Virtual Research Trip
The paper involves a virtual research trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art (MOMA); or Birmingham Museum of Art. The purpose of the research is to find a work of art that you would like to analyze in visual (formal) terms, ultimately shedding light on the meaning of the work.
A visual (formal) analysis is an examination of the forms used to create a work of art such as color, shape, texture, line, lighting, mass, and space, which are presented in Chapter 3, The Visual Elements; and Chapter 4, Principles of Design.
A visual (formal) analysis moves beyond description by linking the forms of the work to the effects they have on the viewer. Considering this connection enables the viewer to discuss the overall meaning of the work.
Significantly a visual (formal) analysis is drawn from personal observations of the work of art based on knowledge of visual elements and principles of design. No other knowledge or research about a work of art is required. And no outside research will be accepted as part of the analysis, conclusion, and length requirement.
Word count is a minimum of 600 words. The document must be submitted as a Word document. Put your name in the document. Use double space and 12 point font. Include an image of the art work. The rules of good writing count along with content. See grading rubric below.
Instructions: Take a virtual trip to one of the following art museums: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art (MOMA); Birmingham Museum of Art. Go to Module 4 to access them. Select ONE artwork that you would like to analyze in terms of visual elements and/or principles of design as presented in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the text book. Include an image of the artwork
Paragraph 1: Introduce the artwork by name, artist and date; include the type of work artwork it is (painting, sculpture, print, garment etc.) and the culture represented such as European, American, Japanese, etc. All this information will be provided by the art museum, if known. State the name of the museum. Information in the first paragraph is not included in the length requirement.
Paragraph 2: Introduce the subject of the work. This means what it depicts- that is, what you see in front of your eyes. You are not expected to recognize the story or symbolism behind the image or conduct any research to determine this information. Instead explain in general terms the scene as anyone would see it. (The painting depicts a man and woman on a mountain top overlooking a forest and lake.) If the work is abstract, describe the abstraction (The sculpture consists of a series of rounded, organic forms whose shape suggests a reclining female figure.)
Body of Paper: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the text book present the visual elements and design principles used to create a work of art. Analyze at least 4 of these methods in the work of art you select in the museum visit, using the terminology about visual elements and principles of design presented in the text book.
Be sure to show in precise detail how the 4 methods you analyze are evident in your selected work of art.
Concluding Paragraph: Discuss the overall meaning of the work, based on the 4 visual elements/principles of design you examined above. This means you will interpret what the artist is trying to communicate to the viewer. In other words, how do these visual elements and design principles contribute to the overall meaning or function of the object? Be specific, referring back to the work of art and the forms you analyzed.
This is not about how the work makes you “feel.” It concerns what anyone looking at the work can see.
Thus develop your ideas from the visual language of the work of art itself, (as you identified), not your personal response.
Avoid: I was upset by the painting.
Instead: The sharp, heavy lines throughout the painting convey an ominous and disturbing feeling.
You are also not critiquing the artist’s skill.
Avoid: This artist was unable to depict a realistic scene of nature.
Instead: The artist’s representation of the landscape suggests her intention to provide an abstracted or symbolic representation of nature.
Citations and Academic Honesty: Since this paper requires your own analysis, and information from a museum to be contained in the first paragraph is general information, you are not required to use citations.
If you use additional information from a museum or other source, in-text citations are required and must be in correct MLA citation style. Go to the Global Campus Library Link under Helpful Resources for citation guide. A very useful website for citations: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. The navigation menu on the left hand side will provide info on in-text citations. Also see the course Home page regarding Plagiarism.
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