VTS: Just look at a painting and you will feel betterby the Director Ferruccio Gard

VTS, or Visual Thinking Strategies, which sees looking at art as a tool for learning, has arrived from America. It is a method that promises to develop your brain, and thus increase your cognitive abilities, while giving a boost to your morale. All you have to do is go to an art museum or gallery for a leisurely visit and, while standing before a painting or sculpture, ask a series of questions on the whys and wherefores of that particular work of art, on its subject and shape, on a certain detail, on its meaning, and so forth. There are six basic questions, including the following one: What else do you see besides what you think you see? This practice promises to enhance the learning skills of students at all educational levels, from primary school to university, as well as to improve work outcomes and interpersonal relationships. Want to impress a woman, or a man? Take her/ him to a museum and… get down to it – by talking about art, of course! During a conference held at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York and attended by VTS experts, scientists, medical doctors and museum directors from all over the world, it was announced that even students of medicine – a field of study that, in theory, has nothing to do with Picasso and Van Gogh – have shown improved learning skills. Moreover, as reported at a conference recently organized by Sapienza University’s DigiLab Centre and VTS Italia and held at the Museum of Rome at Palazzo Braschi, the methodology has been tested in schools and universities in Rome – with positive results, apparently. So here we have another good reason for visiting museums, picture galleries and modern art galleries (let’s not forget, though, that visiting these places is always a wonderful experience, regardless of whether one uses VTS or not). But… if it is true that VTS helps to learn and think better, why don’t we make it compulsory for certain politicians? Well, let’s just be honest here and say it out loud: long live VTS! For art lovers. And for others, too.