Museum Report

W3: Museum Report Prompt

GWC MUSEUM REPORT – Summer 2021

Submit the report in the Week 3 Module

Sadly, because of covid-19 you won’t be able to visit a museum in person this term. Instead, I’ve changed the assignment to take advantage of the excellent online resources from art museums. This will allow you to select both a work of art online to write about AND think critically about the museum that it is from.

STEP 1:  Visit Google Arts & Culture’s online Collections page (Links to an external site.) . Browse through the partner museums and select one that has a “Museum View” or “Street View” (typically if you scroll to the bottom, it will appear above the map):

It is important to make sure your selected museum has a “Museum View” or “Street View” of inside the galleries of the museum – not all do. Please confirm this before moving to step two. For example, the National Museum of Art in Washington DC doesn’t have a Museum View so you can’t pick it but MoMA or the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum does!

· Please also make sure to pick an art museum, as you’ll need to write about a work of art. So, sadly, no history museums like the Anne Frank House, NASA, or Smithsonian National History Museum.

· If you are in more than one class with me this term or have taken a class with me in the past, you need to submit a Museum Report on different works of art. Remember, all work for this course must be done during this term.

· Direct link:  https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en (Links to an external site.)

·  (Links to an external site.) Here’s what that Museum View will look like:

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STEP 2Select a work of art from your museum within the Museum/Street View or collections page.

You’re free to pick any work of art you’d like, it does not need to come from the time period covered in the class. You’ll want to pick a work here so that you can analyze where it’s located, what’s next to it and what kind of frame it has. It will look like this or if you found it by looking through that museum’s collection, it will look like the second image:

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Make sure your Museum/Street View has thumbnail images at the bottom that you can select. This will take you to each artwork’s entry. If there are no thumbnails along the bottom, pick another Museum/Street View or a different museum. Trust me, this will make your life much easier.

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STEP 3: When you’ve found your artwork, click on the entry to learn more about your individual artwork. Spend some time clicking around the room it’s in, seeing what’s next to it and what the architecture of the space is like. 

STEP 4: Time to answer some questions! 

 

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN YOUR REPORT 

· Font & Spacing: 12pt, Times or Arial; Single or double-spaced is fine.

· Length: 1200 words (ok to go over).

· Style: Write in complete sentences, paragraphs, and with college-level spelling and grammar.

· Underlining: Please underline any art or art history specific vocabulary.

· Format: You can format your paper either with headings for each question OR as an essay with paragraphs for each question.

· Sources: you need at least two sources (cannot include Wikipedia) and to include Works Cited that is correctly formatted in MLA style.

· You should also use in-text citations when referring to information that is taken from your sources. This lets the reader know what are your ideas and words vs. those that are from someone else.

· You’ll include citations if you paraphrase, directly quote, or refer to information and concepts that come from other people.

· Remember that what you list in your Works Cited page are sources that you actually cite in your report. This is not a bibliography so it’s not sources that you used for research.

· The artwork alone and by itself is not considered a source. If there was an essay that accompanied it, then yes, you can list that as one of your sources.

 

1.  Visit and artwork information

· The name of the art museum

· Artist name, title (in italics), date, and medium of your artwork (what your artwork is made from)

· The movement or time period your artwork is a part of.

· Example: Northern Renaissance, Modern, Impressionism, Ancient Egypt, etc.

· Use ‘Contemporary’ for anything generally made since 1980.

· Link to artwork’s entry page

· Image of your selected artwork if you can

· Google Arts & Culture doesn’t allow downloads, so you may need to Google the work to find a jpeg. You can also take a screenshot. BUT if this is beyond your tech capabilities, no stress, just include a link to the artwork entry and I’ll see it that way.

2.  Analysis of Subject Matter, Form, and Material: Describe the work’s subject matter and/or form (Formal Analysis). Include what the work if made from (its medium).

· What is being depicted in your artwork? You’ll also think about why the artist selected what they did to make the work from. Describe the work as if the reader does not have a copy of the artwork to look at. What forms, objects, people, setting, etc. are being depicted? Ex: People of various ages and nationalities are sitting in a tight circle talking in an animated fashion. Or if abstract: Angular geometric shapes are spinning wildly out of control. What is your work made from and why do you think your artist chose this material? Why do you think your artist chose to make a 2D or 3D work of art instead of the opposite? Is the material malleable or hard.

· In this same section, work in the vocabulary we’ve been learning and using in class as well as the more universal principals of art and the elements of design (pattern, contrast, emphasis, balance, scale/proportion, harmony, rhythm/movement; line, shape, form, color, texture, space, value). Use your book as a resource and make sure to underline the words when you use them. Ex: The paint is applied in thick, short strokes. Or Ex: the surface of the sculpture is smooth and polished. Ex: A dim blue light creates a somber mood. Do you think the artist expected the viewer to see the work from all angles or would they have preferred the viewer to stand in one location? Does anything about the work make you think the artist considered what kind of lightening would surround the work? Do you have a favorite viewpoint? Why? If the artist made a mistake do you think it would be easy to correct it with this material?

3. Analysis of History/Culture and Theme: What is the historical and/or cultural context of the work? What is the work’s content and purpose?

· Here you’ll think about how the time and place the artwork was created in influence the piece. Describe the content (meaning) of the work as the artist intended AND as you see it. Include historical information that helps to explain the context in which the work was created. Remember – this isn’t the time period being depicted in the artwork, more the time and place the artist was living in. You most likely will need to do some research to be able to answer this question. If you do so, make sure to cite your sources. You most likely will need to do some research to be able to answer what the artist intended this work to be about if it is not clearly stated at the museum. If you do so, make sure to cite your sources.

· You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you: What do you think about what is taking place in the time period when this work was made? Was it a certain era of Ancient Greece or during World War II in Germany? Did something happen in the artist’s life that influenced the work such as was this made after a wonderful or traumatic event in their life? Where was the work meant to be seen and experienced – was it for a church, home, outdoors, or indoors? How does that influence the work (ex. maybe it’s made of something particular to help with it being outside)?

· You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you: Does your work related to a community issue, embody religious or spiritual beliefs? Does it reference the cycle of life (births, family, aging, death, etc.) or is it related to science or technology? Is it referencing a ruler or leader? Episodes of war or times of conflict? Concern for a societal issue? Is the body depicted or identity or gender? How does the title of the work help you reach that conclusion? What is the artist trying to communicate? Sometimes this is left open and the artist wants the viewer to create their own meaning. Was this work a criticism of something or created in praise and celebration? Was it to commemorate an event or for worship and ritual? Was it for self-expression or delight? Is there anything symbolic in the work (what we call iconography)? What emotions do you see and feel in the work? How does it speak to you personally? You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you.

4. Installation of the artwork: Why is it where it is?

· This is where you’ll think about how the artwork is installed.

· You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you: What is the room like? Is your work exhibited with pieces by other artists that are similar in style? Was your work of art placed near other objects from the same era? Are works organized by culture or time? What else is in the room? What is the frame like, wall color, lighting? Is it inviting or not? Is there a bench to allow you to (virtually) sit and contemplate the work more?

5.  The Museum: What was your museum like?

· This is where you’ll think about what the museum’s purpose was and how that’s translated in the viewer’s experience.

· You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you: When was your museum founded and by who? What kind of collection does it have? What style is the museum built in? Does the style of the building relate to the type of art on display inside? How does light and space in your museum affect your perception of the works of art?

6.  Research: How does some research help your interpretation of the artwork and museum in general?

· After doing a bit of research on the artwork and/or artist, what did you find of interest to you and what helped you to appreciate the work more?

· Some of this may be biographical; other information might be personal (such as this was painted during a time the artist lived in a small seaside town). Can you make any connections to works we’ve studied in class? Look for any wall labels or information at the museum that can help you with this. You most likely will need to do some research to be able to answer this question so make sure to cite your sources.

7. Personal Reflection: What was your take on the work and your virtual visit to the museum?

· This is your personal reflection section.

· You don’t need to answer all these questions but these will help guide you: Why did you end up picking this work and what about it was intriguing to you? Is there a personal story that you’d like to share that relates to this artwork? In what way did seeing it in the museum (virtually) enhance your experience? Did you notice new or different things over time when you zoomed in? Did you have expectations about what you were going to see or what the museum was going to be like? How did you experience reinforce or challenge your previous ideas about museums? Why would you encourage your reader to go or not?

8. Works Cited

· This is where you’ll include your sources (at least two, neither can be from Wikipedia). You’ll use MLA style for this but it does not have to be on its own page.

· You should also use in-text citations when referring to information that is taken from your sources. This lets the reader know what are your ideas and words vs. those that are from someone else.

· You’ll include citations if you paraphrase, directly quote, or refer to information and concepts that come from other people.

· Remember that what you list in your Works Cited page are sources that you actually cite in your report. This is not a bibliography so it’s not sources that you used for research.

· The artwork alone and by itself is not considered a source. If there was an essay that accompanied it, then yes, you can list that as one of your sources.