Greater Boston Museum Educators’ Roundtable, January 2007

“Boston-Area Museum Educators ‘Step Into Art’ with Abby Rischin at the MFA”

In a morning workshop dedicated to thinking about diverse learning styles and ways of engaging visitors with works of art, Abby Rischin from Step Into Art shared powerful teaching strategies with us. By asking us to literally “step into” paintings by acting out the gestures we saw, sounds we thought we heard, and emotions we sensed, each participant was able to begin to build a personal connection with the works of art. We connected with narrative paintings, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits in dynamic ways. As a museum educator, I dedicate my career to helping visitors of all ages actively engage with works of art in order to develop meaningful connections. The techniques employed by Step Into Art allow students to do just that. They use close looking, discussion, movement, art-making and imagination to better understand great works of art.

Jennifer M. DePrizio
Director of Visitor Learning, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Committee Member, Greater Boston Museum Educators’ Roundtable