We explored the aesthetic experience of viewing artworks in art museums, specifically examining the content and conditions of high-intensity aesthetic experiences and assessing whether these varied between consumers of artworks. In an interpretive research framework, we conducted 21 in-depth interviews with Spanish individuals who are regular visitors of museums. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed with the help of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. We found that viewers who reported having lived an intense unforgettable aesthetic experience-characterized by high emotional intensity and durability over time-shared two common conditions in their experience with artworks: (1) they were aware that the artwork viewed was original and (2) they had the necessary contextual cultural capital to interpret its social value. The presence of these two conditions produced an intense and unforgettable aesthetic experience. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.