You know that moment when you’ve already spent a couple of hours in a museum and the mental fatigue is starting to kick in? What do you do in such a moment? Do you just call it a day and go home? Risking that you’ll miss some absolute gems of art works? The most interesting pieces of the museum that all of your pretentious friends will be talking about next week at the wine-tasting of Betty and Arnold?

Of course you don’t go home in such a moment. You are suffering from FOMO. It is imperative that you check out each individual piece in the museum.

It is for those moments that Becky and I have developed a technique we’d like to call speedart. It’s totally in line with the highest standards of hyperconsumerism.

I hope you will enjoy this guide and that it will help you to speed up your culture metabolism.

Run through the museum

Time is not on your side. It never was. So run! Fast walking is permitted, but keep the pace high!

how to speed run a museum

Approach art intuitively

Close in on your target. Like a bee that’s attracted to a colourful flower. Don’t think, just approach the art piece that speaks to you the most. No need to check out each art piece in consecutive order. Disregard any of the curator’s intentions. Just run around like a child.

how to speed run a museum
Act like a bee that’s attracted a colourful flower. Or in less fortunate cases: a fly that is attracted to poop.

Take a picture

Did you find a cool piece of art? Then it’s time to whip out your iPhone and open your Notes app. Create a new note and give it an appropriate title. I like to follow that structure [exposition name @ location], something like ‘Exposition of Decaying Decadence @ Museum of Modern Misery’.

speed art
Photographic evidence that I actually use the speed-art technique myself

Now that you’ve done that, you can go ahead and open the camera from within your Notes-app.

Take a quick-pic (that does sound a bit like dick-pic, doesn’t it?)

This will ensure that the image you take will immediately be inserted into your note.

how to speed run a museum
Take a quick-pic

Scan the plaque

Within the Notes app, there is also an option to scan text and insert it into your Note. Go ahead and aim your camera at the plaque on the wall next to the art work. There is no need to read it and interpret it at the spot. You can do all of that later in the train on your journey home.

Optionally you can jot down your first impression of the art work. But please keep it devoid of any critical analysis. Just some quick & dirty comments like ‘nice colours’, or ‘the texture gives me the creeps’.

how to speed run a museum
Use the ‘scan text’ feature in Apple Notes to insert the art description


And that’s pretty much it. Now you are equipped to consume carefully curated art experiences like your favourite fast-food dinner. At the end of your museum-speed-run you’ll have a text-document filled with images, descriptions and your first impressions. And just like with fast-food, you’ll be able to shit out most of this content very quickly again. E.g. at that wine-tasting of Betty and Arnold next week.


speed art