How to write an art history description paper

Art criticism essay

The cover sheet for the paper should include the following information: title of paper, your name, course title and number, course instructor, and date paper is submitted. Usually you have to go and look at the object for a long time and then write down what you see. You must still make an argument about something, but in this case you will use art instead of, say, dialogue from a play to build and defend your argument. More often, they will ask you to compare two works in either the same or very different stylistic categories—e. Start by reading the assignment carefully to see what is being asked see our handout on understanding assignments for further tips. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. However, in some courses, particularly in Modern Art courses, you may be asked to look beyond or through the object toward theoretical, historical, or social contexts of the object, artist, or time period. You should choose details that illustrate your central ideas and further the purpose of your paper. Assignment sleuth work When your instructor hands out a paper assignment, first figure out what type of assignment it is. Fill Your Brain with Information Remember: a car works on gas, a brain works on info. In this case, you should just describe your object.

More often, they will ask you to compare two works in either the same or very different stylistic categories—e. You will still focus on the formal qualities of the objects, but this time you will probably be expected to make a conclusion about one of the following: how the work fits the stylistic category how the work does not fit the category how two works with the same type of content look totally different from each other, because of the style for example, both paintings are still lifes, but they show different approaches to three-dimensionality, etc.

art history paper with images

Write down interesting facts and thoughts that come to mind while you read. Solid, thoughtful research and correct documentation of the sources used in this research i.

Art history paper example

Additionally, these Guidelines remind students about plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Your thesis analyzes his late paintings in terms of his Tahiti lifestyle. Declare that you have noticed something about the art, building, artist, architect, critic, patron, or whatever your focus is for your analysis. Others will expect you to go further and comment on the significance of what you have observed. The connection should not open a new topic, but simply offer the reader food for thought and then declare this investigation is beyond the scope of your paper. Some professors in introductory classes will start with at least one of the following assignments at the beginning of the semester in order to get you thinking like an art historian. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. Persuade the reader that you have demonstrated that your thesis is soundly based on your findings. Examples of CMS for some types of note and bibliography references are given below in this Guideline. Just remember: there is more than one way of doing art history. For examples, the artist's other work from that period, the artist's work all together, the artwork's relationship to the movement or the artwork's relationship to that moment in history. Unless your paper is a biography of the person, most of your paper should be about art, not life. Make sure that your paper isn't just description. You will be expected to write several different kinds of art history papers.

New York: Routledge, Conducting the analysis: Ask questions as you are studying the artwork. Pick a topic based on eye appeal and compelling personal interest. Barnet, Sylvan.

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how to write art history
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Art History Writing Guide