ancient artifact

ancient artifact

Museum Paper

Visit the Menil Collection in Houston near the University of St. Thomas. Find an object in the ancient artifacts room that relates to the course content and timeline. (no later than the 1300’s) Find three sources of information on the period, style, and meaning of similar works from the same period, or you may compare and contrast with a work of another period. Write a paper of at least 2000 words citing your sources in the body of the text. Use the MLA style.

Template for Museum Paper, Survey of Art I,
Professor Steven Potter

Use this as a guide to organize your essay. Follow the approximate word counts for each section below.

Title
Your name and ID

Subject
Introduce the object with a vivid description. Put the object in an object type (portrait painting, monumental sculpture of the ruler, palace wall panel, etc.). Include the basic subject matter. Also discuss the work in terms of form. This includes color, dimensions, line, and mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, and value. How big is it? What is it made of? What shape or shapes does it use? Is it textured? Is the texture actual texture or visual texture?  Is it a dark piece, or light, or somewhere in between. Is there a value scheme like predominantly dark with light accents or predominantly light with dark accents?
100-200 words

Critical Points
Discuss the most characteristic aspects of the piece. You should try to discuss the work in terms of the principles of design such as: balance, composition, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. These are the ways in which the elements above interact…the dynamics of the piece.
100-200 words

Style
Write a formal analysis leading to the characterization of the work’s style. You may want to use other pieces in the collection for comparative purposes.
300-400 words

Historical, Cultural Context
Identify the people who made the piece – where they lived, in what type of organization, etc, then focus on what this piece meant to the people who made it. Use your library research. You may want to use other pieces in the collection for comparative purposes. Context includes answers to questions like:
Who made it? What biographical information is available on the artist? The artist’s attitude, beliefs, interests, and values; education and training would be possible areas to research and integrate into your discussion. In what historical / cultural environment   was the work of art created. What culture created it? In what time period was it made?
This section should also include a discussion of content.
Simply stated, content includes both the obvious subject matter of the work as well as the sometimes less obvious meaning or message of the work. You might have to do a little digging here. The Internet is a valuable resource for some preliminary research. You may want to follow that up with some actual library research. Rice U., U of H, and the Museum of Fine Arts have the best Art libraries in the city. Also use scholar.google.com library search tool.
Approximately  800-1000 words
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Conclusion
Restate your main points. Synthesize your major points into a concise cohesive statement.
40-60 words.
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Works Cited
You must include a list of at least three sources you found helpful in understanding this object. Each source does not have to treat the object directly (it probably won’t), but it must help you understand some aspect of the historical context or style of the piece. Annotate each work with approximately 100 words for each entry (300 words total). Use the MLA citation style.

Checklist for Museum Paper
*    Consult the template above for subject matter.
*    Consult the Assessment Rubric below as you write.
*   Upload your paper to turnitin.com.
*   Turn in typed, stapled, double-spaced essay following the word
*    Turn your essay in on time. No lates accepted.
Important: Review the grading rubric for the paper below to see how your grade is calculated.

Term Paper Assessment Rubric

Superior
Grade: A
*   Provides a comprehensive and original description of the art object
*    Completes a succinct but insightful formal analysis of the object
*    Describes the iconography of the piece
*    Provides a thorough and insightful discussion of the historical context
*    Generates a thesis that joins the formal analysis and historical context in an insightful and holistic manner

Satisfactory
Grade: B
*    Provides a comprehensive and original description of the art object.
*    Completes a succinct but insightful formal analysis of the objects
*    Describes the iconography of the piece.
*    Provides a thorough and insightful discussion of the historical context
*    Generates a thesis that follows logically from the formal analysis or historical context
Adequate
Grade: C
*    Provides a logical description of the art object.
*    Attempts a proper formal analysis of the object.
*    Describes the iconography of the pieces
*    Provides an adequate discussion of the historical context
Unsatisfactory
Grade: D/F
*        Any two of the following four errors: Does not provide a logical description of the objects or cannot formally analyze the objects. Does not handle iconography or provide a discussion of the historical context.

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