Slow Looking Challenge

Slow Down. See More.

Slow Looking Challenge

If you have visited a museum, do you remember how much time you spent looking at an artwork? If you haven’t yet visited a museum, imagine how long you would spend looking at one work.

Some people look at many works of art while other people look at only one or two during their museum visit. Watching many museum visitors at a lot of different museums, researchers found on average a person spends less than 27 seconds looking at an object.

Follow the steps below to take our Slow Looking Challenge. How much will you see with a quick glance versus a longer look when you explore St. Jerome in His Study, by Albrecht Dürer. You may be surprised how many new things stand out to you with each step.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper (something to write on)
  • Pencil (something to write with)
  • Timer (or someone to count seconds: one, one thousand, two, one thousand, etc.)

Explore our Collection

First Look: 3 Seconds

Second Look: 10 Seconds

Third Look: 30 – 60 seconds


  • How many more things did you notice this time looking at the image?
  • Are there similar shapes or lines throughout the image?
  • Does anything repeat or do you see any patterns?
  • What is the biggest thing and what is the smallest thing?
  • What did you not notice in your first two looks?


Saint Jerome is best known for translating the Hebrew Bible into Latin. This took a long time and required patience. In this print, he works at a slanted writing desk on a table. Sunlight shines through the windows creating circular patterns. There are two companion animals on the floor: a lion is a symbol of Saint Jerome and the snoozing dog symbolizes loyalty. Did you notice his books, pillows, and shoes? What else did you notice?

Continue to improve your Slow Looking technique.  Put your new skills to the test.  Explore our collection, then focus on an interesting, new or favorite piece.


Slow Looking sample image: Albrecht Dürer, German, 1471 – 1528, Saint Jerome in His Study, Engraving, 1514.


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