definitely. it's a backward process and one that i advocate for learning.
go see what you like then understand how it came out that way. for photography, it's the best way to learn a technique... when you see something that you want to achieve.
if a piece of art sets you off on different directions, be it appreciation, finding out the man behind the work, learning a technique, then i think that piece may have done it's part in moving the collective a fraction of a step forward no matter how minute the step