Dear Museum Visitor, we are happy to invite you to a special interactive walk around the gallery of Polish painting and sculpture after 1945 at the District Museum in Toruń. The guide includes 10 works of art which the participants of our eye-tracking experiment looked at for the longest time. It means that you might also find them particularly interesting. That is why we have decided to describe them – especially the areas which gained the largest attention.
By exploring the exposition with this guide, you get a chance to enter not only the world of great works of art, but also of your own perception. Reading about the paintings on your smartphone or tablet, you will learn about the exact way your eyes move on the canvas. The visual materials presented on the following pages will let you come into interaction with painting that you have never experienced before.

The way to the exhibition & a few words of explanation.


The structure of our guide has been designed as to make it easily displayed on a smartphone or tablet. We encourage you to walk around the gallery together with the guide, according to the route developed by the museum curators.

Picture arrangement
You definitely won’t get lost if you take a look at the gallery plan (below each picture description). It shows you the exact places where particular works of art can be found. At the bottom of each page you will find a map referring to the next picture.  

What can I find in the guide?

It’s a technique used to register eyeball movements and interpret data thus obtained. Nowadays eye-tracking finds its application e.g. in psychology, medicine, and marketing. The most popular method of eye activity documentation involves video recordings, made with specialised cameras. The analyses presented in this guide have been conducted with such equipment.

Heat maps / fixations
Heat maps refer to graphic representations of the places where study participants’ gaze focused most often. In other words, they show us the areas with the largest numbers of fixations. Try to guess if your gaze would also concentrate on these fragments!

Gaze directions / saccades
Another important element of any work of art description involves maps that show the order and direction of eye movements (saccades). They are presented as numbers placed in colured circles. Each colour visualises individual gaze path. The chart also tells us how long each gaze lasted – the bigger the circle, the more time a participant spent looking at that fragment.

Average looking time
Next to each painting you will find information about the average time the participants spent looking at it. That was the basis for our selection of paintings included in the guide. Does the list below correspond to the average time you spend looking at these works of art?

A ranking of the average looking time

Anna Alina Güntner, High School Graduates , 20,87 sec.
Tadeusz Brzozowski, Favours, 19,22 sec.
Tadeusz Kantor, Multipart – an Umbrella, 18,24 sec.
Andrzej Wróblewski, Shooting I, Execution, 17,78 sec.
Zdzisław Beksiński, Untitled, 17,57 sec.
Zbigniew Makowski, Still Life, 17,31 sec.
Jonasz Stern, The Moment of Life, 17,00 sec.
Stanisław Borysowski, K. B. Graphic, 16,83 sec.
Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Dwellers of Sodom, 16,51 sec.
Tadeusz Dominik, Composition, 16,48 sec.

Eye-tracker recordings
Each of us perceives art in a different way. Below each painting description you will find video recordings showing eye movements of various participants. The group included an elementary school student, a physicist, and an artist. Have you ever thought about the way you look at paintings?

The method
Eleven participants took part in the experiment. Due to technical reasons, it was possible to analyse data obtained from 9 participants – 4 women and 5 men. The average age was 30,1. All participants had good or rightly corrected eyesight. The tool used for conducting the tests was Tobii Pro Glasses 2. The participants were asked to determine their level of interest in paintings on a 0-9 scale. The average turned out to be 6. Then, each of them was given the instruction: Have a look at the “Polish painting and sculpture from 1945 to 2010” exposition in a natural, casual, time-unlimited way.

link to the article

Site map

content & graphic design: Łukasz Kędziora | art collection photographs: Krzysztof Deczyński | translation and proofreading by Martyna Kowalska