Art Museum Paper

PARAGRAPH #1: Descriptive Phase

Describe the artwork you have selected. Identify the work of art with the title, artist, and medium (see the label). Write your initial response (item A below) to the work. What do you think the artwork is about (story)?  What message (idea) are you receiving from the work?  You may find both.

PARAGRAPH #2: Analytical Phase A

Analyze the artist’s use of the Elements of Art in the artwork you select.  Locate and write about specific examples (item B below) in your selected artwork. Think about how the artist’s use of the Elements affects your response to the artwork for Paragraph 5.

PARAGRAPH #3: Analytical Phase B

Analyze the artist’s use of the Principles of Art/Design in your selected artwork.  Locate and write about the specific examples (B below) in your selected artwork.  Think about how the artist’s use of the Principles affects your response to the artwork for Paragraph 5.

PARAGRAPH #4: Interpretative Phase

Using the information provided by the book, event program, or museum label information as research, write about how your selected artwork fits in with the body of work and the intent of the artist—if you don’t know, then compare it to what else you see around you in the area. DO NOT CONDUCT ANY ADDITIONAL RESEARCH FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT.  THIS IS NOT A RESEARCH PAPER.

PARAGRAPH #5: Evaluative Phase

In CONCLUSION, state whether your personal response was changed by both your formal analysis (the Elements and Principles) and the research from the text. Be sure to include more than this simple statement. Qualify your response with reasons why (how), or why not, 2, 3, and 4 affected your first response.  ADDITIONALLY, by visiting a museum, even virtually, you support the arts community. After your personal response to the work of art you chose, think about the work and where you saw it. Write a few sentences that demonstrate your understanding of the value of the work, the place you saw it, and its impact on the community.

NOTE on this assignment and on writing in general:

A. First responses should be just that. Resist the urge to over-think this. React and respond and describe that feeling or response in your writing.  If the artwork tells you a story, then communicate that story in your writing.  If it makes you sad, then express that in your writing, and explain why.

B. You MUST give specific examples of how and where the artist uses them in your selected artwork.  Do not simply list the elements and principles used in the image. Additionally, the examples you provide must reflect the artist’s use and application of the Elements and Principles in the making of the artwork, NOT about the story, meaning, or responses.

A well-constructed paragraph must be at least 5 sentences long. Also, all material related to the topic of the paragraph stays in that paragraph. You may refer back to that information in other places in your essay, but introduce the information in its appropriate place.

Essays and individual paragraphs have a beginning, middle, and end.  In this essay, the beginning is your initial response; the middle represents your analysis and research (2, 3, 4), and your conclusion is paragraph 5 which ties back to your beginning.


don’t, use do not. You may you “I” because this is a subjective paper. College-level grammar is expected. Use MLA formatting.

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