The Art of Perception at SAAM

Media - 2018.6 - SAAM-2018.6_1 - 136219

John Haberle, Torn in Transitca. 1890-1895, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sheila and Richard J. Schwartz, and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2018.6

The Art of Perception is a highly participatory, proprietary training seminar that teaches professionals how to enhance their observation and communication skills. By showing participants how to look closely at works of art, the Art of Perception’s founder and president, Amy Herman, helps them hone their visual intelligence to recognize the most pertinent and useful information as well as recognize biases that impede decision making.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the exclusive museum partner in the United States for all in-person Art of Perception courses. The Art of Perception at SAAM uses the museum’s collection as the teaching medium for this widely acclaimed visual intelligence program. Each session demands critical, on-the-spot thinking and an openness to paradigm changes, all of which participants will learn to apply to their own organizations and the world at large.

Courses are available to institutional clients only, and consist of half-day sessions to take place in SAAM’s galleries in Washington, DC.

For more information or to book a course at SAAM, contact Amy Herman at

About The Art of Perception

The Art of Perception, a unique, customized corporate education program, uses works of art to guide leaders in all fields in enhancing their observation, perception, and communication skills. The program aims to sharpen participants’ visual acuity, giving them tools to better promote innovation and creativity in transactional and stakeholder relationships. The program is highly engaging, swiftly-paced, and underscores the need for effective communications for both day-to-day and long-term, strategic success.

Amy Herman, a trained lawyer and art historian, developed her Art of Perception seminar in 2000 to improve medical students' observation and communication skills with their patients when she was the head of education at The Frick Collection in New York City. She subsequently adapted the program for a wide range of professionals and now tailors each course to the specific interests and needs of institutional clients in diverse industries and fields, from law enforcement to medicine, intelligence to technology, the military to global finance and more.