ArtF 110, Museum Paper (MP)

    November 1, 2022

Normally, I would ask students to visit a museum for this assignment, but now with the Coronavirus, you
have the choice to either stay home and master this assignment virtually, or visit one of the museums listed
In this essay you will be discussing an original artwork that you have picked from your (virtual) visit. Use
the same artwork for the MUSEUM FIELD NOTES (MFN). Follow the instructions below to see what you
need to include in your Museum Paper. Allow at least 45 minutes to look at your artwork. Have a notebook
handy and this handout when you go looking for an artwork online.
Follow these 10 points to get a good grade on this assignment.1

  1. Pick a Museum:
    Choose one museum from the list of museums, visit it and choose one work of art from our period
    (Prehistory to about 1500 ACE) for your paper.
    List of Approved Museums for this Assignment: If you wish to pick a different museum, please contact me
    via the school email.
    Norton Simon Museum of Art phone: 626-449-6840
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art phone: 323-857-6000
    The Getty Museum phone: (310) 440-7300.
    San Diego Museum of Art phone: 619-232-7931.
    Timken Museum of Art phone: 619-239-5548.
  2. Pick an Artwork
    Your artwork should be from the time period covered in this class (Prehistory to about 1500 ACE). Many
    of the artworks can be viewed on the respective museum websites. This will give you a first glimpse and
    facilitate your choice.
  3. Describe the Artwork:
    Describe the artwork briefly. In your paper, your description should never be longer than one page. Write
    down your observations on a note pad. Identify the artwork and give the medium (painting, oil on canvas,
    sculpture, etc.) and dimensions. Try to conquer space with your words. If you give information about
    objects or people depicted in your picture, try and locate them in the picture space.
  4. Analyze the Artwork:
    Analyze the artwork as you are standing in front of it. These ideas might help:
    Are there elements to this artwork that seem unusual, odd, or otherwise noteworthy? If so, this is the path to
    research. Why are these questions coming up? Where will you find answers? It is not enough just to ask the
    questions. You have to do research to try to find answers.
    Some questions might be similar to these: If there are people represented, what are their expressions, relations
    to each other? What is the story? What colors does the artist use? How does the artist use light in this work?
    Is there three-dimensional perspective shown in the work? For sculpture: How much space does the work
    occupy? What does the frame or display case look like? Does the way this work is displayed have an effect
    on its appearance? Where is the best place to stand to see your artwork? Are you at eye-level, higher or
    What is depicted in your artwork? Is there a story or an event? The title may help you here, but you may need
    to do further research to get all the details of the subject. How is the work represented? Is it realistic or
    1 Note that students cannot submit papers written for other classes.

    abstract? What kind of texture does the work of art have? Does it look rough, smooth, etc. (Do NOT actually
    touch the artwork!) Can you see brushstrokes? These and other questions might come up.
  5. Do Research at the Library:
    Take these questions home and to the library website and start your research. Try and find answers to these
    questions. Consult academic sources to find answers to your questions. You might find e-books and articles
    via the college library website.
  6. Find Three Admissible Sources:
    What are admissible sources for this assignment, and how do you quote them in your paper?
    ATTENTION: Please, include only THREE to FIVE (maximum) footnotes in your paper!
    I would like students to use CHICAGO-TURABIAN-STYLE FOOTNOTES. This is what they will look
    Admissible Sources for this assignment:
    Your sources HAVE to be ACADEMIC, PEER-REVIEWED sources. Examples are:
    Author [or editor], Title [underlined] (City of publication [include state or country if not commonly
    known]: publisher, date of publication), page numbers.
    K. Michael Hays, ed., Architecture Theory since 1968 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998), 83-86.
    Journal Article
    Author, “Title of article [in quotation marks],” Journal Title [underlined] volume #, issue # (month of
    publication, year of publication), page numbers. example:
    Jennifer Hock, “Jane Jacobs and the West Village: The Neighborhood against Urban Renewal,” JSAH
    66, no. 1 (Mar. 2007), 16-19.
    Essay in a Collection
    Author, “Title of article [in quotation marks],” in Title of Collection [underlined], Name of editor (City:
    publisher, date), page numbers. example:
    Frank Lloyd Wright, “The Art and Craft of the Machine,” in America Builds, ed. Leland Roth (New
    York: Harper & Row, 1983), 364-76.
    Electronic Sources
    You can only use peer-reviewed sources (books, journal articles) that are available online.
    Provide all of the relevant information mentioned above for the media type (books, articles, etc.). Also
    provide the complete URL and date accessed. example:
    Alison McQueen, “Empress EugĂ©nie’s Quest for a Napoleonic Mausoleum,” Nineteenth-Century Art
    Worldwide 2, no. 1 (Feb. 2003),
    (accessed 5 Apr. 2007).
    Short Form
    Short forms of citation may be used for repeated sources. For short form, include author’s last name,
    title, and page number.
    Sources that are NOT ALLOWED for this assignment:
    Newspaper articles, articles from non-art-related periodicals (Time Magazine, Newsweek, San Diego
    Reader), generic online sources such as museum websites, Wikipedia, encyclopedias (online or print),
    dictionaries, youtube, Khan Academy (or any other video), etc. You will lose substantial points if you
    use inadmissible sources.
  7. Write your Paper:
    After you have done some research you will start to write your paper.
    Formal Appearance:

    Length: 1100 words of text, double spaced, font 12 pt, Times New Roman or Courier.2 Your paper will
    include THREE to FIVE footnotes referencing the literature you consulted. Please, attach a cover sheet
    indicating your name, my name, the name of our course, course meeting times, the artist and name of the
    work of art you picked, as well as the museum where this work is located. This cover sheet and all addenda
    do NOT count into the 1100 words required to pass this assignment! A picture of the artwork must be attached
    to your paper! The paper must be written in a flowing essay style. Have somebody read your paper for
    language mistakes. Consult the writing lab for proof-reading. Grammar mistakes, major errors in sentence
    structure, nonsensical expressions, or typing mistakes have no place in a college level research paper. Papers
    with more than 5 language errors will be severely graded down.
  8. Follow this Outline:
    Your first paragraph will be entitled INTRODUCTION. It will be about one paragraph. Identify the
    museum, exhibit title, and content and scope of the exhibit. Give your reader an idea as to what you are
    going to do in this paper. Refrain from overly personal statements. At the end of this first paragraph,
    your reader should have an idea what this paper is going to be about.
    Your second paragraph will be entitled: DESCRIPTION. You will give a brief description of the artwork,
    NEVER longer than a page, ideally shorter.
    Your third paragraph will be entitled PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH. You might need more
    paragraphs to present your research. Use a separate paragraph for the individual ideas you are presenting
    (example: biography, color, composition, materials, etc.). Try to find literature (books, peer-reviewed
    articles, etc., NOT a generic website such as Wikipedia!) that mention your artist/artwork. Access GALE
    or EBSCO Host for peer-reviewed articles through the College Library site. Your research must be based
    on the work of art used in your Museum Paper. The research discusses a number of aspects of the work
    of art, such as the time period, style or related ideas. Give the authors’ opinions and quote them correctly
    as follows. ATTENTION: You will lose a substantial amount of points if you quote inadmissible sources.
    Sources that are admissible and those that are NOT allowed are listed on pages 1 and 2 of this handout.
    Only 3-5 f ootnotes in your paper!
    Quote your sources using Chicago-Turabian-style footnotes. If you don’t know what Turabian-style
    footnotes look like consult The Chicago Manual of Style. Basic formats, however, are shown under ad
    6) on page 1 and 2 of this handout.
    This website might help you format your footnotes:
    8.5. SUMMARY:
    Your last paragraph will be entitled: SUMMARY. Now you may express and opinion weighing all the
    written sources you consulted previously. You CANNOT have a qualified opinion if you only do a
    google search or use inadmissible material!
    As a separate page, your paper will include a BIBLIOGRAPHY. It will bear the headline
    BIBLIOGRAPHY. The bibliography must have at least THREE sources. It is important for you to visit
    a library and learn how to use it correctly. List your sources in alphabetical order according to the
    author’s last name. You will display this information like you did in your footnotes. Be advised that you
    cannot put sources in your bibliography when you don’t quote them in your text.
    Be sure to use peer-reviewed, academic sources! General information from websites (even museum
    websites!) or the public domain are NOT APPROPRIATE for an academic research paper. You will lose
    a substantial amount of points if you use inadequate literature for this assignment! Peer-reviewed
    publications provide a stringent editorial process that has a quality control function. The internet does
    2 Please note that I will deduct points if your paper is longer or shorter than the required 1100 words of
    not provide this. There is a lot of wrong or irrelevant information out there. We want to consult experts
    in their field and find out what they have to say about a subject matter.
  9. Submit your Paper:
    Your paper has to be submitted electronically via Canvas by the deadline. Paper copies are not accepted.
    Access Canvas, go to “Assignments”, and follow the directions for submitting your paper. Please, upload a
    photograph of your artwork, and submit everything together AS ONE DOCUMENT at the same time. Late
    submissions or submissions of parts of your paper via email or other channels are not accepted.
  10. Common Mistakes:
    You are writing this assignment so you learn how to think. Logical thought is best learned through writing.
    This is not just an assignment to keep you busy. Writing forces you to organize your thought process.
    Avoid first- or second person speech in academic writing. This paper is about an artwork, not about you. The
    most important person in this project is YOUR READER. The objective is to help YOUR READER
    understand an artwork. Use fact-based, detached, and objective language.
    Avoid overly emotional expressions. Your reader does not want to learn about your rich inner world. S/He
    wants to learn objective information about an artwork.
    Don’t wait until the last minute to write this paper. The act of writing gives you a chance to learn about your
    subject matter. Learning takes time. When I read your paper, I am looking for an AHA-moment, a light bulb
    that goes on in the writer’s head. Since this is an undergraduate writing assignment, I am not yet looking for
    original thought. This will come in grad-school. What I am trying to do is give you a chance to learn the craft
    of academic writing with a short and easy assignment. Take this assignment seriously. Writing in academia
    is NOT like writing an essay in high school. Professors in graduate school will assume that you know how
    to write in an academic setting. This is your chance to learn how it is done.
    â–ˇ 1 Cover sheet with your name, name of class, name of school, name of art work,
    â–ˇ 1100 words of text (minimum) with 3-5 footnotes using Turabian style at the bottom of the page,
    â–ˇ 1 Photograph of your art work,
    □ 1 Bibliography (NOT “works cited”) with at least 3 peer-reviewed literary sources,
    â–ˇ Put ALL THESE ELEMENTS into ONE pdf file and upload only ONE file to Canvas

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