The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam would prefer that visitors don’t take photos of its artworks. Apart from the distraction of hundreds of clicking phones and cameras, the museum is concerned that experience of being in an art gallery in the modern age is superficial and passive. “Visitors are easily distracted and do not truly experience beauty, magic and wonder,” the museum’s website announces. The gallery has come up with an ingenious, engaging and quiet solution. Don’t take a photo; draw a picture instead.
“The Rijksmuseum wants to help visitors discover and appreciate the beauty of art and history through drawing.” Visitors are handed sketchpads and pencils, and you don’t even need to be good at drawing. “You don’t even have to be able to draw because this is not about the final result, but rather about looking at what you want to draw. When you do this, you begin to see things you never noticed before. You see proportions, details, lines… you get closer to the artist’s secret.” As with any decent campaign, it has its own hashtag: #startdrawing.