Close Looking

What can the pedagogy of “close looking” offer to classes both inside and outside of the humanities? Join the TLC to explore visual pedagogy and visual thinking strategies in a workshop on how CUNY instructors can use close looking across the disciplines. Though close looking strategies originated in the visual arts, they can help all students connect more deeply to course materials and develop key skills in critical thinking, analysis, and reflection.

In this workshop, we will introduce two types of close looking activities. We will review how close looking can work in different disciplines, both within the classroom and across NYC as our shared campus. In the second hour, we will generate ideas and workshop assignments using a template that helps participants design close looking exercises that fit within their curriculum.

This workshop was offered as an in-person workshop at the Frick Museum (Spring 2017) and the Graduate Center, CUNY (Spring 2018). The outreach copy for the 2018 workshop is above.

The workshop and materials were developed by Elizabeth Decker and Kaitlin Mondello. The Spring 2017 workshop at the Frick was moderated by Elizabeth Decker in Collaboration with Caitlin Henningsen and Rika Burnham (Frick Collection).

Outreach: Spring 2017 (@ Frick Museum)

The pedagogy of close looking has far reaching applications in the university classroom. Whether you consider yourself an expert or a novice in close looking activities, practicing your own close looking skills can reinvigorate and inspire new possibilities for close looking in our classrooms.

On February 22nd at 6:30pm, join the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center and The Frick Collection for a special workshop on the pedagogy of close looking in the Frick’s galleries. Rika Burnham, Head of Education at the Frick, will lead us in a close looking exercise, followed by a discussion of the multidisciplinary possibilities of close looking pedagogy.

Please join us for this special evening at one of New York’s most treasured cultural institutions.


All materials on this page and in the linked google folder are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International Public License.

This folder contains outreach materials, workshop plans and slides.

Materials Folder: Close Looking

Workshop Plan: Spring 2018

I. Introductions and Two Styles of Close Looking (40 mins): (Kaitlin and Elizabeth)

II. Overview of pedagogy and debrief (20 minutes) (Kaitlin)

III. Independent workshop time (30 mins) (Elizabeth)

  • Review and distribute template (Kaitlin, Elizabeth, Sarah (if able to attend) circulate to assist)

IV. Discussion and report back  (30 mins of remainder) (Kaitlin)

  • 10 minutes with peer
  • 10 minutes group report
  • 10 minutes final questions and evaluation
  • Reminder to fill out evaluation form and will send out resources