Share in this series of short videos, where curators from the Ashmolean guide you mindfully through eight individual objects from the Museum's collection.

Each video is about 16-17 minutes long and begins with a 9-minute mindful awareness exercise with trained mindfulness teacher, Dr Ruth Collins. Then, each curator tells the story of the object in focus.

You can watch all eight in the video series on YouTube. Viewing Art Mindfully is a collaboration with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.


Yusuf before the women of Memphis

With Ruth Collins and Dr Francesca Leoni


Les Rameaux by Élisabeth Sonrel

With Dr Ruth Collins and An van Camp

Cranes, Cycads and Wisteria

With Ruth Collins and Dr Clare Pollard

The Valley Thick with Corn by Samuel Palmer

With Ruth Collins and Dr Caroline Palmer

A landscape by Claude Lorrain

With Ruth Collins and Dr Xa Sturgis

An Ancient Shri Lakshmi Coin

With Dr Shailendra Bhandare and Dr Xa Sturgis

A Study by Raphael

With Professor Catherine Whistler and Dr Xa Sturgis

A Set of Gold and Enamel Jewellery

With Matthew Winterbottom and Dr Xa Sturgis

Find more 'Viewing Art Mindfully' videos on our YouTube channel.

Go to the Viewing Art Mindfully playlist on YouTube

Mindfulness is a state of mind characterised by an intentional focus on present moment awareness and an attitude of gentle curiosity and interest. Cultivating awareness of our moment to moment experience opens the possibility for a richer, more vivid engagement with what is happening right now.

Viewing art mindfully allows us to open our senses to what is here in front of us, anchoring our attention in what we are seeing, facilitating a more direct experience of the object, or painting we are viewing.

Each of the art pieces has been thoughtfully selected by the curators, and each script carefully crafted, to facilitate full engagement with the art object in the video. Initially, with a wide focus, but then narrowing the spotlight of attention to highlight particular aspects of the object or painting: richness of colour or texture, stillness and movement, light and shade; drawing out the subtle as well as the more obvious physical and sensory characteristics of the work.

To find out more, and for free resources, podcasts and courses, visit the website of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.