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At the Museum

Questions to Ask Yourself While Viewing the Art

Looking Inside the Frame

  • What do you see? What imagery or symbols do you recognize? What does the imagery remind you of?
  • What colors, tones, or textures are included? What do these colors, tones, or textures remind you of or suggest?
  • What is the work made out of? Where else have you seen these materials used?
  • If there are figures, who might they be? What are they doing and why?
  • What places or locations are suggested or depicted in the work?
  • How big or small is the work? Why do you think the artist created the work at this scale?
  • What smells or sounds would you associate with this work?

Throughout the process of discussing the work, ask students to make educated guesses and to describe why they have certain ideas or opinions: to articulate what visual evidence supports their thinking.Encourage students to draw connections to personal experience, opinions, and prior knowledge and to ask questions of their own. After exhausting what can be seen and understood from looking directly at the work, you might ask students to speculate about what additional information can be understood by considering related contextual questions

Looking Outside the Frame

  • How do you think the work was created or constructed? By whom? Do you think the artist worked alone or there were others involved in the conception and construction of the work/Why/ Who?
  • Is collaboration an important element of the work? Is audience participation important?
  • Where this work might be exhibited? How does where it would be exhibited affect who might see it and what they might think about it?
  • What would it be like to stumble upon this work while going about your daily routines?How would seeing the work in a public space be different from seeing it in a museum or gallery?
  • What would it be like to walk around the work and experience it from different angles?
  • What would you see, smell, hear, and feel if you were in front of this work, or maybe behind it?
  • How do you think the work would look from closer up, from further away?

Encourage students to pose their own questions. Suggest ways to research and add outside knowledge or expertise to the discussion that might further inform or direct their thinking.

Helpful worksheets


Describe what you see – worksheet

Analyze the structure – worksheet

Analyze the cultural content -worksheet


Museum Hours

The museum galleries are OPEN: Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., CLOSED: Sunday – Monday and University holidays. We are also CLOSED SPRING BREAK from 3/13-3/18. reopening Tuesday 3/21. Check back for closure details for WSU SUMMER, THANKSGIVING, and WINTER Breaks.


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Hours of Operation

Office hours are: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach us by phone and email at

Physical Address

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU
1535 NE Wilson Road
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164

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