As an honors student in this course you are called upon to work in a somewhat different manner from those in other sections. Here for your Midterm you will write a short paper in which you will focus on one work of art in the Lowe Art Museum from the Western art collections corresponding to the period covered by our course: Late Medieval/Early Renaissance to Contemporary Art. You are urged (in fact, you were urged at the start of this course) to visit the Museum on your own to get an idea of the range of the collection and which works are of interest to you. We will have a guided tour at some early point.
You will write this paper in three basic parts:
- A preliminary statement of at least one paragraph in which you name your choice, why, and what you think will be your approach. Due: Monday 9 October
- A first draft to be looked over and corrected by me. Due: Wednesday 25 October
- A final draft which is the final paper. Due: Friday 10 November
The paper should be based upon your observations and opinions and research sources, with the appropriate use of footnotes and bibliography. I will give you more specific guidance on useful sources as part of my response to your preliminary statement (Wikipedia won't be among them).
The paper should be organized around one question, which you will ask at the start of the paper. Among the possibilities are: Why did (or does) this artist work in this style/ with this particular subject? What qualities made or make this artist avant garde, retrograde, popular or obscure? Don't be afraid to ask another type of quesion! Note that sometimes you can get some stimulating impressions by watching the reactions of other museum visitors.
The paper needs to be typed, double-spaced (no more or less) with one inch margins on all sides. It needs to be 3-5 pages long.
On Researching and Writing the Paper
- The first thing to do is to examine your work of art closely. Go back to the Lowe Museum and spend some time in front of your choice. Begin with a minute written description--write down everything you see and the thoughts that occur to you while you are looking and writing. A close description of your painting or sculpture should be included as a first part of your paper.
- You will next want to find Information Sources on your artist, Your first stop should be The Grove Dictionary of Art. (This link will only work if you are working from a UM-connected computer. Apparently, if you sign on via the MYUM site you will be able to use this site from outside campus.)
Look under biographies to search for your artist. If your work is described as an example of a particular genre or school of art, such as Impressionism or Abstraction, look under those terms as well.
- The article usually gives you information about the artist's training and his influences. For example, the Spaniard Ribera was closely associated with the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. How is this influence made evident in his Lowe painting?
- The article usually has a Bibliography at the end. Don't spend time trying to track down any specialized articles or books, unless they have a title along the lines of "[Your Work] by [Your Artist] at the Lowe Museum in Coral Gables." If there is a recently-published exhibition catalog and our library has it, it could be worthwhile to look at it to get a sense of the artist's interests and style. Ex: read the catalog entry for Paul Gauguin in "The New painting, Impressionism, 1874-1886 : an exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with the National Gallery of Art, Washington" [ ND547.5.I4 N38 1986b, Architecture Library] You might consider: why was Gauguin interested in Impressionism? How, in your opinion, did this interest and early style help determine his more well-known mature style?
Don't forget to look at our text also!
- Other Sources: Don't use Wikipedia.
- Other Sources: That doesn't mean you can't use Web sources. For example, look at the Lowe's various collections sites.
- Modern artists, such as Duane Hanson, may have online exhibition sites devoted to them. Look for ones connected with museums or galleries. You may also find newspaper articles, such as this 1998 article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- Think of related works that might be helpful. For example, two of you are working on images of women as slaves. You might want to consider slave images such as Hiram Powers' Greek Slave of circa 1841 and/or Ingres' Grand Odalisque of 1814. How, do you think, we are intended to react to these women? What sorts of clues do you find that seem to indicate what our responses should be?
- If you need basic information on saints, take a look at The Catholic Encyclopedia. (Be careful about looking up other kinds of information here, as this edition dates to 1917!)
- For a short paper such as this I would expect you to use about four sources or so. More sources are not necessarily better. The emphasis in this paper should be on your own interpretation, based in part on other sources.
- Somewhere at the begininng of your paper indicate the Museum ownership information, such as : "Accession no. 12345-89, purchased with funds from the Una and I. M. Strange Family Fund." This information will be found on the museum wall label and should be put in an early footnote or endnote in your paper.
- Here's how to quote sources in footnotes or endnotes:
- A Web site: list the title, author, the URL (that's the address) and the date you examined the site. Ex.: '"All About Art" by A. DeAngelis, (http://www.efn.org/~acd/Survey2honors.html) seen October 20 2006.'
- Hard-copy sources: For a short paper such as this one, list the author, title, place and year of publication, and page number in your first citation. Ex.:
I. M. Smart, All About Italian Renaissance Art. New York, 1999: 16-19.
- For second and all subsequent citations, just list the last name of the author and the page number(s). Ex.:
- Remember that you need to acknowledge all use of sources with a footnote or an endnote. For this paper, no in-text notes, please.