MUSEUM/RESEARCH PAPER INFORMATION & GUIDELINES
SPRING 2015 Hybrid
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY PRIOR TO YOUR MUSEUM VISIT
I. This assignment will involve your visiting a local museum and selecting a
work of art that you feel would be a great addition to our textbook. The
artwork that you select may be a painting, photograph, sculpture, illuminated
manuscript, or vase. (No furniture, decorative objects, stained glass windows,
or book illustrations). The artwork that you select from the museum must fit
into one of the themes in Chapters 6-15 in our Exploring Art, 4th edition.
(NOTE: You may not write about Van Gogh’s Irises or Portrait of Louis XIV at
the Getty Center)
II. Visit one of the following local museums:
a. Norton Simon Museum of Art, 411 W. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, corner
of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. at intersection of 210 and 134
freeways. www.nortonsimon.org Closed Tuesdays.
b. The Getty Center, off 405 freeway at Getty Center Dr. in the Mulholland
Pass. www.getty.edu for more info. Closed Mondays. No reservations
are required. Admission is free. Parking is $15.00 per car. The Getty Villa
located in Malibu is also an acceptable choice, but you will have to make
advance reservations for your visit via their website.
c. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., one block east
of Fairfax. Closed Wednesdays. http://www.lacma.org
d. UCLA Fowler Museum, http://www.fowler.ucla.edu/ : Closed Mondays
and Tuesdays; admission is free; visit their website for hours, directions
and parking info
e. OTHER CHOICES MUST BE APPROVED BY THE INSTRUCTOR
III. You are required to attach a photograph of yourself inside the museum
with your artwork if possible or at least at the interior entrance to the gallery.
Parking passes are not acceptable.
IV. This paper should be minimum 1200 words (not including footnotes &
bibliography), typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, free of all spelling and
grammatical errors, no plagiarism, with a clear, well-supported thesis. The
paper should have an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The bibliography and footnote formatting should follow the Chicago Manual of
Style. Your bibliography must have minimum 4 sources with one being your
V. All papers must in word.doc (or .docx) format.
VI. The paper will have 4 components, which are all designed to aid you in
writing a successful final paper.
a. Thesis Statement: due Wednesday, 10/28 @ 5pm; you will need my
approval in order to proceed with posting your outline.
b. Outline: due Wednesday, 11/4 @ 5 pm
c. Rough Draft: due Monday, 11/18 @ 10:00 a.m.; post and bring a copy to
d. Completed paper: due Wednesday, 12/2 @ 10 pm
VII. Thesis Statement: A thesis statement helps organize your paper from
beginning to end.
a. A thesis statement is a few sentences that appear at/near the beginning
of your paper that clearly state the parameters and focus of the paper.
b. The key idea(s)/argument(s) in your thesis statement should form the
basic structure of your paper, so key words/phrases from the thesis
statement should appear through your paper as it develops.
c. The conclusion of the paper should restate the goals and key ideas of the
d. Be sure to include the following in your thesis statement:
i. Title of the artwork, artist or anonymous (if unknown), date and
culture and/or stylistic and geographical period. For example,
Italian Renaissance, Postmodern, Cubism (Modern), African-
Nigerian to be specific.
e. Sample Thesis Statement: “This paper will employ close visual analysis
of the painting of Louis XIV (1700), by an unknown painter from Rigaud’s
circle that I viewed at the Getty Center. I selected this French Baroque
portrait as an example of an image of power. I will be discussing the
historical context of the painting as well as make comparisons with other
images of power from our textbook chapter on “Power, Politics, and
Glory.” Additionally I will offer some information about royal portraiture
during this time period in France.
f. For more about thesis statements:
VIII. RESEARCH is a requirement of this assignment
a. Research using the provided guidelines is necessary here. This does not
mean surfing the web, it means using the library databases, etc.
b. You will want more information about the artworks to enhance your paper.
You may refer to the museum website. Do not use Wikipedia or
random sources on the Internet.
c. Begin with going to this site specially designed by the art librarian for our
course: http://library.csun.edu/guides/Art315 You will also find a link to a
sample paper done in the Chicago Style on this website.
d. You are only authorized to use academic sources for this
i. Sources found in the CSUN library databases A-Z such as under
“O” for Oxford, “A” for Art Index, or articles in JSTOR under “J”
(You will need to login with your CSUN id and password for
ii. The museum website. This will not count as one of your 4
iii. Books, including the textbook. Your textbook MUST be included
in the bibliography!
a. After you have written & submitted your thesis statement and it is
approved, you will create an outline for your paper.
b. This will help make sure you have included all of the requirements and
will guide you with your writing.
I. Title page
a. State your thesis and the purpose of your research paper clearly.
State also how you plan to approach your topic. Explain briefly the
major points you plan to cover in your paper and why readers
should be interested in your topic.
III. Body of your paper
a. Description of your chosen artwork. You will describe your
selected artwork from the museum in great detail mentioning all
of the formal elements, composition, subject matter, etc. Write
the description as if you are describing it to someone who
has not seen it.
i. Title, artist
iv. Framing if applicable
b. Description of the museum setting. One of your paragraphs
should provide a detailed description of the museum setting. That
is describe the gallery and viewing experience.
i. Make sure to mention the works of art adjacent to your
selection in the museum. Provide the artist, title and date
of these artworks.
ii. You may want to include something about the lighting in
the gallery, the color of the walls, the size, and the
general theme or period of the artworks in that exhibition
iii. Why did you select this particular artwork over the others?
c. Why do you feel that this would make a good addition to the text.
i. Here you will need to provide which thematic chapter your
ii. You will also need to mention at least 2 specific artworks in
our text that would make fine comparisons. Preferably they
will be from a different culture, and/or historical period.
Make sure you explain why they would be good
d. Context and background information about your artwork
i. This is where the research comes in.
ii. Find out something about the artist, type of artwork, or
even the specific artwork and include what you find as
pertinent in your paper.
iii. You want to provide the context in which the artwork was
created. What aspects of that culture affected the making
of the artwork? Religion? Politics? Race? Gender? Class?
Only write about the ones that apply.
iv. Provide any other information that you find interesting and
believe would enhance the appreciation of the artwork to
the readers of our text.
v. The museum label may provide you with some valuable
information about your selected artwork. Don’t forget to
provide a footnote-you can use the following for example
for documentation: Getty Museum Information Placard:
a. Restate your thesis. Summarize your important points.
V. Don’t forget your footnotes where necessary and a complete
VI. Make an effort!
IMPORTANT: Do not write a report on the artist! Follow the instructions carefully.
I am looking for your own words and thoughts, which can be enhanced through
additional material. All references must be documented with proper citations (see
below). That includes museum didactic placards, the textbook, my lectures, or any other
written sources such as journals or books.
QUOTES: Be careful when you use quotes. Consider if it is truly worth quoting, and
consider paraphrasing instead, but do not forget to cite the source of the quote. Your
paper will be more effective if you use your own words and ideas and add the words of
others when they truly enhance your content. What you have to say is meaningful!
*WARNING: One of the main requirements of this assignment is for you to visit a
museum and have a direct experience with the art. Images found on museum websites
are not necessarily an indication that they are on display in the museum at this time.
Also, I am very familiar with the local museum collections, so…. if you were planning to
visit the museum over the Internet, DON’T!
Students who falsify their visits will receive a failing grade for the assignment. So it is
crucial to attach proof of your visit along with your paper, as well as describe the
galleries in the museum that you visited.
PLAGIARISM: Do not submit plagiarized work. This includes cutting and pasting whole
sentences and phrases from articles on the Internet, submitting papers that have been
purchased off the Internet, summarizing published works without citing them in your
narrative and bibliography, and jump starting your writing by borrowing non-essential
phrases from published articles. Any of this will be detected on Turnitin.com. Plagiarism
is a form of academic dishonesty which will be penalized with a failing grade for the
assignment. Plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs.
Bibliography entries are listed in alphabetical order, with the author’s last name first.
I prefer the Chicago Style of documentation:
Note the following:
• entries are single spaced, but double-spaced between each one
• Note that bibliographic entries are cited quite differently than
• DO NOT NUMBER YOUR ENTRIES!
• You should have a minimum of 5 entries including your textbook
and the museum website. See next page for a sample
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: BBC Publishing, 1972.
Brown, Betty Ann and Robert Pelfrey. Art and Mass Media. Published
Eco, Umberto, ed. On Ugliness. Translated by Alastair McEwen. New York:
Getty Museum Information Placard: Claude Monet.
Grove Art Online, “Rembrandt.”
pos=1&_start=1#firsthit. (accessed 10/21/09).
Kleiner, Fred and Christine J. Mamiya. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A
Concise History of Western Art. 2nd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth,
Cengage Learning, 2010.
Lazzari, Margaret and Dona Schlesier. Exploring Art: A Global
Thematic Approach. 4th Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2012.
Mitchell, Dolores. “The New Woman as Prometheus.” Woman’s Art Journal 12,
no. 1(1991): 2-9.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. “Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night.”
(accessed October 4, 2008).
van Uitert, Evert. “Vincent van Gogh.” In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online,
GRADING RUBRIC: This assignment is worth up to 40 points
I will be looking at the following in determining your grade:
?Organization of the paper
?Proper Citation (Footnotes)
Proper & consistent format
35-40 points: Papers that have accomplished all of the requirements of the assignment
in a thoughtful and excellent manner and demonstrate great insight and effort. They
have written a well-organized paper with few errors, an excellent thesis statement, good
research integrated into their paper, and a properly formatted bibliography and proper
use of footnotes.
30-35: Papers that have accomplished all of the requirements of the assignment in a
thoughtful and very good manner and demonstrate very good insight and effort.
25-30: Papers that have accomplished all of the requirements of the assignment in a
thoughtful and average manner and demonstrate insight and effort.
20-25: Papers that have accomplished most of the requirements of the assignment in an
adequate manner, yet do not demonstrate great insight and effort.
Below 20 points: Papers that fall short of all of the requirements of the assignment and
do not demonstrate much effort.