[Based on exercises in Core Concepts in Humanities DVD Rom]
Credit: Mindi Bailey
Possible points: 150 (15% of total class grade)
*Note: You MUST provide proof of your attendance in order to get credit. If you do not submit proof of attendance, you cannot earn a passing grade on this assignment. No exceptions! Proof of attendance can only be a ticket stub, a receipt showing proof of purchase, or a stamped flier. No posters, unstamped fliers, programs or photos will be accepted as proof of attendance.
Each section below is worth a certain number of points. Read the directions carefully and answer each prompt completely. Your museum report should include the following information at the top:
Date of visit: ___________________________
Arrival time at the museum: ________________
Departure time from the museum: ___________
Your report should be written in essay form in MLA format. Since your work for this project will be based entirely on your own perceptions of the art, you do not need outside sources and therefore you do not need a Works Cited page.
PART I: Best AND Worst (worth 50 points)
1) Identify the one work of art that you find to be the BEST art work in the entire museum.
* Provide the title, artist, and all other identification material provided on the plaque accompanying the material for each of these pieces.
* Describe each work using the elements of composition and principles of design.
* Explain what message you think the artist was trying to communicate and how you think s/he accomplished this task.
* Write a brief paragraph on why you like/dislike each of these particular pieces of art as well as how each made you feel.
2) Now do ALL of the above for the one work of art that you like LEAST in the entire museum.
PART II: (worth 50 points)
Directions: Address ONE AND ONLY ONE of the following topics.
Choice A: “You Name It”
Directions: Locate and list the info listed on the plaques for ALL of the untitled works you can find in the museum. Then, supply your own title for each. Describe one of them using the elements of composition and principles of design. Then, analyze and interpret how these elements and principles are used in communicating an idea and evoking a particular response. How does a title influence viewers’ perception of art? Why do you think the artist chose not to title this piece? If you choose this option, you should write a short essay on untitled works of art and the meaning behind this. Discuss the influence of titles on the way we interpret content.
Choice B: Portraits
Using various techniques, artists usually try to express something beyond the obvious as a means of capturing perceived characteristics of the subject that a photograph may not.
Some examples of this:
Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits reveal the artist’s troubled spirit through the use of strong, heavy linear treatment and intense hues. Late in his life, he painted himself with a bandage over his partially severed ear, probably indicating that he had come to grips with his mental illness and was able to deal with it openly.
Rembrandt’s serene self-portraits seem to glow against dark backgrounds as if to express hope in an otherwise dark, dismal world. Both artists painted their own image over a broad period of their working lives, leaving us with a kind of autobiographical record.
Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) also developed an autobiographical record with self-portraits, leading to a worldwide following for her distinctive body of work. Her paintings incorporate symbolic images rooted in her physical and spiritual suffering. Her provocative style of portraiture can be seen in her “Self- Portrait with Cropped Hair.” The painting shows a defiant Frida holding a pair of scissors and surrounded by her own shorn hair, despite the admonitions of her husband, artist Diego Rivera (1886–1957) who thought her long hair was appealing. At the top of the painting she wrote the melody and lyrics of a popular song: “Look, if I used to love you, it was because of your hair, Now that you’re bald, I don’t love you anymore.”
Directions: Search for portraits of various styles, time periods, cultures, and art forms. Jot down a few notes about the wide range of style and techniques, ranging from the most realistic to abstract representation. Look beyond the subject and think about the content, or meaning, of the work. Discuss the style and techniques utilized by at least three different portrait artists on display at the museum. At least one of these should be a self-portrait. What can you tell about each of the subjects of the portraits and how are these insights articulated visually by the artist? What do you know about the context of the person’s life and how can you tell? (For example, a pauper will be portrayed quite differently from an aristocrat, and this difference can be surmised by the setting, pose, and costume as well as the brushstrokes, lighting, and gestures.) Finally, I would like for you to speculate on which artist seen at the museum you would choose to create your own portrait. Why would this artist or artistic style suit you best? How would you want to be portrayed? (Formal or informal? What would you wear? How would you pose? What setting would you choose? etc.)
Choice C: “Art and Religion”
Religious subjects have been used as inspiration in all kinds of art from all cultures—in some cases for artistic expression alone and in others to enhance the ceremony of worship. Whether by inspiration or outright patronage from the church, artists have produced religious works in all forms of the visual arts. Various depictions of Christ on the cross and The Madonna and Christ Child Enthroned, for example, reveal qualities and features which make each work unique among many on the same subject.
Directions: Search for and list at least five works with religious themes from various religions and give the documentary info for each (what’s included on the card). Then, select the one that you believe communicates the most intense spirituality and write a short essay about how the artist has engendered this response. If it is a piece from Christianity, for example, you’ll need to express the tenets and beliefs of that religion that are touched on in the piece. Remember that color is symbolic as are many of the things included in the work of art. Also keep in mind that in tribal religions, art has a ritualistic or fetish role to play in specific ceremonies. Think about the power of image and the relationship between art and religion in various cultures and time periods. Be sure to address exactly how the beliefs and rituals of religion are expressed in the work as well as how the artist made you feel what you experienced when viewing this work of art.
PART III: “Scavenger Hunt” (worth 50 points)
Directions: Give the title, artist, medium, and date or origin of your selections for FIVE of the following ten choices. Then elaborate as prompted in the parentheses.
Find a piece of art that:
1) you don’t consider to be art at all (briefly explain why)
2) made you think of your childhood (what memory was sparked?)
3) reminded you of someone or something (who or what did it remind you of?)
4) made you smile (why?)
5) grossed you out (in what way?)
6) gave you a sense of excitement (why?)
7) mirrors your own spirituality or lack of it (explain)
8) you would like to own (why?)
9) looks like a child painted it (what qualities does child art have that other art doesn’t? Picasso said that when he as 12 he could paint like the masters, but it took him his whole life to learn to see as a child. What do you think he meant?)
10) is the most realistic or representational (How can you tell it isn’t a photograph? Do you see brushstrokes?)
BONUS: (worth 15 points)—You may choose ONE AND ONLY ONE of the following options.
Bonus Option 1: Power Play
Directions: Choose 5 of the following ten categories and identify one art work for each of the five you’ve selected that you consider to be the best representations of the category of power and give the title, date, artist or origin of each as well as a brief explanation of how you see the particular culture depicted.
Bonus Option 2: Time Capsule
Directions: Suppose that you have been chosen to select works of art from the museum to be buried in a time capsule. You must choose 5 works of art that you think best depict 5 different cultures. These should be emblematic enough that archaeologists and anthropologists millennia hence will be able to accurately interpret the culture by examining these art pieces or artifacts. Give the title, origin, and/or date of the art work and a brief description of what it reveals about the culture/time period it comes from.
Bonus Option 3: Museums as Artworks
During your visit to the museum, take special notice of its design. The architect planned the structure to serve a specific purpose that is meant to have an impact on museum visitors. (Note that the Dallas Museum of Art is arranged chronologically, beginning with earliest cultures and art objects located on the top floor to contemporary art on the first floor.)
Directions: Write a paragraph explaining how this particular museum’s design affects your experience with its artwork.
REPORT OF A VISIT TO THE Bangladesh National Museum
Name of Museum Visited: Bangladesh National Museum
Date of Visit: 29/7/17 Time In: 10:30 Time Out: 12:45
The Bangladesh National Museum is extraordinary place to explore and learn. We had visited the 104 years old museum on the 29th July this year. We looked over the museum with the guidance of our honorable treasurer, Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury. The size of the Bangladesh National Museum from the highway is much larger than it feels on the inside. It is the largest and well known museums in the country as well as in the south Asia. It was founded in 1913 by the British Governor of Bengal. Now, it is a four storied building with 46 galleries. Actually the building was built at 1983. I perceive that the museum is well organized and displays have been housed chronologically in several departments like department of ethnography and decorative art, department of history and classical art, department of natural history, and department of contemporary and world civilization. It have an extensive collection of artifacts. Bangladesh National Museum has a vast collection of pieces. One of the museum staff told me that the number of exhibits, from different disciplines collected up to 2009, was about 86,000 but only 10% of the collection are shown for the visitor. I found there a great number of wonderful artifacts. The museum’s ground floor consists of some old guns at the entrance and the hall where the people book their tickets or assemble to hear the history of the museum. The hall leads to a grand staircase. Beside the hall, there is a smaller room which also acts like the hall and a simple staircase.At first we entered into the 1st floor which is divided into 22 rooms. The first room displays a large map showing the map of Bangladesh and its 64 districts. I tried to found out my district with the help of my friend. The 2nd room consists of a large statue of a royal Bengal tiger. 3rd-10th room, these rooms consist of natural beauties found in Bangladesh. In one of the room there is showcase of a tongue of a whale. I came to know that whales are not fish, they are animal like human being. 10th-22nd room, the other rooms contain some historic relics of Bengal up to 1900. There is a room which shows the different boats used by the rural people. The 2nd floor consists of photos of famous people and showcases the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Language Movement of 1952. There are posters used in the war, a torture machine and much more. There are also two libraries. The 3rd floor consists of pictures of international politicians, artists, scientists, famous pictures and four international galleries - Chinese, Korean, Iranian and Swiss.
I came to know with the help of a officials of the museum that the museum shows all its collection in several departments like department of ethnography and decorative art, department of history and classical art, department of natural history, and department of contemporary and world civilization. Here is a short description about this four departments which I observed then.
- The Department of History and Classical Art:I found the most notable objects conserved at the Department of History and Classical Art.I loved being able to see the table on which the instrument of surrender was signed by the Pak army on 16 December 1971. The other significant objects I saw there are: the first flag of independence raised on foreign missions, documents of Liberation war of Bangladesh, Pakistani brutal killer’s torture machines, the significant declaration of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman conveyed on 7th march 1971 in Dhaka, the wounded blood mark in the shirt of shaheed Shafiur Rahman who was cruelly killed by the police under Pakistani government on the Language movement of 1952, Private souvenirs of martyr Asad , historic mementos of Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhushudhan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagor, various kinds of coins, sandstones, very old caption and manuscripts; terracotta plates; wooden carving; medals, royal decrees and historic artworks; iron axes; archaeological artifacts and objects about religion.
- Department of Ethnography and Decorative Art:I enjoyed this department so much this department is in charge of objects include Muslin Sari, various kind of decorative umbrella; dress that be dressed in by the former king-queen and citizen; Choga(it is a short of loose fitting dress) Achkan-party dress, textiles; boats of Bangladesh; arms made by iron; cannons; war drum; swords; ivory dolls; wood carvings; musical instruments; tribal ornaments; tribal dress; fishing tools; items of household decoration; sample of decorative cakes; and musical instruments.
- Department of Contemporary Art and World Civilization: In the Department of Contemporary Art and World Civilization, I observed many things including paintings and carvings of Great Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Kamrul Hasan and artist S. M. Sultan. I saw the artworks and skills of some famous artists from home and abroad. Easily I got in touch with the experience of 2nd world war to see the potteries burnt during the war in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan and a lot of local and foreign objects collected from Bangabhaban.
- Department of Natural History: I found there two other departments. They are Department of Conservation Laboratory and Department of Public Education. The Conservation Laboratory tries to restore the objects which are worn out and lose its appearance using scientific methods. The Department of Public Education performs museum related education programs for public and students. This department has seven sections: education, display, library, publications, audio-visual, auditorium and photography. The Department of Public Education organizes seminars, symposia, exhibitions, competitions and educational and cultural functions.
In the museum we watched a short film on the second floor. The film was on our liberation war .We all watched the movie sincerely and enjoyed the movie immensely. I really enjoyed the Department of Natural History. I was much amused with the view of butterflies & birds.
To me, this was the most interesting and most enjoyable museum that I ever visited. I would suggest this museum to everyone. It holds valuable information on the tradition, customs and heritage of our country. I think that everyone could learn important concepts that are derived from history, tradition, customs, persons, art, cultures and many other things from this museum and the exhibits that are housed within in it.