by Drew Martin
If the museums you once knew as unhurried and contemplative spaces now feel overrun by shows for mass appeal and back-to-back events vying for social media attention, then I have a suggestion for how to slow down time and recapture the reflective mood from a bygone era.
When you go to a museum, bring along a drawing pad, some pencils and an eraser, and perhaps pens and markers. Find a work of art on which you would like to fixate, which is not in a high traffic area. Then tune out everyone around you as well as the other works and draw until your heart is content. Not only will this expand your time, but you will get to know the work much more intimately by having to interpret it on your two dimensional white page.
My daughter recently asked that we go to the American Museum of Natural History in New York so she could draw a skeleton of a small bird. While she was busy doing that (actually it was a snake skeleton), I went down to a corner of the South America exhibit and drew designs from the pre-Columbian/pre-Incan Chimu people of the Moche Valley, which is now in Peru. One of the designs, shown here with some added text, is pinned to my sons' bedroom wall and awaits their arrival from a month-long trip abroad.