Investigating Assumptions About the Relationship Between Viewing Duration and Better Art Appreciations

Lachapelle, Richard; Douesnard, Manon; Keenlyside, Emily
April 2009
Studies in Art Education;Spring2009, Vol. 50 Issue 3, p245
Academic Journal
This study investigates the widely accepted notion that spending more time looking at works of art results in better art appreciations. To this end, we examined the verbal responses of 34 non-expert viewers to works of public contemporary art. We structured and conducted the study in such a way as to compare, for each informant, examples of free, self-guided viewing experiences against instances of semi-structured viewing experiences with researcher imposed minimum durations. In this way, we hoped to determine the impact of longer viewing periods on the informants' art appreciation performance by examining changes in cognitive dispositions and in production of interpretive hypotheses about the works of art. According to these two indicators, extended viewing periods were found to have a significant and positive effect on the art appreciation performances of the majority of the non-expert participants in this study. These findings support the notion that there is a relationship between viewing duration and better art appreciations.


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