Art 31-- History of Western European Art 
From Prehistory to Early Renaissance

Fall 1998
Museum Paper Assignment

There are several parts to the paper assignment so be sure to read this over carefully. There are several parts to the paper assignment so be sure to read this over carefully.

READ: John Berger's Ways of Seeing, excerpt from the book, D. Bartholomae and A. Petrosky, eds., Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers (Boston: Bedford Books, 1993, 3rd ed). This is a complicated and multivalent essay. You will need to read it several times, noting passages that are troublesome so that you can bring questions to class and recitation.

VISIT: Recitations for the week of September 21-25 will be held in the Ackland Art Museum. Meet in your recitation room and then walk over to the museum. You will not be allowed to bring large purses, book bags or backpacks into the museum, but you will need paper and pencils.

CHOOSE: One work of art that appeals to you visually. The Ackland Art Museum specializes in Asian art, and in Western European art from the 18th century to the present. There are, however, a small number of artworks from the periods that we will be studying. You may choose from these (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, medieval) or you may consult your TA and choose an Asian or more modern work of art.

WRITE: While at the museum, you will write a detailed description of the chosen work of art. Include the following: material, color, texture, forms, shapes, size, etc… You want to create a verbal "picture" or "reproduction" of the work. You will then type it up and SAVE THAT WRITING.

FIRST DRAFT: Due October 12, 1998. Please consult your syllabus for the mechanics of the paper, or the web page: Paper

In addition, it is important to use art historical terms and to cite your sources in your paper. John Berger addresses the issue of reproduction and art. Much of our class time is spent looking at reproductions, not the actual work of art, and much of your study time is spent looking at the textbook. You've now visited the art museum and encountered a "real" work of art and written a textual reproduction of the art. Construct an essay that ties your art museum experience, the textual reproduction, and your textbook's use of photographs to John Berger's essay about reproduction. Think about what issues he raises that are useful in how we use, value, and teach art. Think about how your textual reproduction is shaped by the physical setting of the art museum and by what you've been shown in class. You may want to focus on one of the many points that Berger dwells on: history, mystification, reproduction and (de)valuation of art, seeing. Append your textual reproduction to the paper.