This selection of works of art donated by alumni celebrating their reunions prompts visitors to engage in slow looking. What might be noticed after three, five, or even ten minutes of observing a single art object? At what point might one, for example, realize that the shadow hovering in the foreground of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #186 is in fact a person’s silhouette? With patient looking, new discoveries emerge at different tempos.
The exhibition takes its title from Harvard professor Jennifer Roberts’ “The Power of Patience: Teaching Students the Value of Deceleration and Immersive Attention.” In her essay, Roberts describes a task she assigns each of her students: to look at a single work of art for three hours. She emphasizes the pedagogical importance of what she calls opportunities to “engage in deceleration, patience, and immersive attention,” an experience which artworks are specifically capable of fostering.