9781588347626
ISBN-10: 1588347621
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 160
Language: English

"'Museum' often elicits the image of a quiet, stately place where one browses exhibitions, but this book encourages readers to create their own unique museum experiences, through 101 activities that employ mindfulness and/or play [and] emphasize that play, a powerful means of inquiry and discovery, can expand into adulthood. [...] This imaginative book of engaging, fresh ideas for museum experiences encourages finding wonder everywhere. Museum and art lovers will enjoy."