Discuss the Elements of Artand Principles of Design that you think are important in understanding and analyzing this work.

Art Museum Essay

Art Museum Essay Due: Nov 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM



The outside writing assignments for FIAR 1200 are designed to develop your skill in analyzing and writing about works of art. Each formal analysis will follow the guidelines stated below.

Keep in mind that a formal analysis is NOT a research paperit is an exercise in perception and articulation. A formal analysis requires you to be aware of what you are seeing and to understand how and why a work elicits a certain response in you, or suggests a particular meaning to you.

It includes a description of a work of art, but it goes beyond mere description because it tells how the described object “works.” That is, it analyzes how the component parts work together, and how the artistic choices (choices of medium, shape, color, etc.) communicate the message of the work to the viewer.

Trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) or the Ogden Museum of Southern Art 

  • DUE date on syllabus

  • 750 words in length

  • Admission to the Ogden is FREE with your Nunez Community College ID card  Each Museum has a free day – you will need to check each of the museum websites to find out when that day is.

  • Choose one work of art that particularly engages you.

  • Take time to look at the work in detail; make a simple sketch of the work.

  • Ask yourself: “How does the piece ‘work’? What is the artist doing? Why do I have a particular response (such as joy, fear, curiosity)?”  Your response is, to a great extent, the result of the choices the artist has made in the process of creation.  You will find useful ideas for thinking and writing about works of art in the text which was required for this course.”

  • Your grade will be determined by how well you follow the outline. Other important aspects are thoroughness, clarity, and a demonstrated sensitivity to the work of art.


The following is a specific outline for this paper. = follow all eight steps

  1.  Do a rough sketch of the artwork. (This will help you SEE and understand the work. You will NOT be graded on your drawing skill. – I promise)

  2.  State the title, artist, date, dimensions, and medium of the work of art.

  3.  State the name of the exhibition in which the work was displayed.

  4.  Introduce the reader to the work of art by writing a brief, overall description of it.

  5.  ***Discuss the Elements of Artand Principles of Design that you think are important in understanding and analyzing this work.

The following list of the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design will help you to focus on the most important aspects of the work you are analyzing. Discuss the element or principles that seem to create the meaning of the work or contribute to its aesthetic quality. (Although different texts may sometimes use different terms, the basic concepts are the same.)

Elements of Art (chapter 4)                           Principles of Design(chapter 5)

o          line                                                      o          unity and variety

o          shape and mass                                 o          balance

o          light, value, color                                 o          emphasis, focal point

o          texture                                                 o          subordination

o          space                                                   o          proportion and scale

o          time and motion                                  o          rhythm

  1.  Discuss the medium the artist used and how the artist exploited the particular qualities of this medium. (Always refer to the artist by his or her last name, not the first name.)

  2.  Explain your personal response to the work based on its form as you analyzed it in the previous sections.

  3.  Include the rough sketch of the artwork. (This was to help you SEE and understand the work. You are NOT being graded on your drawing skill. – I promise)

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