choose one object from any museum collection at the Met online
Museum Object Paper
Please visit this website http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ for a complete list of paper writing tips and examples.
This one http://writingaboutart.org/index.html is a thorough website about writing about art. Use them both!!!
For this paper, you will choose one object from any museum collection at the Met online. The object must be from the
cultures studied in this course as listed in the course calendar dating anywhere from 30,000BCE-1400CE. Papers
should have three parts: a formal visual analysis; demonstration of research on historical context; demonstration of
research and one’s own speculation on interpretations of the symbolic meaning of the object. Papers must be at least
3 pages and no more than 5 pages (using Times New Roman 12-pt, 1 /12 to 2 space) and include proper citations
and an image of the object. I would prefer that you convert the word document into a PDF before you attach and
send. If you do not have access to Adobe Writer, then you may submit a word document.
I have no tolerance for plagiarism and if any portion of the final paper is plagiarized you will not only receive a 0 for
the paper but for the course as well. Always cite all of your sources. That means citing what you are paraphrasing as well as direct quoting. No more than 10% of the paper may be made up of direct quotes. In addition to content, you will be graded on grammatical correctness and writing effectiveness. Please use all of the resources provided to help you with writing this paper. Proofread before final submission! Better yet, have a friend or parent read it. Sometimes it is easy to miss your own mistakes. The website above is a tremendous resource for everything from writing introductory sentences to proper MLA citation. Follow the outline provided as a means of organizing your paper. All the following parts must be included.
To begin: visit the collections of a local museum in your city or the MET online at this address.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ You may conduct your search a number of ways. You may have an affinity for a
particular era that we are studying, an art form type, a culture, etc. you can search the collection at the MET using
whatever parameters you choose but you must settle on a piece that is from one of the time periods / cultures that we
have or will study in this course. To make sure that the piece you have chosen is appropriate, look at the chapters in
Gardner’s book that we will be reading in this course. I would prefer that the piece is not one that is examined in
Garnder’s text freeing you to analyze it without any preconceived ideas. I suggest that you begin this process as soon as possible.
Paper Proposal Format: 10 Points( I want this to be done in three days)
Include your full name on the paper in the header on the right hand side and “paper proposal.” The purpose of the
paper proposal is to explain, in one to two paragraphs, what the object / art work / artifacts / architecture / etc is, what
do you know about the context within which it was created (culture / era / country / empire) and who is the artist (if
known). Also include why you were drawn to the piece and what you think the significance of the work is in relation to
what we are studying in the course. You must include the full name of the piece, the collection in which it is housed,
the medium, artisan or builder, and an image of the piece at the end of the document.
I. Introduction (thesis) Give a brief introduction that leads to a central thesis that explains what the paper is
about. In the introduction you must include the full name (if known) of the piece that you are analyzing. Grab
your reader’s attention right at the beginning of the paper and make us (me) want to read more.
II. The body of the paper will be divided into three sub-categories (make sure to include sub headings to keep
your paper organized although this does not remove the need for transitional sentences that lead the reader
from one part to another smoothly and coherently)
a. Formal analysis – The formal analysis involves writing about the piece objectively in terms of what
you see. What does the object look like? Colors?Textures?Lines? Tool marks? What size is it?
What medium (material) is the work made out of? Is there a use of light / shadow? If it is a figure, is
it realistic? Symbolic?Representational? Are any conventions of perspective used? If it is
Architecture, how is space used? Is it vast? Tight? Is the composition unique to that time? This is
the section that you should reference the introductory chapter in your textbook to help you with
writing accurately about the piece. Try to use as much appropriate terminology as possible. It is
very important that this portion does not get into your speculations of the meaning of the piece as
that will come later.
b. Historical context – The second section of the body should discuss the historical context of the
work. Use your textbook, the MET, and outside sources to discuss the era in which the work was
created. Make sure to include a discussion about the social, cultural, and economic aspects of the
cultures in which the specific art type emerged. Include important aspects about the economic and
technological changes in the societies that may be reflected in the work of art. This allows you to
do some speculating about the meaning of the piece while supporting your claims with evidence.
c. Symbolism / significance – Using sections “a” and “b” develop your own thoughts and analysis
on the significance of the piece. Is it stylistically similar to other pieces made during that same era
or a departure? What do you think that the artist / builder is trying to convey with this piece? Is it a
commissioned work? If so, what does it say about the patron? Does it have political or religious
meaning? Is it a symbol for something else greater and more important than it appears? This
section is where you can use the research available to make some educated speculations about
the significance of the work?
III. Conclusion – Tie all of the parts together to support the claim / argument / thesis that you presented in the
IV. Works cited: This is not part of the page count and should be on its own page. I would prefer that you use
MLA or Chicago End Note but you may use any referencing method that you feel most comfortable with.
Use the link at the beginning of this document to help with any citation / grammar questions you may have.
They say history is art and art is history. This metaphor clearly indicates that merges both the people with art and the Panathenaic amphorae is a good example. This vase was discovered in Vaucheria in Cyrenaica which is today’s modern Libya…………………………
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