Last Updated on March 8, 2023
Many art enthusiasts start their journey of art appreciation and learning at a young age. However, art is for everyone regardless of age and it is never too late to get started!
If you are in your 50s, 60s, or 70s, here are 10 tips on how to start appreciating and learning about art.
1. See Art as You Travel
Art is ubiquitous, meaning it is everywhere around us, and that includes when we travel.
If you are going to another city in your own country or taking a city break abroad, why not use the opportunity to visit a local art gallery or museum or two?
Cities such as Vienna, London, Milan, Paris, NYC, Singapore, Oslo, Madrid, and Sydney, are just a few great cities for seeing world-class art.
As we move into our 50s and 60s, many of us tend to have more time for ourselves (rather than having to focus on our career or bringing up children), hence traveling and seeing art is a great way to learn about and appreciate the world.
This is a great way to get immersed in art and culture and it might inspire you to consider some of the other ideas below.
2. Follow Art Blogs & Magazines
Keep up with the latest art news by reading art blogs and magazines.
There are some excellent publications out there including:
- Apollo Magazine – is one of the oldest-running art publications and is well-respected by many in the art world. You can subscribe online and view the latest issues, which cover a wide range of art stories and news.
- For Contemporary Art, the Art Forum is a U.S.-based publication you can subscribe to digitally or by mail.
- British Journal of Photography – as someone who loves photography, I am subscribed to this journal and recommend it if you also enjoy any type of photography.
- If you are interested in Smartphone photography then I highly recommend subscribing to Mobiography, which comes out every two months and that you can read on all electronic devices.
- Fine Art America – with online subscriptions, you can view and read the American Fine Art magazine every month and it has regular features.
3. Start Making Your Own Art
One of the very best ways to get inspired and enjoy art is to just start doing it.
Literally getting your hands dirty can be a great way to get started and the great news is that there are many fantastic videos on YouTube that you can watch to get started.
One idea, for example, is to give paint pouring a go.
Other ideas include:
- Start smartphone photography as a hobby and a great way to start is with the iPhone Photography School Course.
- Go to the local art store and get some painting or arts and crafts materials and start making stuff.
As you free up more time in your 50s and 60s, why not try out a new art hobby?
4. Start By Finding an Art Form That Interests You
Whether it’s photography, oil paintings, sculpture, or art history, try to find a form of art that you will likely find interesting and start exploring.
A great place to start is by surfing Google Art and Culture and allowing yourself to explore the various sections.
The Art Explore section is a great place to start.
5. Take a Class
Why not consider signing up for art classes near where you live and learn from experienced art professionals at your own pace?
A few art classes can give you a great foundation for art appreciation and learning. Common art classes include:
- Life Drawing
- Beginner photography
- Art appreciation
- Printmaking for beginners
- Knitting for beginners
It’s a great way not only to learn about art but also to meet new people and create new friendships.
To find classes try an online service such as meetup.com (typing in your location and ‘art classes’). Or do a quick Google search using your location name and the type of art you are interested in, i.e.
- Bristol life drawing classes
- Seattle iPhone photography course
- Darwin origami classes
6. Seek Out Local Art Galleries near you
Visiting art galleries is a great way to get exposed to art from all different cultures and eras.
Why not start by visiting the local galleries and museums in your local area and why not photograph the pieces that most inspire you?
Many galleries also offer expert tours, whereby you can follow an expert on a guided tour, to learn more in-depth about the art.
In a city such as London (England) search for Blue Badge tours as they are expert-guided tours, such as those provided at the National Gallery (albeit for an extra fee, but it’s well worth it).
7. Attend Art Shows & Events
Art shows and art events are great places to meet art professionals and experience art first-hand.
Keep an eye out for art exhibitions and visit them when you can.
Local galleries and museums will often have temporary exhibitions that are worth seeing.
- Artsnet is also a fantastic resource for learning about art exhibitions worldwide.
- Artshow also lists numerous events including art workshops and exhibitions worldwide.
- Art Rabbit is also a great resource worth checking.
8. Read a Book on The History of Art
Reading a book on the history of art from prehistoric days to the modern day is a great way to delve into the art world and begin to get interested.
There are two specific books that I recommend and these are:
‘Art: The Whole Story’ by Stephen Farthing and ‘The Illustrated Story of Art’ by DK Publications.
9. Watch Art Documentaries
There are several great programs on television and on streaming services such as Netflix and on YouTube that are worth watching to get inspired to enjoy art.
Some great places to start are:
- Art Documentaries on YouTube by Taran333tula with over 500 art documentaries available to watch and the What Makes Art Valuable.
- The Art of Design on Netflix, a fascinating series.
- Art on BBC select TV
- Lots more art-related documentaries for free on WatchDocumentaries.com
10. Go on an Organised Art Holiday or Vacation
There are a number of companies that offer arts and cultural trips around the world and these can be excellent for learning about art, whilst also meeting like-minded people.
It is a great way to make new friends and develop a new exciting hobby involving art.
Some companies that offer these types of trips include:
- Ace Cultural Tours – organize trips in Europe and the rest of the world, including viewing art collections, discovering the art of Jordan, viewing art from the Dutch masters, and many other topics related to art.
- Art and painting holidays from Responsbiletravel.com
- Art trips from Diversitystudy.com
These are just some of the tips on how to start appreciating and learning art in your 50s or 60s.
With an open mind and a willingness to learn, art appreciation can become an enjoyable journey for anyone at any age!
So don’t be afraid to explore art and see what you can discover.
Hi. I’m Dr Valeria Lo Iacono, a lady in her 50s living in the UK. I write about the over-50s and 60s lifestyle including on travel, health, food, and fashion.