Introduction to Art: Written Analysis
Worth: 100 points
Font: 12 point, Times Spacing: Double
Length: 500 to 1,000 words (not including cite words) Document type: Analysis must be turned in as a pdf
-If not done according to format, the paper will not be accepted.
Source Citation Method: MLA (Modern Language Association) style. See additional page on citing sources. This is a helpful website to explain this citation method:
Cite Source-MLA Style- http://citesource.trincoll.edu/mla/index.html or www.easybib.com Paper will not be accepted without this. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
: Follow the template below and analyze a self-chosen piece of artwork that you view in person at a local art museum. A gallery or other type of museum will not be accepted. Look at the websites of a few museums to see what their permanent collection has on display and/or what travelling exhibitions they are currently featuring. This way, you can decide in advance what work/s of art you would like to view before you go. Consult the list of local museums provided. Choose any form of art: a drawing, painting, print, sculpture, architecture, installation or digital. You must have visited the museum while enrolled in this class. It may NOT be a museum that you have visited in the past and have pictures to show.
Process: Attend the museum and analyze the artwork you chose. Look at it up close and from a distance. Spend time with it and take notes about what you observe and discover. Analyze the materials used, techniques, and style. Find readings about it on the wall and in museum literature if provided. Be bold and ask a museum educator or docent if they could give you their take on the work. Take your picture with it without using a flash! Go home and do research to truly discover the historical significance and meaning of the piece, its purpose, context and its content. The more famous the work of art, the easier of a time you will have researching it.
Format: Follow the template provided below. Do not stray from this format! Your final document
should be a few pages long including the image/s. Though this assignment is broken up into sections, still employ the rules of good writing. Yes, you will include the numbers and the written prompts within the body of your assignment. Do not use bullet points!
Verification: You will need to attach the ticket (photograph or scan of it) to your paper and insert the photo of yourself next to the art you chose at the beginning of your paper (see example below). Do not include museum maps or brochures! (If you cannot get a photo of yourself in front of the artwork, photograph yourself out in front of the museum and try to find an image of the artwork on line to include.) Your paper will not be accepted without adequate proof of having seen it in person. Adequate means that it is obvious that it is you clearly in front of the artwork.
Italicize titles! Do not use quotation marks. Italicize the title every time it is mentioned in the paper.
Cite Sources: You must use at least three sources that are noted throughout the analysis. You
MUST cite your sources according to the MLA method as stated above. One of the three sources used MUST be a book. Do not just use web sites and museum brochures. Use the parenthetical references and include the source citation page at the back of your document. See the example below and the website listed above for guidance. Failure to do so may result in accidental plagiarism, which will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is cheating and will lower your grade in the least and will get you expelled at the worst. See the sample format below to see how the parenthetical references are used. Papers without source citation will not be accepted!
Vocabulary: Use the vocabulary that we have learned in class! Consult the glossary in the back of your book for guidance. Try to make it sound like you know what you are talking about. Underline the appropriately used vocabulary in your analysis. I will keep track of how well and often you use the appropriate vocabulary. For instance: Chiaroscuro is a drawing and painting technique, not something at play on a sculpture. You will not get credit for misusing art terminology.
Punctuality: Turn the paper in on time. You have several weeks to complete this assignment, there are no excuses for late work.
Be Concise: DO NOT repeat yourself! Write well and concisely. If you restate the same information using different words, you are still repeating yourself and will not get credit for those words in the word count.
Last Names: After stating the artists full name initially, you need only to refer to them by their last name for the remainder of the paper.
Works Cited: Works cited MUST follow the MLA format. You may want to try www.easybib.com to help with formatting.
PROOF READ! Reread your own paper and then have someone else read it for you. Do not waste my time with simple grammatical errors, run on sentences and nonsensical sentences. Little mistakes happen, but an entire paper filled with mistakes is just evidence of laziness and carelessness. This is worth 100 points, write and edit like it matters!
SEE NEXT PAGES FOR EXACT FORMATTING
You will be graded on:
How well you followed the format requested: prompts are listed, double spacing, 12pt Times font.
If the word count is met: 500-1,000 words.
Your inclusion of a works cited page.
Appropriate use of MLA source citation within the paper (parenthetical references).
Spelling, grammar, punctuation and overall quality of writing
How much and how accurately you used art specific vocabulary, and underlined it.
Adequate photo verification, proof of museum visit.
That you hit all of the points, do not leave a prompt blank.
And most importantly, how well you understood and responded to the prompts, the
thoughtfulness of your answers, and the relevancy of the content.
Content of Written Analysis:
The following are the descriptions for the prompts in the template. Use your Art & Meaning handout as a resource.
1. Analysis of Subject: What is the work of art actually depicting? What are the things (objects, people, animals, shapes/forms, etc..) being depicted. Describe what you are seeing as though you are talking to a blind person. Ex: People of various ages and nationalities are sitting in a tight circle talking in an animated fashion. Or Ex: Angular geometric shapes are spinning wildly out of control.
2. Analysis of Form: Begin with the descriptive information regarding the form so that the reader can conceive a mental picture of the artwork early on. Describe what the work of art looks like. Describe its formal qualities utilizing the vocabulary of the visual elements and principles of design that you have learned. Use your book as a resource! Below are a few questions to consider. You will want to address more formal concerns than are listed here.
-How does its physical scale impacts your perception of it?
Organic or mechanical?
-What kind of balance is used; symmetry, approximate asymmetry or asymmetry? -How did the artist achieve unity and then balance that with variety?
-What kind of color harmony best describes the colors? What is the mood? Ex: A dim blue light imparts a somber mood.
-What is the compositional structure? What is the focal point?
-How has the artist applied his/her medium? Ex: The paint is applied in thick, short strokes. Or Ex: the surface of the sculpture is smooth and polished.
These are NOT the only questions that you could answer!
3. Analysis of Context: How time & place influence the work. Include historical information that helps explain the context in which it was created. This means the context of the work of art and artists, NOT the context of the subject depicted. What part of the world does it come from? How and where is the work meant to be viewed? In a church, outdoors, a home? Does it belong to a specific era or movement? What ethnic or cultural considerations inform the work? How does the context affect the form, subject and content? How does the contextual information help you analyze the content? If the work is contemporary, use the context of now and the place where it comes from.
4. Analysis of Iconography: This will take some research and only applies to representational artwork (naturalistic or abstract). What are the symbols embedded in the work that guides the viewer (historic and contemporary) towards understanding its content? Not all work utilizes iconography- it is specific symbols.
5. Analysis of Content: Describe the content of the work of art as the artist intended it, and as you perceive it. What is this work about? What is the artist trying to communicate (if you can find that info) to you the viewer? What emotions is it trying to elicit? What do you think and feel when you view it? Is the work of art a comment, a criticism or glorification of the subject?
6. Analysis of Purpose & Function: Can this work be classified as belonging to one or more particular themes? Art for delight, as commemoration, worship & ritual, persuasion, self- expression? Use the exact classifications that we learned about from the book. This does not require a long explanation.
7. Research: Provide some research information that is pertinent to your chosen work of art. Some biographical information may be relevant to the work. For example, if the work of art depicts a pair of shoes and the artists father was a cobbler; that would make sense to include. Any other research information about the work of art that sheds light on why it was created, how it was created, the artworks life beyond the artist or any information of interest like a scandal or accolades associated with it would be appropriate.
8. Personal Reflection: Why did you choose it? What about it intrigues you? Is there a personal story that you can share that relates this artwork to you? Something beyond the over used phrase It caught my eye. What does this artwork mean to you?