How to Enjoy Art Without a Formal Degree In It
A museum curator is a person whose duties include assembling, managing and presenting collections and pieces of art.
During over 100 years of history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the museum had hundreds of curators will all kinds of advanced degrees and profound knowledge about many fields of arts, including ancient Egypt, Prints, and Armor. However, the most accomplished and famous curator of the museum had no art degree. His expertise in art was self-taught. For a large part of his life, he worked as a stock broker. His name was William Ivins.
This example proves that to become a connoisseur of art you do not need a decade of formal education in it. Ivins became an expert because he was passionate about art, he had a talent for art and he knew that he’d never be able to appreciate art if he didn’t immerse himself in it.
This is why he was studying and cataloging tens of thousands of prints of all types. Ivins became an expert by choosing to become an expert, by opening his eyes and looking at art enough so that he was able to spot all subtle gradations.
You can do the same by examining works of masters. If you study prints of Rembrandt van Rijn or drawings of Peter Paul Rubens, you’ll be able to tell very easily which ones are real and which could be fake. Sure, there are hundreds of paintings of Rubens and thousands of prints of Rijn, but it is possible to saturate one in them. If you study all the works of Monet, be it in Paris, Los Angeles, or get an access to a private collection, you’ll become an expert on the subject.
You don’t have to travel great distances to become an expert. You can start with a local museum. The principle is the same: immersion, saturation, and practice.