Art Museums Can Enrich Your Life

Met museum store

As American schools continue to tighten their budgets, art and music is always among the first programs to get axed. In fact, the Huffington Post reports that half of California public schools have either cut or substantially reduced their arts programs. Yet, in the “real world,” creativity is one of the most valuable traits a person can possess.

Since the United States first emerged as an independent country, many Americans have taken pride in being simple, straightforward, and hardworking. Perhaps this stereotype was self-imposed, and originated as the antithesis to the more sophisticated British enemy. To some extent, it may have become a self-fulfilling prophecy from certain vantage points, but not all. As with any stereotype, it is largely built upon myths perpetuated by various, dubious resources. Then again, if you consider the average American’s opinion of the art, it may hold some credence.

According to the Center for Arts and Public Policy at Princeton University, over a quarter of Americans consider the work of artists to be of little or no value to American society, while another quarter feels that artists contribute substantially to society. Overall, approximately 75 percent of Americans do not consider the arts essential to society.

Contrary to American popular opinion, visiting famous art museums like the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Art Museum St Louis are not only an enriching experiences, but art is good for a child’s intellectual and creative development. The website Americans for the Arts claims that art education stimulates and develops children’s’ cognition and imagination, which are both important for creative problem solving.

While there are clearly millions of misguided Americans who fail to look beyond the most immediate aspects of painting, drawing, and sculpture. However, the skills and thinking processes that are developed during the creative process can be valuable not only in school, but later on in professional life, where there are not always problem solving formulas to guide individuals.

Although few people will ever produce art that become is exhibited at the Indiana Museum of Art, Philly Art Museum, or even the Art Museum St Louis, the positive effects of art last a life time. Hopefully, American will wake up to this fact, and allow our kids to reap the benefits of an arts education.