Slow Art Day at the Rubin Museum in New York

Going to the museum and giving yourself up to the pleasure of art.

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Slow Art Day at the Rubin Museum in New York Going to the museum and giving yourself up to the pleasure of art. Along the same lines as Slow Food, the idea of slowing down and taking your time to really savour art is also here with Slow Art Day on 9 April. New York's Rubin Museum is just one of the many museums taking part in the initiative.

Close up tour – Credit: Evi Abeler

The Rubin Museum of Art is more than just a museum, it's a buzzing cultural hub in the neighbourhood of Chelsea. A small, intimate museum - mainly showcasing Tibetan Buddhist art - that we really enjoyed during our recent visit to NYC, particularly because it inspires visitors to make connections between contemporary life and the art and ideas of the Himalayas, India, and neighbouring regions.

Rubin Museum staircase Credit: Peter Aaron Esto

Wheel of Life Credit: David De Armas

The museum is participating in “Slow Art Day” on 9 April. In keeping with the recent trend to take back our time and our pace - already happening in many eateries thanks to the Slow Food movement - Slow Art Day, which began in 2010 invites visitors to take their time not to just look at art but to see it, to contemplate it. At the Rubin Museum, like in the other participating art institutions, five artworks have been selected, and visitors are given 10 minutes to study each one. After that, they have the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Credit: Rubin Museum of Art

Yoga in galleries – Credit: Michael Palma

In the words of Dominique Townsend, Assistant Director of Interpretation & Engagement at the Rubin Museum: “At the Rubin Museum, our goal is to facilitate ways for visitors to have a meaningful or transformational experience with art. In our busy lives we are often so conditioned to try to take everything in at once, and Slow Art Day sets up a structure that allows people to really sit with an individual piece of art, dive in, and see what happens.
Slow Art Day also dovetails nicely with the Rubin Museum’s collection, which is primarily comprised of Tibetan Buddhist art – art that has a specific association with meditation and ritual practice. In some ways, every day is Slow Art Day at the Rubin, because all year round we offer a peaceful, contemplative environment that encourages people to turn inward and have a personal experience with the art. In this sense, Slow Art Day really fits into our ethos and brings attention to this type of viewing experience.”

Tour – Credit Michael Seto

In short, as Henry David Thoreau said: “It's not what you look that matters, it's what you see”.
So where will you be going to contemplate art at leisure? 

Christiane Bürklein

Slow Art Day, 
09 April 2016
The Rubin Museum of Art, New York, http://rubinmuseum.org/
Images: courtesy of The Rubin Museum of Art, New York - see captions
Find out more about Slow Art Day: http://www.slowartday.com/


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