· Double-spaced, 1” margins, regular size font
· About 1025-1375 words required (roughly 3-4 pages of text not including your title page and bibliography)
· Provide an image of the work of art discussed in the paper
· Fully identify the artwork by title, artist, date, medium, location of origin (most of the information regarding the artwork can be taken directly from the museum’s website).
· Introduction paragraph, with thesis statement, and a conclusion
· Parenthetical citations (sources cited in the body of your paper)
· Work cited page (any formal citation style acceptable)
This is not a research paper, rather it is an assignment to make you think and use the materials of the course in an integrated fashion. I do not discourage further research but only a minimal amount of sources are required. Please use your own judgment when determining how many sources to use. If you feel like you have a strong background on the work you select, you may use only the museum label / museum website, the text, and your notes as your sources. However, you’re going to want to give a complete overview of the work of art and must touch on its most notable aspects – if you can’t do that with only the aforementioned sources, you must do additional research.
· Online sources are permissible so long as they are scholarly (end in .edu)
· You may also may cite anything that’s posted on the Metropolitan’s website (metmuseum.org) or the official museum website to which your artwork belongs
· Wikipedia should NOT be cited as a source for this paper (you may use wiki to inform your research, but their content ultimately cannot be trusted and must be verified through a more reputable source).
· Direct quotations should be used only when something is written so eloquently that you cannot capture the same sentiments in your own words
· Direct quotations must be indicated through quotation marks
· The majority of your paper’s content should be presented in your own words with your sources cited where necessary (paraphrasing)
· Factual information that comes from a source other than yourself must have a citation
Regarding your Paper’s Content:
In providing a complete overview of your selected artwork, you should have two concerns in your paper and each should be about equal in length and consideration. The first concern is a formal analysis and the second is placing the work and its formal qualities into relation to the culture / historical background as you have come to know it through your course text and the lectures.
A formal analysis requires a visual examination of the artwork, its formal components, and the method through which it was made. Your formal analysis can (and should) be entirely your own based on your firsthand observations. Normally, you would be observing your work of art in person; to try to emulate this experience, find a virtual tour, video, or photograph of your artwork within its museum setting. You do not need to necessarily perform research for this part of your paper, but you should take good notes when viewing the artwork in person or otherwise. You may include the following topics as part of your formal analysis:
· Briefly describe the condition of your selected artwork: is it unfinished, restored, chipping, discolored, missing something, etc.?
· How does the setting of the artwork impact your reaction to it? Think about the lighting of the room, impediments that keep you from getting close to the artwork, its pairing with and proximity to other artworks in the gallery. Use information you’ve gleaned from your virtual museum visit to bolster this topic of your paper.
· ***Fully establish the composition of your selected artwork. Pretend you are describing it to someone who has never seen it before. What has the artist represented? How has the artist arranged his/her forms?
· Describe the artist’s technique. How did he or she create the artwork? Are there any visual signs that reveal how they’ve handled their medium?
· Additionally, for your formal analysis you will want to describe the most significant visual aspects of the work of art (color, line, gesture, space, etc.) and how the artist has employed them to create meaning.
· You will not be able to treat every formal element given the page limitation of this paper so it is up to you to select those visual aspects that seem to be the most significant and to fully develop a discussion about them.
· Provide examples and details from the artwork to support your conclusions.
Other Museum Options to Consider:
There are so many amazing art museums that have collections of art that are relevant to our class. I’ve included a small list of just some of them, if you’d like to consider a museum other than the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please feel free to come up with one entirely on your own!
· The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
· J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
· The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
· The Vatican Museums, Vatican City
· The Louvre, Paris
· The National Gallery, London
Useful Links / Resources:
SCCC Arts Databases:
Use ARTstor for images, Jstor for articles
Metropolitan Museum of Art:
***Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History:
For Thematic Essays and useful background information
Google Advanced Search:
Type in .edu in site or domain tab to obtain only scholarly sources
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