Visiting art museums is often recommended to expand your creative horizons and expose your brain to different ways of seeing the world. But like food that’s good for you, not everyone likes this creativity-boosting activity.
A few years ago, I went to Italy with a friend and we went to a lot (I mean, a lot) of museums. My friend didn’t have quite the exuberance for museums that I had, and I could see she was fading fast. So I came up with a game to play to help get us through our last Italian art museum, the Uffizi in Florence.
I’ve used this same activity with others I’ve since dragged to museums. And not only does it help us engage more with the art, we also use synthesizing skills – putting two things together that don’t normally belong to create something new. Did I mention, it’s also fun!
The activity is called “Whose Ancestor Is This?” As you approach a portrait (and there are oh-so-many), pose the question “Of people that you know today, whose ancestor is this?”. A variation on this activity is simply “who does this look like”, but I find that going with the ancestor version helps people switch genders more easily.
Here are some of the “Ancestors” we’ve come up with on various visits:
Before you go on your next museum visit, try this out: Whose ancestor is this?
(All photos accessible on Google Images)