Prompt: Write a piece of art criticism focused on art or subjects that relate to the time period covered in our class (ie, before 1400 CE). This can take the form of an exhibition review, an unusual look at the history of art history, an exploration of the ethics of owning and displaying another culture’s art, a phenomenological reflection of the influence of past art on the present, etc. Go for depth in a limited number of works rather than breadth across many. Limit unnecessary biographical and historical details that do not relate effectively to your analysis of the works themselves. Length: 1000 words, typed and double spaced (approximately 4 pages)


• Has a clearly defined thesis: 20% • Supports thesis with many examples: 40% • Highlights interesting details about the works: 20% • Is free of grammatical and spelling errors and properly cites sources: 15% • Uses an engaging style: 5% Some questions to help jumpstart your thinking about the works: – Why should anyone care about your topic and point of view? – What is unique to your topic? – How are the works similar in aesthetics and subject matter? How are they different? – What need or desire did these works fulfill? What context brought them into being and how were they experienced? – What problems (aesthetic, conceptual, social, etc) were the artists tackling in the works? – How have other artists and cultures approached the same subject matter? – What do the works say about the time and place in which they were made? – How do the works differ from other works made around the same time (both within the same culture and across cultures)? – How might a different, synchronous culture react to this work? – How does the history of acquisition and display of art historical objects impact our understanding and view of them? Note: If you aren’t very interested in what you are writing about, then the reader probably won’t be either. You want to hook the reader as much and as quickly as possible. Don’t waste words detailing things that you don’t care about. Jump right into discussing the things that interest you. Be sure to form an overall thesis for your analysis (ie, the paper’s reason for being and logical journey from start to finish). If you get stuck, try formulating an odd question about the works you want to compare, and then follow wherever your critical and imaginative faculties take you when attempting an answer. Feedback on another student’s paper will be assessed in how thorough and constructive it is. Some things to look for when reading someone else’s paper: – Misspellings and grammatical errors – Cogent thesis: Can you clearly state what point the paper intends to argue? – Relevant and Enlightening Support for Thesis: Does the writer stick closely to supporting the thesis or does he/she get off topic? Are there unnecessary bio or historical details that do not directly impact the thesis?

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