history art 101

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Your project will be basedon your analysis of an original work of art. You can choose any painting,sculpture, decorative artwork, piece of furniture or stained glass window exhibitedin any of the museums listed in the item below. You can also choose the museum buildings themselves or any of themonuments listed below.  Feel freeto ask me if you are unsure of your selection.  Be sure to get the following information from yourartwork:  the artist, title, date,medium and accession number of the object.   If you cannot visit the work of art in person, you mayselect a work of art from a virtual museum visit.  The only requirement is that the artwork belong to a movement covered in the class.

The following are suggested museums and their websites:


National Gallery of Art

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Freer Gallery of Art

Hirshhorn Museum

Phillips Collection

Renwick Gallery


Washington Monument; Vietnam Veterans Memorial; Lincoln Memorial; World War II Memorial; Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial


The following are places to visit in Virginia:


George Washington Masonic Memorial



Alexandria Torpedo Factory



Greater Reston Art Center



Manassas Battlefield: Statue of Stonewall Jackson


For the Observational Paper you must choose a work of art from one of the museums listed in “Museum Project General Description.”  The only requirement is that the artwork belong to a movement covered in the class. You will write a paper on one original work of art. It must be a minimum of 800 words.  This is not a research paper. Your observations should be illuminated by the lectures, assignments and readings. It is important to choose something that you can discuss without doing further research (unless you would like to do outside research – you are welcome to do so – on the internet, books, etc). If you do use outside sources, they must be properly credited. Please use MLA format. 


A typical paper will spend the first two pages (or more) describing the art work in detail using terms learned in class (ie. sculpture in the round, complementary colors, iconography, etc.) and possibly providing some background about the artist (but not required).


In the rest of the paper you will compare/contrast the object to 1 artwork that we discussed in the lectures for the class – talking about how the works are similar and/or different. If you decide to do outside research you may want to talk about the work’s significance – how it may be a political statement or an shows an innovative style, for example.




The paper should be double-spaced and 12-point font in either Times New Roman or Arial and a minimum of 800 words.

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