San Diego Museum of Art’s collection. Now that you’ve learned about the various modes of analysis art historians use, you’ll begin to apply them to a work of art. The idea is that this discussion will get you thinking about a work of art and the modes of analysis for how you would go about interpreting it, as well as an opportunity for you to receive feedback from your peers and me before you complete the full Museum Paper assignment later, so that you may have some direction and opportunity for improvement.
Here are the instructions for this discussion. Please read closely and make sure you complete each item for full credit:
1. Explore the San Diego Museum of Art’s collection. For this assignment, we’ll visit a local Museum: The San Diego Museum of Art (this is the only choice of Museum for this assignment). You have two options: visit virtually or in-person.
Option 1 – Virtual Visit. Take a free online tour – check the tour calendar on the San Diego Museum of Art’s web site (Links to an external site.). If you can’t make a tour, you can also browse exhibitions from the Museum’s homepage (Links to an external site.). It’s free, you won’t have to pay a dime to do a virtual visit.
Option 2 – In-Person Visit. The Museum is now open (hooray!), so if you can make the trip to Balboa Park, go for it. This is the preferred method if you can make the time, as there’s nothing like visiting art in-person. Just check the Museum’s web site (Links to an external site.) for hours and Covid-related info. Student discounted admission is $8 with an ID (or free for San Diego residents every third Tuesday of the month but you’ll need to confirm that before you go). Also, museum admission is FREE for first responders!
2. Select a work of art for your Museum assignment. After your virtual or in-person tour, explore the Museum’s collection further through viewing current exhibitions on the homepage (Links to an external site.), browsing the collection online, (Links to an external site.)or wandering through the galleries if you go in-person. Then select a work of art that you would like to analyze. You do not need to know a whole lot about the artist or the work of art yet (no need for research yet) but it would be helpful to read any online materials or watch videos about the work of art/artist if offered on the Museum website or on the wall label next to the work of art (bookmark the page so you can return to it later when working on the rest of your Museum Paper assignment).
3. Write your discussion prompt according to the following criteria:
1. Explain your visit — did you go on a tour? Did you visit online? What was the experience like?
2. List the artist, title, date, and medium of the work of art you selected.
3. Write a few sentences on WHY you chose that particular work of art. What drew you to it? What do you like/dislike/want to know more about?
4. Now begin a formal analysis on the work of art. Identify the elements of art/principles of design that stand out to you the most. Choose at least 2 elements and 2 principles that you’ll discuss. Write a short statement discussing how the artist has employed those elements/principles and to what effect. Make sure this is entirely in your own words, from your own observation (don’t copy any label information word-for-word from the Museum web site as that would be plagiarism and will result in a grade of 0).
5. Then, list at least one other mode of analysis (biographical, feminist, gender, race, sexuality, psychological, iconographic, contextual) you think you will most likely use to analyze this work of art further. You do NOT need to go into an in-depth analysis at this point — just identify which mode of analysis you think might apply the work of art based on what you know so far (you can always change your mind when you begin writing your full Museum paper assignment later). For example, if you chose a work by Artemisia Gentileschi, you could select contextual, biographical and/or feminist).