Art Appreciation: Where to Start

You don’t need to make art or study it to appreciate it. Art appreciation is not a specialized skill set and can be done by anyone. To me, there’s no set rules – not expectations, and certainly no one way to start.

If you’ve been thinking about expanding your interests or simply learning more about art, then this post is for you.

Do you want to learn how to start appreciating art? Or even just learn more about art history? Then read this new blog post from The Petite Bijou


Why Art Appreciation?

Art is one of the ways the human species has expressed their emotions and their agency since the beginning of time – even before spoken language. Humans have always used art as a way to remember and share their circumstances and environment.

So why art appreciation?

It’s just one of the many hobbies and intellectually stimulating things you can do in your free time. I often encourage those who don’t know what hobbies or interests to pick up, to consider art history. Here’s why:

  • There’s many art techniques, time periods, and concepts to choose from or focus on
  • Many art appreciation or art history resources to learn from
  • Dedicated art appreciation clubs and organizations to join
  • Major cities have art centers and museums to visit

Art appreciation and art history is easy to start with and if you have any interest in art or art history at all, then it’s a great hobby to take up.

How to Start Appreciating Art

So remember how I said there’s no perfect way to start? Well, that is true. But there are certain steps you can take to start your art appreciation journey. I recommend picking one of the following categories and starting your art appreciation journey by picking one:

  • Art Style
  • Time Period
  • Artist
  • Geography

By sticking to these four categories, you can narrow down a focus to start with. Personally, my art appreciation journey started with random art history classes to finish up those credit hours in college! Art history combined my love for history with my new interest in art. Starting with time periods helped me.

But maybe starting with exploring one artist may work for you. Perhaps you’d like to start with a certain art style instead. Maybe impressionism or modern art?

Lean into what naturally interests you.

People viewing art at an art museum - post about art appreciation The Petite Bijou

Ways to Appreciate Art

So now you’ve picked a category to focus on. Here’s some ways to start your art appreciation journey within these categories:

  • Visit an art museum and take a guided tour – either group, private, or audio
  • Go to the library and borrow books related to the category of your choice
  • Watch art shows like Art Detectives (my favorite!!) or documentaries on a specific artist.
  • Take an art history, art appreciation, or an art class
  • Attend a gallery opening or event
  • Try your hand at drawing, painting, or sculpting
  • Attend a seminar at an art foundation
  • Listen to art related podcasts or audiobooks
  • Interview and artists or art historian

People viewing art at an art museum - post about art appreciation The Petite Bijou

Those are just some of the many ways you can start your art appreciation journey. I highly advocate in finding free to public resources to start such as free museum days in your local city, public libraries, and even free to attend seminars at community colleges. Start by subscribing to museum and organizational newsletters for announcements and weekly resources

The most important thing to remember is that there is no competition in art appreciation. You don’t have to know it all to enjoy it all. And you certainly don’t have to enjoy it all either.

I personally lose concentration at most modern art galleries. I have zero interest in art after the turn of the 20th century (aside from some gilded age portraiture). But I OWN that. And I freely admit I know nothing about certain artists or time periods.

People viewing art at an art museum - post about art appreciation The Petite Bijou

The point is – it’s ok to like and dislike certain things in the art world. I however gladly support artists fo all kinds! Just because I don’t like a certain art style doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.

And that’s a journey you’ll go on once you start. And I hope you do, because art appreciation can be so much fun – certainly much better for our mental health than just sitting on the couch watching the tv every week.

Get out there and explore art! Make sure to shoot me a direct message on Instagram or leave a comment on here when you find your new favorite artists, time period, or art style! Would love to hear from you.

Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by the family and friends of survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who passed away in the summer of 2020.  Mariam also hosted The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Jd wrote:

    But what makes art appreciation special and why is it positive to you?

    Posted 3.20.21 Reply
    • To me arts appreciation is so wonderful because it offers both individual and collective healing! This is especially true when you’re talking about emerging or contemporary art. Arts appreciation is such a contemplative practice, but one that is rooted in culture, and the current moment in such a way that your own personal experiences gets grounded and contextualized within the larger whole. It’s such a unique area of inquiry!

      Posted 6.12.21 Reply
  2. Mary wrote:

    Thank you for the accepting!!

    Posted 7.12.20 Reply
  3. Jaime wrote:

    Thanks so much for the insight! I just found your blog, and so far, I adore..

    Posted 3.22.20 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hi Jaime!

      Thank you so much for reaching this post and welcome to The Petite Bijou community! Hope you are having a lovely week.

      Many thanks,

      Posted 3.23.20 Reply
      • Robyn wrote:

        J’adore le petite bijou. Merci. Tres chic 🤩💖💋

        Posted 6.20.20 Reply