University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

School of Fine ArtsThe William Benton Museum of Art

FYE Instructors

Critical Looking at The Benton

Critical looking is a framework for learning that is inquiry-driven and discussion-based.

Looking at art is about more than recognizing a canon of artists and styles. In fact, analyzing a work of art builds many of the same skills associated with critical thinking. Critical looking involves careful observation, detailed description, thorough analysis, interpretation, and reflection. It sharpens perception while at the same time refining the use of language, as students translate the sensory experience of a work of art into words. Critical looking asks students to understand what they are seeing, and to ask themselves why they see it the way they do.

This interactive workshop gives students an opportunity to hone their critical looking skills through direct engagement with original works of art. First students will explore a work of art in the gallery by analyzing their experience of it. Facilitated discussion will deepen understanding by allowing for comparisons across students’ observations and pose provocative questions that delve further into the art work’s meaning. We will focus on developing a toolkit for critical inquiry with the potential for broad application beyond the museum.

The workshop takes place in the Benton galleries and lasts approximately 50 minutes. Use the request form to schedule a workshop. Contact Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison at amanda.douberley@uconn.edu or call 860-486-1705 for more information.