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Art History 1303 - Schafter, Debra: Spring 2017: Home

Egyptian Statuette of Isis and Horus

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Link to Museum Assignment

            For Part I of your Museum Research Paper, you selected four objects from various collections at the San Antonio Museum of Art.  Now, for Part II, your task will be to do some brief research.  A library session scheduled for March 8 during our regular class period will help you start your investigation.  Be sure to bring your graded Museum Paper-Part I to the library session.

  1. Select:

Of the four objects originally chosen, select one artwork from the Western-European collections and one from the non-Western collections (two objects total), both of which fall into the same thematic category:divinity, functional or individual.   (For example, you may have chosen an Egyptian vessel and a Chinese vase, or a Roman deity and a Japanese deity.)

  1. Investigate:

You will be required to consult two (2) scholarly sources to find out more about each of these two objects. These sources may help you find out more about the subject of the artwork, its particular style, method of construction and/or its specific function.Do not use your textbook or general encyclopedias.One (but, only one) of your four sources may be a website, though it must be a legitimate one (the rule of thumb is that it must come from a museum or academic institution and have an author; look for .org or .edu sites). Your research should help illuminate the work of art for you, bringing new insights to the first-hand observations you made while at the museum.

**NOTE: By Monday, March 27 you must show me evidence of your research by submitting to me (typed) the two objects your selected to investigate and the four (properly cited) sources you will be using to research them.

  1. Final Research Paper:

Your final task will be to write an approximately five-page (typed, double-spaced) paper (plus Works Cited) in which you provide the following:

Page 1-2:  a thorough analysis of the first objects you selected, identifying and describing the cultural style, and providing more in depth information that you discovered through your research.

Page 3-4: same as above for the second object selected

Page 5: compare and contrast the two objects taking the following ideas into consideration:

  1. Divinity:  if the subject of each is the realm of the divine, how did each culture portray its spiritual concepts or beings?  What is emphasized?  How did the object function within its culture?
  1. Functional: how were the objects used?  What purpose did they serve?  What does their form and decoration reveal about cultural ideas and/or priorities?
  1. The Individual:  how is each person portrayed?  What characteristics are emphasized and de-emphasized?  Are cultural ideas prioritized in capturing the individual?

Page 6:  Works Cited page.  The sources you consult MUST be properly cited at the end of your essays.  You may use the MLA or Turabian citation style.  Guides to both citation formats are available online: see

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