Art History from the Late Gothic/Early Renaissance to the Twentieth Century
You are required to select one work of art located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The work of art must be within the period covered in Art History II from the Late Gothic/Early Renaissance to the Twentieth Century. If you select a work of art outside this range, the paper will not be accepted.
Due to the closure of the museum, you will do a virtual assignment.
Go to: www.metmuseum.org. Search the Collection. Put in the name of an artist or period and click Search. Works of art will come up. Note: Any information taken from a source, must be cited.
Part I: General Information
a. In many cases, this information can be found on a label or in a gallery guidebook. Indicate where you found the information. (In this case, you will not see the label, but the information should be there).
b. Subject Matter (Who or What is Represented?)
c. Artist (What person or group made it? Sometimes this is not known. If there is a name, refer to this person as the artist, not “author.”)
d. Date (When was it made? Is it a copy of something older? Was it made before or after other similar works?)
e. Provenance (Where was it made? For whom? Is it typical of the art of the geographical area?)
f. Location (Where is the work now? Where was it originally located? Does the viewer look up at it, or down art it? If it is not in its original location, does the viewer see it as the artist intended? Can it be seen on all sides, or just on one?)
Part II: Brief Description
In a few sentences describe the work. What does it look like? What is shown? Is it an abstraction of something? Tell what the subject is and what aspects are emphasized. Is it a non-objective work? Tell what elements are dominant. This section is not an analysis of the work yet. This section is primarily a few sentences to give the reader a sense of what the work of art looks like.
Part III: Analysis of Style
This is the key part of your paper. It should be the longest section of the paper. Be sure to think about whether the work of art selected is a two-dimensional or three-dimensional work.
a. Line (straight, curved, angular, flowing, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, contour, thick, thin)
b. Shape (what shapes are created and how)
c. Light and Value (source, flat, strong, contrasting, even, values, emphasis, shadows)
d. Color (primary, secondary, mixed, complimentary, warm, cool, decorative, values)
e. Texture and Pattern (real, implied, repeating)
f. Space (depth, overlapping, flat, use of perspective)
g. Time and Motion (static, dynamic)
Principles of Design
a. Unity and Variety
b. Balance (symmetry, asymmetry)
c. Scale and Proportion (weight, how objects or figures relate to each other and the setting)
d. Mass/Volume (three-dimensional)
e. Rhythm (static or moving/flowing)
Part IV: Interpretation and Conclusions
This is the part of the paper where you go beyond description and offer a conclusion and your own informed opinion about the work of art. Any statements you make about the work should be based on the analysis under Principles of Design.
a. Discuss how and why the key elements and principles of art used by the artist create meaning.
b. Support your discussion of content with facts about the work.
c. Describe your personal feelings about the work of art (likes, dislikes)
a. Pay attention to the date the paper is due.
b. Allow time to view the work of art you select to write about and take good notes while at the museum.
c. Always italicize or underline titles of works of art. If the title is long, you must use the full title the first time you mention it, but may shorten the title for subsequent listings.
d. Use the present tense in describing works of art.
e. Be specific: Do not refer to a “picture” or “artwork” if “drawing” or “painting” or “photograph” is more exact.
f. IMPORTANT: Any information you use from another source, whether it be your textbook, a wall panel, a museum catalog, a dictionary of art, the internet, must be documented with a notation. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism. Use Barnet’s Short Guide to Writing About Art, which is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, for correct format.
g. Allow time to proofread your paper.
h. Ask if you need help.
1. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art.
2. A museum receipt and a photograph of yourself at the museum must be obtained to verify attendance.
3. Visit www.metmuseum.org or www.moma.org for all museum information.
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