When you discuss the works, do them separately, which means you talk about them each for one or three paragraphs, depending on you.

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For your final paper assignment, you are creating a museum tour. The tour is personalized and led by YOU. You are the one choosing the works and explaining them, but you are choosing them from the museums posted below. Your explanation of the works will not be copying and pasting the museum information; your explanation will include a visual description of the work and, of course, a VERY BRIEF summary of anything else someone would specifically need to know about it but the majority of each discussion involves you sharing your excitement about (and interest in) the works to others, as someone who now officially has studied art history! Think of the tour as something you could take your family and/or friends on, virtually, as a break from the seriousness and stress of life.
Here are the logistics of the paper:
You need to pick six (6) works of art for the tour. Each work has to be from a different museum. The specific museum websites are listed below. Also, each work MUST be from the specific collections and their parameters, as posted below for each museum. Lastly, each work must be from a different artist and represent a different theme, and all of the themes must be used (each only once). The themes are (in no specific order) Hope, Joy, Society, Mystery, Knowledge and Identity. You can choose whatever angle or interpretation of each theme that you want, just be sure to make it clear.
As a reminder, please look through ALL of the works within the required collections of each museum, and not just the first page of works or the first few works. Really search until you see “it”, that work that everyone is going to love because they never knew about it and never thought of it the way you are going to explain it. One more reminder is that some of the museum websites only list a small number of works on a page, but may have MANY pages; again, be prepared to look through all of them and always check to see if there are more pages/works at the bottom.
Once you pick your works, you can arrange them in any order you want for your tour (meaning, it does not have to follow the order of museums listed below).
When you write your paper, honestly think of it as giving a tour. You can start by saying “Welcome to Joe’s Tours” or “Hello everyone, I am happy to see you today and excited to take you on this journey” or “Who wants to learn something new today?”. Obviously it is up to you, those were just examples of how to get your crowd involved and make them happy to be led by you. You can point out certain important details or facts in addition to the requirements listed above about a description and brief background; you can pose a question to your crowd (and answer it); and should really create an experience for them.
Remember, this is the goal: Life can be upsetting and painful and stressful, and you are creating (through the visual arts) a tiny bit of escape from that, something that will be a memory for your customers, and something that provides a much needed pleasure. The power and importance of this is that you are actually TEACHING them and sharing what you have learned, so their experience is not just a tour they can download or watch online, it is a “one of a kind,” narrated and formed by you, and that is what people are paying for…yes, I want you to think of this in terms of paying customers and making tips! In addition to looking at art, people are going to learn as well, and you are pretending that this is your job, so you need to be serious about it.
You should still think of the paper as an essay format, just to help you organize. By that I mean that the introduction paragraph is literally your first comments to your group (of paying customers/tourists). It is when you start talking to everybody as you are beginning the tour. Also at the beginning, explain a little about what they are going to experience, why it matters that YOU are the tour guide, what you hope they get out of it and be sure to show your enthusiasm and your confidence, so they trust you and want to go on a tour led by you.
After the introduction, you are going to take them on the tour. Again, you have six works, each representing one of the six museums listed, as well as each one representing one of the six required themes. All six themes must be used only once and cannot be repeated. When you discuss the works, do them separately, which means you talk about them each for one or three paragraphs, depending on you. You want to provide the name of the work, its artists, and date…and the movement or culture it came out of (but AVOID copying and pasting internet material about movements or artists or the works themselves – BORING!). When you talk about the work you need to analyze it, since you are now art historians. Remember that you first want to describe the artworks everyone is looking at in a specific, detailed and interesting way…get them excited! After you describe what it looks like then you add any historical information that HELPS understand the work or that is meaningful; only add as much as necessary for them to understand your point or the important facts about the work, but, again, DO NOT turn this into a copy-and-pasted paper. Remember, you are “showing off” as the expert, which does NOT mean you are providing any old generic information your crowd can get by Googling the works on their phones as you are talking (…ugh…); rather, they are paying to hear YOU discuss it. After all, this is your tour and consider what makes your tour so different or special over any of the others out there.
After describing each work and providing information you think is necessary and helpful for your crowd to understand, helping them learn (about the work and the value of art history) and showing them how to appreciate the work (even if they don’t like it), you will discuss them in terms of their themes. Explain how and why it stands for, represents, or could be interpreted as one of the categorical themes listed above.
In the end, you wrap up, say goodbye (and hope for tips!). That’s it! How would YOU end your tour? Saying thank you, come again, saying that you hope they enjoyed it, saying that you now hope they see art differently? Here is the bottom line: YOU are THEIR art history teacher.
After the essay, you need to provide ALL of the information the museums provide about your selected works. It doesn’t matter if this takes up many pages, as the idea is you are not using the museum’s words, but your own. I generally look up the works as I read your papers, so not including museum information because you want to use it in your paper won’t work.
The paper should be a minimum of 6 full pages and needs to be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, one (1) inch margins. Images are not required, but if you choose to share/include them, note that they do NOT count as part of the bare minimum page requirements, and that they should NOT be IN the paper, but can be shown after.
I really want all of you to have fun with this…and remember, this can be something you can eventually can share with others, virtually! You can take your friends and family on an art tour, on YOUR art tour, whenever…and maybe someday you will visit these museums in person!
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Here are the Museums. I really hope you like them; I picked them out specifically for you!
African American Art – https://www.hrm.org/exhibitions/african-american-art-in-the-20th-century/Links to an external site.
and/or
https://philamuseum.org/calendar/exhibition/african-american-art-19Links to an external site.
Women Artists – Be sure to keep scrolling down, as that opens more works, and you CANNOT use jewelry or fashion or furniture; only painting, drawing, photograph or sculpture – https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/keywords/women-artists/Links to an external site.
19th Century Art at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page where you can click on “Show More Results” – https://www.moma.org/collection/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=&classifications=9&date_begin=Pre-1850&date_end=1901&with_images=1Links to an external site.
Asian American Art – Be sure to click on “Show More” – https://www.si.edu/spotlight/asian-american-arts-artistsLinks to an external site.
20th Century Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago – Be sure to click on the pages at the bottom, which are presented by numbers…there are a lot of pages – https://www.artic.edu/collection?artwork_type_id=Painting&date-start=1910&date-end=1970Links to an external site.
Getty Center Contemporary Art – Be sure to scroll down to see the pages available, listed as numbers – https://www.getty.edu/art/collection/search?date_range=2001%3A2022&images=true&materials_parsed=Chromogenic%20print

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