Does Looking at Art Make You Smarter? By Ryan Steadman

Is it possible that when your teachers and parents forced you to go to museums, they were actually doing something good for you?

Author and art historian Jonathan Fineberg says they were. In fact, he argues that looking at visual images can supercharge your brain’s creativity.

Mr. Fineberg, who is well-known in the art world for his dozen-plus books on art, spoke to Jeremy Hobson of the public radio program Here & Now about his newest tome: Modern Art at the Border of Mind and Brain, (currently number one in “Neuroscience” on He explained why he believes that looking at art is more or less like sending your brain to the gym.