Do you feel intimidated in art museums? Does art appreciation seem like a foreign language to you? Do you want to view visual arts more intelligently?

The visual arts are fascinating links to the past, refreshing sources of beauty, and ways of seeing the world through other people's eyes. However, art appreciation and art museums can often seem confusing and intimidating.

You may believe that you can't understand or appreciate art without formal training. You may get hung up on the bewildering array of movements and styles. You may not know where to start when trying to interpret art you see. Or perhaps you've studied art history before but were turned off by jargon, ponderous prose, and overly-complex arguments. However, it doesn't have to be this way. At The Art Museum Insider, I don't believe that you need an art history degree to have a meaningful experience at a museum or gallery.

How am I different?

If you're looking to learn about art and art history outside a formal classroom setting, you have more options than ever before. Therefore, it's only natural that you might wonder why you should choose The Art Museum Insider over any of the other art websites out there, especially the free ones. The answer is in my approach. Every single one of my courses and guides is designed to empower my students to understand and analyze art on their own and feel confident in their own assessments, even when they disagree with others' opinions.

The majority of online art history resources teach you facts - the story of this artist, a popular interpretation of that painting, the key features of a particular style. While these facts are definitely helpful to know, they aren't enough on their own, because it's impossible to accumulate all the relevant facts you might need for every kind of artwork you could possibly encounter. Therefore, relying purely on learning facts means that you are at a disadvantage when faced with an artwork you haven't previously studied, because you don't have any of the skills necessary to make sense of it on your own. It also means that you may struggle to have meaningful experiences with art because you get distracted trying to remember all your facts and ignore your own opinions because you feel that your textbooks have told you the only acceptable way to interpret each work. In short, you don't learn to interpret on your own and need to be constantly guided.

All of that is why The Art Museum Insider educational materials don't just focus on facts; they teach you important skills in analyzing and interpreting artworks. These skills factor heavily into college art history courses, even at the introductory level, but are typically missing from adult education programs. While they certainly work better then more knowledge you have at your disposal, these skills are much more easily transferrable than facts - they apply more or less the same from one style or period or art to another. Many can even help you outside the art museum in your everyday life. These skills can help you form individual interpretations and conclusions that you can confidently support and explain to others, trust in your own meaningful art-viewing experiences, and even help you find insights into artworks you've never seen before.

"I’ve followed [Alexandra Kiely's] blog for years now, and I can tell you, she knows what she’s talking about." - Longtime reader Belinda O.


I'm Alexandra Kiely, an art historian based in the United States. I love art and wholeheartedly believe in its ability to enrich every person's life.

Click here to get acquainted.

Art Appreciation Activities for All Ages

Click below to receive a handout with over a dozen fun art appreciation activities for all ages. These games and challenges will help you connect with artworks and practice key art appreciation skills in the process.