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Museum "Bans" Cameras and Encourages Visitors to Experience the Artwork by Drawing It

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam wants visitors to enjoy its collection of artwork the way it was appreciated in a pre-cellphone era, by leaving their devices and cameras at home. Through their #Startdrawing initiative, they've “banned” technology, encouraging people to bring their sketchbooks and draw the beautiful paintings, prints, and sculptures in front of them–as opposed to quickly recording it all on their phones.

“In today's world of mobile phones and media a visit to a museum is often a passive and superficial experience,” Rijksmuseum explained on their website. “Visitors are easily distracted and do not truly experience beauty, magic and wonder. This is why the Rijksmuseum wants to help visitors discover and appreciate the beauty of art and history through drawing, so #Startdrawing!”

When sketching, you're forced to study every element of an artwork, and you'll notice small things you'd miss by just snapping a photo. This practice also allows you to meditate on the meaning of the piece and come away with a greater understanding of it.

Anyone can take part in #Startdrawing, and people of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Every Saturday is a drawing day in the Rijksmuseum, and they give visitors a sketchbook and pencils to complete fun drawing assignments throughout the building.

Rijksmuseum: Website
via [Bored Panda]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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