museum project

museum project

Huma 1301 – Prof. Heaslip Alternate Museum Project Guidelines (Online-Only Version)
Due Date: Sunday, August 5th, by 11:59 p.m. (Submit online via Canvas under the “Assignments” link) You are required to complete Part I: Talks on Creativity (watching one of the choices of TED talk, then responding to the video in at least 250 words) AND Part II: Virtual Museum Visit (in which you choose THREE of the activities provided to write about the art you viewed online). Part I: TED activity Part II: Choose 3 of 5 museum activities ————————————————————— Project Requirements 1. Format: Typed, double spaced, a standard, easily-readable font. Please mark clearly each activity with a heading or bold text. All other formatting in the paper is up to you. Many students have had success using PowerPoint for this project; others prefer a more narrative, essay-like document. If you want to include images, you may, but it is not required. Most of all, please make sure your project is readable and organized! 2. This is not a research paper – your responses to the art should be your own ideas expressed in your own words. However, if you choose to borrow ideas, words, or paraphrases from any other sources, you must give credit inside the essay and on a Works Cited page. MLA style is preferred; if you are unfamiliar with MLA, you are still responsible for giving clear and obvious credit to your sources. See me or a writing center tutor for help. 3. Please carefully check spelling, grammar, and other editing concerns before you submit the paper. While this is not an English class, clarity and accuracy of presentation are still very important, and multiple errors or careless editing will detract from that clarity (and your grade). 4. You are free to include images inside your paper if you choose. Whether you use images or not, remember that to successfully describe art, you must convey the important elements using descriptive language. Even if the reader has never seen the work, he or she should be able to understand your descriptions. *Note: This project does not require you to see an entire museum. You should, however, explore a few different areas in order to get a sense of the variety and scope of the art available. You may be surprised at what you find! How to do a “Virtual Museum Visit” New technology, especially the Google Cultural Institute online and the collaboration of many museums around the world, now allows us virtual access to thousands, perhaps millions, of art works. Opening a portal into a world of a million artworks can be daunting, so here are a few limits you should put on your virtual tour:
1. Look at art works from at least five different cultures. (Examples of “culture” could include all of Latin America, Heian court era Japan, 17th century oil paintings from England, Islamic calligraphy, or Native American woven textiles.) The purpose is to diversify the kinds of works you see.
2. Look at art works from various mediums. Don’t only look at paintings; look at ink drawings, mixed media, metalwork, video, photography, portrait sculpture, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, etc.
3. Look at things you like as well as things you don’t. You may be surprised at what you take away by learning about art that doesn’t appeal to you at first. You may not change your mind about whether you like it, but you will probably come away more open-minded.
4. Take screen shots, or save the images of works you think you might write about in your museum project.
Be sure to also include the accompanying information (the artist, title, culture, medium, and date, as well as which museum or collection you found it in). It’s a good idea to give the file a descriptive name, e.g. “Picasso – Guernica.jpg ). When you write about each work in your report, use those images as references.
5. Don’t forget to read the descriptions or paragraphs that accompany the art. These little write-ups are there
because it’s normal to approach museum art without any idea what it is – at first. Your purpose is NOT to glance at it, make a quick judgment, and move on. Your purpose is to look at it, examine it carefully, considering all aspects of it. Ask yourself what the artist was trying to convey with this piece, and why they made the choices they did. Ask yourself what your own reactions to the work are – and remember that your feelings and thoughts about the art aren’t right or wrong; they just are. Why do you think you had the reaction(s) you did?
6. Here are some places I recommend for your online virtual tours. Please be sure to stick with art and works
associated with ART museums (as opposed to natural history or science museums).
a. Google Cultural Institute https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/
b. The Metropolitan Museum – The Met Collects (I like this one because it’s easy to use)
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metcollects
c. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/partner/moma-the-museum-of-modern-art
d. The Museum of the World, from the British Museum
https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
e. The Louvre Online Tours http://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
f. The Smithsonian American Art Museum Online Exhibitions (The Irving Penn exhibit is great!)
http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/
g. The Frick Collection http://www.frick.org/visit/virtual_tour
Part I. Talks on Creativity (Required for Alternate Museum Project)
Watch ONE of the following TED talks on the subject of creativity:
• Do Schools Kill Creativity? by Ken Robinson https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity
• How to Build Your Creative Confidence by David Kelley

• Where Does Creativity Hide? by Amy Tan https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity
• My Year of Saying Yes to Everything by Shonda Rhimes
https://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything?language=en Then, write a personal response to the video in no fewer than 250 words. Using specific concepts or examples from the video, discuss your view of your own creativity and your own creative process.
Part II. VIRTUAL MUSEUM VISIT– Do 3 out of 5 Below are five activities (A through E). You must choose any THREE of these activities to do for your museum project. (If you do more than three, I will grade the first three in your paper.) For each activity, make sure that you carefully read all instructions and answer all the prompts. (Not answering all parts of each activity is one of the only ways students lose credit on this assignment.) Activity A: It was the best of works; it was the worst of works…
Purpose: To identify the two works in the museum — one which you personally find to be the “best” and one you feel is the “worst” and to examine why you believe the way you do. 1. Identify the one work of art that you find to be the BEST art work in the entire museum, and the one work of art you like LEAST in the entire museum. 2. For each work: provide the artist, title, medium, and date provided on the plaque accompanying the material. If no author is listed, please identify the culture the work came from. 3. For each work: In your own words, describe each work carefully and thoughtfully, examining as many aspects in detail as you can, such as size and thickness of brush strokes, style of art,
use of light and shadow, use of negative and positive space, etc. Use what you know about the elements of art, art medium(s), and art techniques to formulate your descriptions. Optionally, you may also want to consider other aspects, such as where in the museum it is positioned (such as right in an entryway, or whether it is bathed in natural sunlight in an atrium or hidden in a back room somewhere with low ceilings and dim lights) – and ask: why did they choose to put it there? 4. For each work: Explain what message you think the artist was trying to communicate, and whether you think s/he accomplished this task.
Native North American, Classic Mimbres Black-on- White Bowl, 1100 – 1150 CE, Ceramic

5. For each work: Explain in a few sentences why you like/dislike each of these particular pieces of art, as well as how each made you feel. *Remember: Art is a highly subjective field! Pay attention to your feelings and reactions to the art works, especially to the ones you dislike. Keep in mind the artist is not necessarily a “bad” artist, and the work is not necessarily “not even art” if we don’t like it or don’t personally enjoy it. We are certainly allowed to hate art. The purpose is to ask ourselves what the artist might have been trying to achieve, and why it offends us so much, or why we find it so awful, disturbing, problematic, uncomfortable, depressing, haunting, etc. Activity B: “You Name It”
1. Locate and list the artist, culture, medium, and date listed on the plaques for five untitled works you can find in the museum. Example: The work at right is given the title “Standing Female Figure.” This would be considered an untitled work, even though it has been given a temporary “title” in order to identify it within the museum. 2. For each untitled work, supply your own title. 3. Now choose one of the untitled works you found. Describe it carefully and thoughtfully, examining as many aspects in detail as you can, such as use of line, shape, mass, color, positive and negative space, etc. 4. Why do you think the artist chose not to title this piece? 5. Now, separate from the works you chose, think about titles in general. In a few sentences, discuss: How does a title influences viewers’ perception of art? Does the lack of a title influence our perception?
Activity C: Portraits Using various techniques, artists usually try to express something beyond the obvious as a means of capturing perceived characteristics of the subject that a photograph may not. Some examples of this: Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits reveal the artist’s troubled spirit through the use of strong, heavy linear treatment and intense hues. Late in his life, he painted himself with a bandage over his partially severed ear, probably indicating that he had come to grips with his mental illness and was able to deal with it openly. Rembrandt’s serene self-portraits seem to glow against dark backgrounds as if to express hope in an otherwise dark, dismal world. Both artists painted their own image over a broad period of their working lives, leaving us with a kind of autobiographical record. Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) also developed an autobiographical record with
self-portraits, leading to a worldwide following for her distinctive body of work. Her paintings incorporate symbolic images rooted in her physical and spiritual suffering. Her provocative style of portraiture can be seen in her “Self- Portrait with Cropped Hair.” The painting shows a defiant Frida holding a pair of scissors and surrounded by her own shorn hair, despite the admonitions of her husband, artist Diego Rivera (1886–1957) who thought her long hair
George Wesley Bellows, Emma in a Purple Dress, Oil on Canvas, 1920-23
African, Standing Female Figure, Late 19th – Early 20th century, Wood, leather, beads, and fiber
was appealing. At the top of the painting she wrote the melody and lyrics of a popular song: “Look, if I used to love you, it was because of your hair, Now that you’re bald, I don’t love you anymore.” Directions:
1. Search for portraits of various styles, time periods, cultures, and art forms. Jot down a few notes about the wide
range of style and techniques, ranging from the most realistic to the most abstract representations. Look beyond the subject (person in the portrait) and think about the content, or meaning, of the work.
2. Discuss the style and techniques utilized by at least three different portrait artists on display at the museum.
3. What can you tell about each of the subjects of the portraits, and how are these insights articulated visually by the artist? What do you know about the context of the person’s life and how can you tell? (For example, a pauper will be portrayed quite differently from an aristocrat, and this difference can be surmised by the setting, pose, and costume as well as the brushstrokes, lighting, and gestures.)
4. Finally, speculate on which artist seen at the museum you would choose to create your own portrait. Why would this artist or artistic style suit you best? How would you want to be portrayed? (Formal or informal? What would you wear? How would you pose? What setting would you choose? etc.)
Activity D: Scavenger Hunt Directions: Choose FIVE out of the TEN choices below. For each, give the title, artist, medium, and date of your selection. Then elaborate as prompted in the parentheses. Please do not use the same art work more than once. Find a piece of art that: 1) You don’t consider to be art at all (briefly explain why) 2) Made you think of your childhood (what memory was sparked?) 3) Reminded you of someone or something (who or what did it remind you of, and why?) 4) Made you smile (why?) 5) Grossed you out (in what way?) 6) Gave you a sense of excitement (why?) 7) Mirrors your own spirituality or lack of it (explain) 8) You would like to own (why?) 9) Looks like a child painted it (what qualities does child art have that other art doesn’t? Picasso said that when he was 12 he could paint like the masters, but it took him his whole life to learn to see as a child. What do you think he meant?) 10) Is the most realistic or representational (How can you tell it isn’t a photograph? Do you see brushstrokes?)
Asian, Buddha, 15th Century, Bronze
Tom Wesselmann, Mouth #11, Oil on Canvas, 1967
Activity E: Time Capsule
Directions: Suppose that you have been chosen to select works of art from the museum to be buried in a time capsule. You must choose five works of art that you think best depict five different cultures. Your choices should be emblematic enough that archaeologists and anthropologists millennia in the future will be able to accurately interpret the culture by examining these art pieces or artifacts. For each work: Give the title, origin, and/or date of the art work, and a brief description of what it reveals about the culture/time period it comes from.
Rufino Tamayo, El Hombre (Man), Vinyl with Pigment on Panel, 1953
This is an example of the plaque, or card, information that often accompanies a work of art. When you provide the “basic” information from the plaque in your museum project, you only need the title of the work, the artist’s name, the date, and the medium.
 

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