Paper format and requirements:
a) 2-3 pages long
b) double spaced
c) one inch margins
d) using a 12 pt. Font. (Courier or Helvetica recommended)
e) Post your image with your paper.
• Find your image on the museum website of the museum you visited
• Make sure that the image is no more than 500 pixels
• Move your image to desktop
• Click on “browse” at bottom of text box where you have cut and pasted your assignment.
• Click on “upload”
• Check to make sure that the image file has posted.
This paper will be an analysis of one work of art seen in the original at a museum of your choice, The Getty Center,, or the Los Angeles County Musuem,, are highly recommended for this paper; however, it is up to you where you choose to go. If you would rather go to another Museum, PLEASE CONSULT THE LIST AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS HANDOUT OR TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR ALTERNATIVE CHOICE.
The purpose of this paper is to give you an opportunity to analyze a work of art seen in a museum context, in reality, NOT IN REPRODUCTION. Therefore, works viewed in reproduction on the internet or in a book, for example, are not acceptable for this paper.
in the guidelines for full credit. DO NOT INCLUDE THE NUMBER OR SECTION TITLES I AM GIVING YOU IN THE BODY OF THE PAPER. Before starting to write your paper do some preliminary research on the particular work you have chosen. Google the artist and “title” of the painting and choose at least two links other than wikipedia to begin your “thinking” about the work.
1) Thesis statement
In the first paragraph identify the work: artist’s name, title, date, medium, scale (this information should be included in the wall text next to the work). Since you will be relating form to content in this paper, write a statement that sets out what you will be discussing/proving in this analysis in terms of how the visual form creates meaning. IN YOUR THESIS STATEMENT YOU MUST ALSO INCLUDE THE TWO FORMAL ELEMENTS AND ONE DESIGN PRINCIPLE THAT YOU WILL BE ANALYZING IN RELATION TO CONTENT.
2) THEME/ Subject
Make sure to include in your thesis a statement about the subject of the work. What is the subject/theme of the work. Examples of subjects or themes in art are discussed in Chapter 4 of your text. Religion, portraiture, landscape, mythology, leisure time, history, political critique, identity politics are a few examples of subjects or themes for art.
3) Formal Analysis; (Review Chap. 2 ) . Determine if the style of the work; abstract? realistic? or somewhere in between; make sure to state why. Choose only TWO formal elements from the list below to focus your discussion. Which two formal elements are the most important in communicating content in the work you have chosen? Make sure to state how the formal elments aid in creating meaning. Be as specific as possible, example: line, what kind of line is used? where is it located in the work? How does it contribute to communicating meaning? Use the handout on formal elements for specific vocabulary.
4) Relate these formal elements to ONE Principle of Composition:(Review Chap. 2)
Make sure to explain how the design principle functions to produce meaning.
a) Balance
b) Emphasis/Subordination/Focal Point
c) Scale and Proportion
d) Repetition and Rhythm
e) Unity and Variety
Include in your analysis information about the historic/social/religious which relates specifically to this work. Make sure that the research you do for this part of the analysis is documented; include citation and bibliography.
INTERPRETATION Relating Form to Content and Context to Content
Discuss the overall meaning of the work of art. Particularly note how your analysis of form relates to your assessment of the content of the work. What is the artist trying to communicate, how do the formal elements and design principle analyzed in your paper help this communication? What responses are evoked, emotional, intellectual, physical other? How is the historic/cultural context evidenced in this art work?
6) PHYSICAL CONTEXT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN THIS ASSIGNMENT TO GAIN FULL POINTS. The curators of the museum have installed the galleries in a particular way. How is the work you are analyzing displayed in the museum? What other works are surrounding it? Identify at two other works displayed with the work you are analyzing (artist, title, date, scale, medium). Does the display aid or hinder your understanding of the work? Curators hang work together in galleries of the museum for specific reasons. In your opinion why have the curators hung this work together?
Consider also: What is the light like in the gallery? What color are the walls in the gallery? Does the color complement the work you are viewing? Is the gallery crowded? If so, is that affecting the way you are viewing the work?
7) Subjective Response
State your response to the painting before you did any research on it. Did you like this work or dislike it? Explain what you liked. After you researched the work, discuss how your “perception” and “appreciation of the work changed.
Note: You must post your paper on Etudes in the Assignments, Tests and Surveys section under MUSEUM PAPER assignment.

1) Have you included the artist, title, date, dimension, discipline and medium of the art work in the first paragraph?
2) Have you put the title in quotation marks or italicized? MAKE SURE TO PUT THE TITLE IN QUOTATIONS OR ITALICIZE.
3) ATTACH AN IMAGE OF THE WORK THAT YOU ARE ANALYZING. Instructions for attaching an image, you can attach the image either at the beginning of end of your paper:
• find image on museum site, or through google images
• move image to desktop
• Click on picture icon above the text box, to the right of the flag icon in second row
• Click upload at top of the screen
• Click browse in the pop up box
• Change either the height or width to within 400 pixels range(change only one so that the image adjusts proportionately
• Click OK to post in your text box with your paper
3) When you first introduce the artist use the first and last names, thereafter use only the last name when referring to the artist.
4) Have you included the two formal elements and one design principle you will be analyzing in the “thesis” statement?

5) Have you included an ‘idea’ about the content of the work in your “thesis” statement and what you are going to “prove” in your paper regarding how the two formal elements and one principle of composition communicate content?

6) Have you used the specific vocabulary to describe the two formal elements and the one design principle you have chosen for your analysis? For example, if you are analyzing color, have you stated the specific colors used, and what they are called. Example: The primary color of blue is used in the background while its complementorange is used on the right side of the painting in the trunk of the tree. This creates a strong contrast and adds to the visual interest of the painting. Local color is used throughout the painting, the blue in the sky and lake, green for the grass and tree leaves, and brown for the tree trunks of the trees. Local color, therefore, develops a sense of naturalism and deep space in the picture.

7) Have you linked form to content? Have you proved how the visual information the two formal elements and one design principle have created the meaning that you have designated for the work?

8) Outside research is needed for understanding the content and context of the work you are analyzing. You must include a paragraph about the historic/cultural context and how it links to the content.
a) If you are quoting or paraphrasing from an outside source, you must include a citation.
b) Direct quotes must be put in quotation marks.
c) Remember to always include the citation for the outside sources that you use, internet, or actual texts.
Make sure to use correct format for citations. Use the instructions below to find the correct format for citations.
Look on the page that comes up and you will see “Writing and Citation help” in the bullet points listed.

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