Discuss how the visual elements, design, and medium contribute to or enhance the subject of the work. If you are writing about a building, discuss the impact of the design and materials of the building upon the activities that take place within it.

  1. work must be ORIGINAL!
  2. Briefly Introduce and describe the original work of art.
  3. Describe the subject of the work of art. State the subject as you understand it. If you are writing about a building, describe the purpose of the building, but think of it like a whole MUSEUM PAPER ASSIGNMENT work of art, like a sculpture. You are encouraged to use information from wall labels (must be cited) but secondary research is NOT expected and can sometimes lead students astray from a visual analysis. If you want to include research to emphasize a point youve made, that is perfectly fine, but not required.
  4. Analyze the Visual Elements and the Principles of Design of the work of art (or building), describing how these relate to the properties of the artistic medium; i.e., use of line in a painting, the use of massin a work of sculpture. If you are writing about a building, identify the issues of space and human activity as characteristic to architecture. Analysis is the process of breaking something down to its component parts. The components we learned about were the Visual Elements. The composition is governed by Principles of Design.
    These are key parts of your paper. Use visual evidence to support and defend your statements.
  5. Discuss how the visual elements, design, and medium contribute to or enhance the subject of the work. If you are writing about a building, discuss the impact of the design and materials of the building upon the activities that take place within it.
  6. Discuss how the site where the work of art is exhibited (or the location of the building) influences the experience of the work. For example, suppose the work is in a museum gallery. What is the impact of the size of the gallery, the adjacent works of art, the labels, the height where the work is hung, your understanding of the purpose and reputation of the museum, where the museum is located, etc.? If the work is a building, how does the changing light of day/season affect your experience of the building’s interior spaces/exterior forms? How does the surrounding landscape affect your experience of the building?
  7. What is the significance of this work of art or architecture? Why does it matter? Remember, this is a VISUAL analysis. You are not expected to do outside research on the work of art (although you can, if you’d like and if it helps your understanding). The expectation is that you will use your own eyes and the knowledge and skills acquired from this class to analyze the work of art visually and place it within its historical and cultural context. A common mistake is for students to use a lot of historical background as filler. Use historical context carefully and only if it supports your visual analysis. This is also a formal college paper. There should be a clear structure with and introduction and conclusion. The style should be commensurate with this expectation.

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