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Art Appreciation 1301 - Deitz, Rebecca: Spring 2017: Home


  1. Spiritual Belief
  • Connecting Spirits with the Divine
  • Giving Gods Human Form
  • Sacred Space
  • Spirituality and Abstraction
  • Thinking about Art and Spiritual Belief
  1. The Cycle of Life
  • Birth
  • Youth & Age
  • Contemplating Mortality
  • Burial and the Afterlife
  1. Love and Sex
  • Physical and spiritual desire
  • Imaging desire
  • Kisses
  1. The Body, Gender, and Identity
  • The Body Beautiful
  • Performance: Body as Work of Art
  • Gender Identity
  1. Cultural Identity
  • Nationalism and Identity
  • Class and Identity
  • Racial Identity, African American Experience
  1. Power
  • Representing Rulers
  • Women and Power
  • Power, Race and Colonial Enterprise
  1. Science, Technology, and the Environment ­
  • Technology and the Arts  
  • Art and Environmental Understanding

Research Paper Assignment

Research Paper (Brief Overview): 

The Research Paper challenges you to analyze art from the opposite direction as did the Museum Paper (Selecting individual artworks & analyzing the composition and process to determine the artist’s intent).  The Research Paper begins by contemplating larger themes in art, as presented in Section 5 “Themes in Art; Seeing Continuity and Change Over Time”. Selecting two artworks within one theme, research the artist or genre to compare or contrast how the artworks function within this theme. Then analyze the composition to describe how the artist employs the formal elements of design to communicate the concept or theme.  

Step 1, Proposal of Selected Artworks: Review Part 5 of your textbook (8th ed.; Chapters 21-27) which is dedicated to various themes explored in works of art and architecture over a variety of cultures throughout history. Select a chapter / theme that intrigues you and contains artwork that you find visually engaging. Read the chapter to grasp the theme and concept. Select 2 artworks* from different sections of the same chapter to research and compare.

Proposal: Create a cover page for your research paper that contains the following information

  • Your Name, Art Appreciation, 1301-036
  • Title of the paper:  Comparative Research Paper on [Insert Theme and Chapter]
  • Artist’s Name, Title of Work, Date,
  • Process & Media * of each artwork as noted in textbook.

                *(oil on canvas, etching on paper, marble sculpture, assemblage with wood and flowers)

  • A good quality photograph of each of the two artwork selected

Step 2, Library Research, Source Material: On April 4 & 6 we will meet in the library. Our Reference Librarian will introduce you to scholarly resource sites containing professional articles that will provide the basis for your research paper.

Bibliography: Four (or more) professional sources of information from the following sources.

  • 4 Scholarly Resources: 2 or more required for EACH artwork (Library book, or online journals accessed though the library webpage)
  • Web Articles from Professional Sources: Any number of online articles from professional sources, in addition to 2 or more required sources above, to total 4 or more.  (Museums, Professionally recognized galleries, encyclopedias, news papers / magazine)
  • no Wikipedia or Non-Professional Sources

Bibliography requirements:

Books: Include Title, Author, Publisher, Date, pages referenced.

Scholarly Web Sources: Title, Author, Online Publisher, Database

Other Web Sources: Title, Author, Online Source,  Copy & Paste Link

Step 3, Research Paper: After studying the textbook chapters and your selected source materials, begin to compile the information into the body of your paper. The paper should be 3 full pages, PLUS the cover page and bibliography. Be sure to include all sections of information

Format: Word doc, docx, pdf, standard margins, double spaced and 12pt type. Upload through canvas by deadline.

Cover Page: Include your proposal page as the cover page for this paper.

Section 1:  Introduction

  • Provide an introductory statement that explains the prevailing theme of your paper.
  • Artist Name, Title of Artwork, Country of Origin, Medium, Date, Introduce each artwork by including the following information in the opening chapter.  Found on museum tag
  • Media and Process: Accurately describe the media (materials used) and the process (construction technique) using art-specific terminology found in the textbook Part 3, Ch. 8 – 13. . Be as accurate as possible. Demonstrate your knowledge. For example, if this is a painting, read chapter 9. Painting. Which paint media is it? What are the ingredients? Application? Appearance?

Section 2: Historical Research and Thematic Comparison. Your research should culminate in one full page or more of written information.

  • Research the history of the artist and artwork you have selected. This may include:
    • Artist:  the time-period, culture, country
    • Genre: artworks fall into larger categories of shared style and concepts, like “Surrealism” or “Baroque” Find the genre that fits each artwork for a broader study of styles and concepts.
    • Artwork: Look for articles focused on the actual artwork as well.
  • Thematic Comparison: Reflect on the two artists and artworks. Do they approach the theme in the same manner, for instance stylistically, subject matter, cultural or historical values? Note how they are different or the same. Be specific.

Section 3 : Analyze how the Formal Elements communicate the theme  this should culminate in one full page or more of written information including all of the following

  • Describe the Artwork:  In a few sentences, provide a general description of each artwork as means to start this analysis.
  • Analyze Design Principles: Note how each artist uses formal elements of design to communicate the concept of the artwork within the larger theme.
  • Isolate 3 or more key elements of design that exist in each artwork. 
  • Describe how they help communicate the concept of the artwork within the larger theme.

Bibliography: Include your Bibliography on a separate page or document.

Plagiarism will result in zero points for the sections in which is appears, or zero points for the entire paper if it appears in more than one section.

Quotation: Less than 20% of your paper should be quotes. 80% or more in your own words.

  • Quoting another source should only occur when you are repeating dialogue (something the artist said, for instance) or incorporating a unique phrase that is hard to alter without losing the meaning or impact. Most of the words should be your own!.
  • If you do quote, here are my specifications for noting this:
  •       “Write the quoted words in italics, with quote marks around them.”  (1)
  •       Follow the quote with a footnote number (1).
  •       At the bottom of the essay note the number (1) Author, article

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Eileen Oliver
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