This project, before the pandemic, had involved a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Part I: Ancient Egyptian Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA
Compare the Seated Statue of Hatshepsut [ca. 1479 – 1458 BCE] with either the standing statue of Hatshepsut in a Devotional Attitude or the Large Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut
Remember Hatshepsut was a woman who presented herself as a King. Compare and contrast.
2. The Goddess Sakhmet
Statue of the Goddess Sakhmet
ca. 1390–1352 BCE
How does this statue relate to some of the statues of seated pharaohs we studied in class [which can be found in our textbook]. How does this lion-headed goddess connect to our days and the pandemic.
Part II: Roman Art
3. Compare and contrast 2 Roman portraits
Portrait from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York, USA
Marble bust of a man
Roman [mid-1st century CE] [Flavian – 69-98 CE]
Portrait from The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia
Portrait of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Roman [161-180] [Antonine – 138-193 CE]
Part III: Islamic Art
4. Islamic Art and Design
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York, USA
Please choose 1 of these 2 objets.
Panel from a Rectangular Box [10th – early 11th century]
Pair of Minbar Doors [ca. 1325–30]
Describe them. Consider this question. Can a painting or sculpture be art, even if design dominates or even if there is nothing recognizable from nature?
Part IV: The Renaissance in Venice
5. Bacchus and Ariadne
The National Gallery in London, UK
Bacchus and Ariadne Titian [1520 – 1523]
Western art is often described as narrative art. So, what do you think the story is here? A painting of course, is silent – but how noisy do you think this scene is? What makes this painting uniquely Titian’s? Which of the characters in this painting appeals to you the most? Do you believe there is such a thing as Love at first sight?
Part V: Images of Women
6. Women then and now
In the American wing, Gallery 768, is a room showing images of Women from 1880 to 1910. Choose one of the four works shown in the first row of paintings online. Consider the work from a sociological point of view as well as an art historical point of view. Compare your chosen work to contemporary women. Visually speaking, what has changed for women during the last century or so? What hasn’t?
Part VI: Art in the Modern World [Realism, Romanticism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and beyond]
7. Paintings from Realism to Post-Impressionism
Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
Oil paintings from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s.
Mostly French paintings by Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, and many others. All pretty remarkable. 147 on this webpage.
Choose one that speaks to you. What Art movement does the painting you’ve chosen belong to? Why did the artist chose this – whether it’s a group or just a room – to spend weeks, maybe months, painting?
8. Modern Oil painting
Go to the Google Arts and Culture /MoMA website
Scroll down and you should see a heading entitled “In this collection” under which there are around 5 Panels.
From the 5 Panels select Oil paint. There are 24 items, all but three paintings being from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Paintings by van Gogh, Rousseau, Klimt, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, Redon. By Albert Oehlen from 1989. And two works by Sophie Taeuber-Arp.
Once again, choose one that speaks to you. And write away. Pay attention to color, line, composition. And once again, answer the question – why did the artist choose to paint – this.
There are EIGHT items to write about. Each item is worth 12 and a half points.
Papers must be typed. Please make sure your written response for each item is at least several paragraphs long. Please use 12 point Times New Roman or similar font/type size; double spacing is not necessary. Typos and bad grammar count [and not in a good way].
You MUST include images, especially when asked to choose your own favorite image from one of the online museums.
1. The aim of a college essay, or an academic essay, is to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence and analysis.
2. Beginning: Let your readers know what the essay is about – the topic.
Establish the essay’s context, the frame within which you will approach your topic.
What is it you want to say?
Here are some specific suggestions for beginnings: use specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, an anecdote, or [especially for art history] an image.
Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning. Readers who don’t have the information they need to follow your argument or discussion will get lost. And – might quit reading.
3. What is the central issue? You can pose a question [which will lead to your idea], or you can make a thesis statement. [Or you can do both.]
What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement tells the reader how you will interpret the subject [the topic]. It answers the question asked of you. It makes a claim that others might dispute. It’s usually a single sentence. [Though with a longer paper, over a dozen pages long, you might use several sentences.]
Please note that the full strength and durability of your idea will probably not emerge until you reach your conclusion. But your beginning must clearly indicate the direction your idea will take and set your essay on the road to the last sentence of your paper.
4. The body of your essay. Orient your readers. Provide information and explanations. [And I also recommend insights and opinions, especially when it comes to Art History.]
You can use the classic – who, what, where, when, how and why.
Try to include at least 2 to 3 solid points that support your thesis.
5. The conclusion. Tie everything together to create a satisfying ending. Connect your ending to the thesis statement. Do not just repeat the first paragraph.
6. Polishing. After you’ve finished writing your first draft – clarify and sharpen your focus as needed. Rewrite!
You might need to change one of the several points that supports your thesis. You might need to move a sentence or a paragraph.
Make sure the paper flows. Do not just put together a patchwork of borrowed ideas. And do NOT plagiarize. Make sure your paper has a voice – your voice. Make sure there are no grammatical mistakes and that your sentences are well structured. Check spelling and punctuation. Do NOT depend on spell check. It will not find all mistakes.
One useful trick is to read your paper out loud. To a friend, a relative, or even to yourself. It is amazing how many mistakes, from basic topic concepts to sentence structure that you will discover when you read the paper out loud!
7. An additional suggestion. Some people recommend writing an outline.
Before starting to write an essay, it’s important to know what you want to say. To create an outline, you can follow the basic structure of an academic essay that follows:
a. an introduction that includes the thesis statement.
b. the body of the essay, including the separate paragraphs discussing evidence that supports the thesis.
c. and a conclusion that connects everything back to the thesis.
Try it now!
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