Welcome to Looking Closer! Art holds endless possibilities for interpretation, and this resource is designed to introduce a new way to explore and appreciate artworks from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s permanent collection. The goal of this project is to challenge convention and encourage a diverse and enriched understanding of art through an interactive platform that moves beyond conventional curatorial labels.

In many museums, curatorial labels guide viewers towards a singular avenue of interpretation. Often, the voice of a select few individuals or museum authority dominates, leaving little room for individual imagination and creative thinking. This approach can inadvertently limit the richness and multitudes of perspectives that art can inspire.

Looking Closer aims to break free from these constraints and empower you, the viewer , to uncover the multitude of ways to enjoy and find meaning in art. Instead of traditional labels, a captivating array of artworks from the Museum’s diverse collection is displayed through the page “Artwork Gallery.” Each piece will be identified solely by its accession number, leaving a blank canvas for exploration.

To guide your exploration, there are a series of thought-provoking questions accompanying each artwork. These questions are designed to spark your imagination and evoke hidden emotions. By engaging with these guiding questions, you will be invited to embrace your unique perspective and connect with the art in a profoundly personal way.

But don’t just keep your thoughts to yourself! We encourage you to join in the conversation and share your responses. Each artwork’s page features a comment box, where you can contribute your insights, reactions, and interpretations.

While we emphasize the power of individual creativity, we also recognize the importance of context and historical information. If you ever feel curious and seek a deeper understanding of a particular artwork, the basic tombstone information will be provided. By accessing a collapsible link on each artwork’s page, you can unveil the curatorial chat labels.

As you immerse yourself in this unique art experience, we invite you to relish the freedom of thought, the delight of diversity, and the joy of discovering art on your terms. Looking Closer is not only about viewing art but about experiencing art in a way that resonates with you.

Finally, at the end of your exploration, we encourage you to share your feedback. Your thoughts and impressions are invaluable in shaping this evolving project, ensuring that Looking Closer can continue to grow and enrich the artistic journey for all visitors.