reviewed literary sources ,□ 1 museum setting paper ,□ proof H u m a n i t i e s
A visual analysis is an essay discussing an original artwork that you
have seen in person. Follow the instructions below to see what you need
to include in your Museum Paper. Allow at least 45 minutes to look at
your artwork. Bring a notebook and this handout to the museum, so you
can take notes.
Follow these 10 points to get a good grade on this assignment.
- Choose one museum from the list of museums, visit it and choose one work of art from out period (1250 to 1900) for your paper. Keep the ticket for later.
List of Approved Museums for this Assignment
Norton Simon Museum of Art
http:// class=”screenreader-only”> (Links to an external site.) phone: 626-449-6840
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
http:// class=”screenreader-only”> (Links to an external site.) phone: 323-857-6000
The Getty Museum
http:// class=”screenreader-only”> (Links to an external site.) phone: (310) 440-7300. This museum is free! Call for parking.
2. Your artwork should be from the time period covered in this class
(1250 to 1900). Most of the artworks can be viewed on the respective
museum websites. This will give you a first glimpse and facilitate your
choice. It will NOT, however, replace the actual museum visit. Do NOT
touch any of the artworks in the museum.
3. Describe the artwork briefly. In your paper your description should
never be longer than one page. Write down your observations on a note
pad. Identify the artwork and give the medium (painting, oil on canvas,
sculpture, etc.) and dimensions. Try to conquer space with your words.
If you give information about objects or people depicted in your
picture, try and locate them in the picture space.
4. Analyze the artwork as you are standing in front of it. These ideas might help:
Are there elements to this artwork that seem unusual, odd, or
otherwise noteworthy? If so, this is the path to research. Why are these
questions coming up? Where will you find answers? It is not enough just
to ask the questions. You have to do research to try to find answers.
Some questions might be similar to these: If there are people
represented, what are their expressions, relations to each other? What
is the story? What colors does the artist use? How does the artist use
light in this work? Is there three-dimensional perspective shown in the
work? For sculpture: How much space does the work occupy? What does the
frame or display case look like? Does the way this work is displayed
have an effect on its appearance? Where is the best place to stand to
see your artwork? Are you at eye-level, higher or lower?
What is depicted in your artwork? Is there a story or an event? The
title may help you here, but you may need to do further research to get
all the details of the subject. How is the work represented? Is it
realistic or abstract? What kind of texture does the work of art have?
Does it look rough, smooth, etc. (Do NOT actually touch the artwork!)
Can you see brushstrokes? These and other questions might come up.
5. Take these questions home and to the library and start your
research. Try and find answers to these questions. Consult academic
sources to find answers to your questions. You might find e-books and
articles via the college library website but in general a visit to the
college library is the way to go.
6. What are admissible sources for this assignment, and how do you quote them in your paper?
I would like students to use CHICAGO-TURABIAN-STYLE FOOTNOTES. This is what they will look like.
Admissible Sources for this assignment:
Author [or editor], Title [underlined] (City of publication
[include state or country if not commonly known]: publisher, date of
publication), page numbers.
- Michael Hays, ed., Architecture Theory since 1968 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998), 83-86.
Author, “Title of article [in quotation marks],” Journal Title [underlined] volume #, issue # (month of publication, year of publication), page numbers. example:
Jennifer Hock, “Jane Jacobs and the West Village: The Neighborhood against Urban Renewal,” JSAH 66, no. 1 (Mar. 2007), 16-19.
Essay in a Collection
Author, “Title of article [in quotation marks],” in Title of Collection [underlined], Name of editor (City: publisher, date), page numbers. example:
Frank Lloyd Wright, “The Art and Craft of the Machine,” in America Builds, ed. Leland Roth (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), 364-76.
You can only use peer-reviewed sources (books, journal articles) that are available online.
Provide all of the relevant information mentioned above for the media
type (books, articles, etc.). Also provide the complete URL and date
Alison McQueen, “Empress Eugénie’s Quest for a Napoleonic Mausoleum,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 2, no. 1 (Feb. 2003), http:// class=”screenreader-only”> (Links to an external site.) (accessed 5 Apr. 2007).
Short forms of citation may be used for repeated sources. For short form, include author’s last name, title, and page number.
Sources that are NOT ALLOWED for this assignment:
Newspaper articles, articles from non-art-related periodicals (Time
Magazine, Newsweek, San Diego Reader), generic online sources such as
museum websites, Wikipedia, encyclopedias (online or print),
7. After you have done some research you will start to write your paper.
Length: 1100 words of text (no footnotes, cover page), double spaced, font 12 pt, Times New Roman or Courier.
Please, attach a cover sheet indicating your name, my name, the name of
our course, course meeting times, the artist and name of the work of
art you picked, as well as the museum where this work is located. This
cover sheet does NOT count as one of the 3 pages required to pass this
assignment! Proof of your museum visit must be attached to your paper!
If you visit a museum on a free day, ask for a date-stamped receipt; you
can also buy a small item in the gift shop and use this receipt. The
paper must be written in a flowing essay style. Have somebody read your
paper for language mistakes. Consult the writing lab for proof-reading.
Grammar mistakes, major errors in sentence structure or typing mistakes
have no place in a college level research paper. Papers with more than 5
language errors will be severely graded down.
8.1. Introduction; never longer than one paragraph. Identify
the museum, exhibit title, and content and scope of the exhibit.
Describe the gallery(ies). What color are the walls? How is the
lighting? Is the physical space intimate or airy? How are the artworks
displayed (frames, pedestals, single wall, partitions?)
8.2. Brief description of the artwork, NEVER longer than a page, ideally shorter.
8.3. Analysis and presentation of research. Try to find
literature (books, peer-reviewed articles, etc., NOT a generic website
such as Wikipedia!) that mention your artist/artwork. Access JSTOR or
EBSCO Host for peer-reviewed articles through the College Library site.
Your research must be based on the work of art used in your Museum
Paper. The research discusses a number of aspects of the work of art,
such as the time period, style or related ideas. Give the authors’
opinions and quote them correctly as follows. All this comes BEFORE you
give your own opinion. If you would like to voice an opinion it will
come AFTER you presented your research. You can agree or disagree with
other authors but remember to present facts in any case, not just a gut
8.4. Quote your sources using Chicago-Turabian-style footnotes. If you don’t know what Chicago-Turabian-style footnotes look like consult The Chicago Manual of Style.
Basic formats, however, are shown under ad 6) on page 1 and 2 of this
handout. This website might help you to format your footnote correctly:
http:// class=”screenreader-only”> (Links to an external site.)
8.6. Bibliography: As a separate page your paper will write a
bibliography. The bibliography must have at least three sources. It is
important for you to visit a library and learn how to use it correctly.
List your sources in alphabetical order according to the author’s last
name. You will display this information like you did in your footnotes.
Be advised that you cannot put sources in your bibliography when you don’t quote them in your text.
Be sure to use peer-reviewed, academic sources! General information
from websites (even museum websites!) or the public domain are NOT
APPROPRIATE for an academic research paper. You will lose a substantial amount of points if you use inadequate literature for this assignment!
Peer-reviewed publications provide a stringent editorial process that
has a quality control function. The internet does not provide this.
There is a lot of wrong or irrelevant information out there. We want to
consult experts in their field and find out what they have to say about a
9. Your paper has to be submitted electronically via Canvas by the
deadline. Paper copies are not accepted. Access Canvas, go to “Museum
Paper”, and follow the directions for submitting your paper. Please,
scan in your photograph, your ticket stub and the museum setting page
and submit everything together AS ONE DOCUMENT at the same time. Late
submissions or submissions of parts of your paper via email or other
channels are not accepted.
10.Some common missteps to watch out for:
Avoid first or second person speech in academic writing. This paper
is about an artwork, not about you. The most important person in this
project is YOUR READER. The objective is to help your reader understand
an artwork. Use fact-based, detached, and objective language.
You have to make sense in your writing. Please, stay away from
nonsensical statements or statements that do nothing for your subject
matter at hand.
Avoid overly emotional expressions. Your reader does not want to
learn about your rich inner world. He/she wants to learn objective
information about an artwork.
You will use substantial points if your paper contains grammar, punctuation, and/or syntax mistakes.
Your writing has to make sense. Grandiose-sounding, derivative language does not impress your reader.
Stick with facts.
The literature you quote in your text has to make sense in context
with your general argument. An academic paper is not a collection of
isolated, nice-sounding quotes from other people’s work.
Don’t wait until the last minute to write this paper. Take this
assignment seriously. Writing in academia is NOT like writing an essay
in high school.
□ 1 Cover sheet with your name, name of class, name of school, name of art work,
□ A minimum of 1100 words of text with at least 3 footnotes using
Chicago-Turabian-style at the bottom of the page, (include a word
□ 1 Photograph of your art work,
□ 1 Bibliography with at least 3 peer-reviewed literary sources,
□ 1 Museum Setting Paper,
□ Proof of museum visit (ticket stub).
□ Put ALL THESE ELEMENTS into ONE pdf file and upload only ONE file
to Canvas. The system will not let you upload multiple files.
Have fun with this assignment!
Please, attach this sheet at the end of your Museum Paper.
Obtain the information from the museum labels on your visit.
Papers will not be accepted without this form attached and completely filled in.
Title of artwork:
Artist (or culture):
Acquisition Number or Collection Information:
Gallery Name or Number:
Work of Art to the Right:
Artist (or culture):
Acquisition Number or Collection Information:
 Please note that I will deduct points if your paper is longer or shorter than the required 1100 words!
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