complete a visual analysis of a work of art found in a museum or gallery. Report #1 will be about an Asian work of art, #2 about an African, Australian, or Oceanic work of art, and #3 about a Pre-Columbian or Native American work of art. You may do #1 and #2, #2 and #3, or #1 and #3, Write a 400-600 word paper for each assignment. Choose something (painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, textiles, baskets) that appeals to you, but it must be an example from one of the cultures we’ve studied. I would appreciate a post card, photograph or sketch of the piece submitted along with your report. Although this assignment is to be based on what you observe with careful study, some research might be necessary.
Visual analysis is using formal means to describe a work of art. Your description should be based on observation, so take notes when you go to the museum. Use appropriate art terminology which you have learned in this or previous art history courses. Include personal interpretation, if based upon thought, but not reaction based upon emotion.
The objective of this assignment, and of this or any art history course, is to teach the student how to look at art. In tandem with that is the objective of giving you the skills needed to understand the art you see, whether in a museum, gallery, on the street, in your home or office. To do this, you must learn a new vocabulary, and be assertive and confident and don’t rely upon explanatory text; trust your own abilities. When confronting a work of art look at it carefully: first at the overall image, then at the details. Look for clues that help you determine the style that’s helps you assign the culture of origin. Try to figure out why you like it or why you don’t, then record you observations.