FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Imagine walking the halls of your favorite art museum with an artist at your side, explaining what they were thinking at the time they created a specific piece of art. You can hear the artist telling you what he was experiencing as each brush stroke came into contact with the canvas.
Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum is offering the experience to walk the gallery with 100-year-old artist Will Barnet as part of their new exhibit devoted to him, Will Barnet: Relationships Intimate & Abstract, 1935-1965.
The museum’s assistant curator of paintings and sculpture, Shirley Reece-Hughes, interviewed Barnet last December about his life and work.
Barnet lives and keeps an active studio in New York, and was able to give the audio tour of the exhibition himself, talking about his work from the early days as a printmaker during the Great Depression, and about the evolution of his artwork from realism to abstraction in the middle of the 20th century.
The museum says the tour isn’t just about learning about the art, but to experience the artist’s interpretation.
“We really wanted visitors to look at a piece of art and hear the artist’s thoughts on the work.” says the museum’s director of education, Stacy Fuller.
The exhibit is centered around Barnet’s self-portrait, part of the Amon Carter’s permanent collection. As an abstract piece, many visitors ask the museum to explain the painting. Barnet does just that as one of the stops on his audio tour.
Listen to Barnet’s explanation of his Self Portrait:
The audio tour is done on Apple iPod Touch devices that are checked out by the museum. They decided upon how to best disseminate the information from Barnet by asking visitors what kind of experience they would want.
“We tried to think about what would be the most accessible means for our audience,” says Reece-Hughes, explaining that with previous audio tours, the museum had asked visitors what they liked and didn’t like about the audio. “The nice thing about the tour is, anyone can choose what stop to listen to,” she adds, mentioning that guests can hop from one painting to another without having to listen to the stops in order.
“It’s like the artist walking along with you in the gallery.” says Fuller.
The 20-Minute audio tour can be checked out from the guest services desk at the museum’s entrance. The museum asks for one piece of identification (a driver’s license or a credit card) to hold on to as guests tour the museum.
The audio from the tour is also available online, and can be downloaded to any phone or audio device to bring into the museum for the tour.
Will Barnet: Relationships Intimate & Abstract runs through December 31 at the Amon Carter museum.
Amon Carter Museum
3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107