museum visit essay 3

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MUSEUM (ONLINE) VISIT ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS – Use this format when completing this assignment, it does not have to be in traditional essay form.

Student name

ARTS 1301-add section here

Museum Visit Essay

I. Personal Reflection (10 points).

Go to the websites of local museums listed below, visiting their current exhibitions and exploring their art collections. Keep in mind that the goal is to select two artworks, one of which must be a two-dimensional work (drawing, painting, print, photograph), and the second one must be three-dimensional work (sculpture in the round, relief sculpture, installation). Both artworks must be shown/belong to the same museum.

Take screen shots of each artwork to include in the essay.

Begin your essay (Part I.) by naming the museum, and briefly explain the main purpose of the selected museum, providing a couple of sentences with the historical background of your selected museum. Address the following questions: Who built the collection/how did it start? How old is the museum? Who designed the current building, adding two important biographical aspects about the architect? What surprised you the most when reading/investigating about the museum selected?

List of museums:

Dallas Museum of Art

Nasher Sculpture Center!/artcollection/f

Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth

Kimbell Art Museum

II. Analysis of Artwork (40 points per artwork)

Select two artworks, must select one two-dimensional AND one three-dimensional

Artwork # 1 (Two-dimensional artwork)

1. Name physical properties for Artwork #1 by providing the following:

Artist name

Title of artwork




2. Write a Formal Analysis (review chapters 1.1 to 1.9 in the textbook)

This part involves looking closely and in detail at each artwork and considering how the elements and principles of art are used to convey meaning. Identify three visual elements and three principles of design in each work of art, giving examples of how they function in the compositional aspect of the artwork. Give evidence to your claims. It is not enough to mention the vocabulary, you must back up your assertions with evidence. For example, if identifying colors in a painting, do not just mention yellow, blue, discuss the color harmony used and how the colors interact with one another to create a certain mood. Read about color in the textbook. Is it complementary, cool, warm? What kind of feeling does it evoke? You must demonstrate understanding of how the elements and principles work/function within each selected artwork. Remember, these elements and principles help artists convey meaning in their works.

Elements of Art

Principles of Art



Shape (found in 2D artworks)


Form/Mass (found in 3D works)



Scale/ Proportion


Focal Point/Emphasis






3. Interpretation of the art object (Review part 4, chapters 4.1-4.10 in the textbook)

What is the Theme/Subject matter of the artwork?

Some helpful ideas to look at: Is the work representational or abstract? (That is, does the work clearly depict objects or people as we would recognize them in the world around us)? Alternatively, is its subject matter completely unrecognizable (is it non-objective)?

To what degree has the artist simplified, emphasized, or distorted aspects of forms in the work (or abstracted it)? Does this artwork have a unique style? Can you identify characteristics that it shares with other artworks by the same artist, from the same period or place, or belonging to the same artistic group or movement?

Are there things in the work that you can interpret as signs or symbols? For example, is there anything that suggests a religious meaning, or indicates the social status of somebody depicted in the work (hierarchical scale)? Labels often provide good information about iconography.
Would you understand the work better if you knew something about the history of the era in which it was created, or about religious, political, economic, and social issues that influenced its creation?

4. Historical context of the selected artworks (Review part 3: History and Context, chapters 3.1- 3.10)

Discuss the content of each piece. Why was it created? Does it present the viewer with a narrative or a story? Does it discuss social issues? What emotional feeling is present Summarize your reactions to this art object. Analyze the relationship of the artwork to history by reviewing the chapter in the textbook corresponding to the date of the work from the DMA. Place it within cultural, historical, and chronological contexts. Using the textbook as reference, find an artist and one artwork found within chapters 3.1 to 3.10 from our textbook that was created at a similar time to the artwork selected for this analysis. Explain how the work helps further understand the selected work from the museum. Provide citation notation.

For example, in analyzing the work by George Braques, there is a painting from the same time-period found in the textbook that looks similar, but it was made by Pablo Picasso. This comparison furthers help the understanding of early cubism, since both artist were developing the new art style as they were close friends and often collaborated with one another while living in Paris in the 1910s.

  • Follow the same format for Artwork 2 (Three-dimensional artwork)

III. Appropriate formatting (10 points)

Five pages is enough to cover all aspects in this assignment (including a separate Work Cited Page) Use correct college essay format, paying close attention to grammar and spelling. Use single-space for the heading, double-space for the body of the essay. Follow MLA format citation and sources. Keep information concise and to the point. Provide citation notation when using information from the museum website, the book, etc. Submit the work through the link found in eCampus. No hard copies, or emails accepted.

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