You will have to choose an object from a major museums collection. Due to COVID restrictions and general unease some people may have with going to a museum you may also use museum websites. The museum must include collections of ancient art (20,000 BC – 1,000 AD). The museums of preference are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre in Paris or the British Museum in London but any collection is fine. You must choose one object from either the Ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek or the Etruscan/Roman collections. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHOOSE PIECES IN THE TEXTBOOK AND THE OBJECT CANNOT HAVE A LONG ENTRY ON THE MUSEUMS WEBSITE (long entry=no more than 250 words in the main description on the website). Paper will be 1500 words (1,500 words is approximately 5.5 pages using 12-point Arial font, double spaced) and will consist of a catalogue description of the object including information such as size and basic narrative description (approx.1-2 pages) and research on the object (approx. 3-4 pages). The final paper should include proper footnotes/endnotes and Works Cited/Bibliography page and you must include at least three outside sources. Also, you need to include a link to the website. You may not use websites as outside sources although you may use digital resources such as articles through databases such as JSTOR.
Paper should include the following:
1. “Basic information”: Artist’s name (if known), title of work, date, medium, inventory number (copy down all this information from the museum label), and its location in the museum.
2. First, a full description of the scene (or statue) in your own words. Aim for clarity and precision, expressed in simple declarative sentences.
Two principles to bear in mind: 1) in general, the more detail in your description, the better; 2) a good description = a neutral, straightforward account of close visual observation, with little or no subjective comments of personal opinion. While each paper will differ slightly according to the nature of your own particular piece, your description should be organized along these basic lines:
An overall statement of the whole. In a sentence or two, what is this thing, what does it represent?
Material and condition: maximum dimensions of the piece; the material it is made of; its state of preservation. List all marks of damage to the piece. Any signs of modern restoration or repair?
Next, a detailed, comprehensive description of the work, part by part, in whatever order makes the most sense to you. (For example for a statue perhaps start from the head and work your way down to the feet, for a vase start from the rim and work your way down to the base etc. )
3. Then, a brief visual analysis of the work in question. How would you characterize the artist’s technique and use of this particular medium? What stylistic features in the history of Egyptian/Greek etc art are represented by this work? What appears to have been the main aims or concerns of the artist?
4. Research. The purpose of this part is by means of comparison and/or research, to put the piece in its historical and archaeological context.
To shed further light on the meaning and significance of your piece, you are asked to look into various aspects of its origin, function and iconography. This may include library/online research into the biography of the subject represented (if a portrait statue), elements of ancient Near Easter or Egyptian religion or funerary practice, or aspects of everyday life in Greece etc. Where appropriate, you also may want to study another work (Egyptian, Near Eastern, Bronze Age, Greek, Roman etc.) in the MMA Collections for purposes of comparison, as you research and analyze your first piece in greater detail (for example the treatment of Isis and Aphrodite, funerary gifts of Egypt and Greece etc.). Please note: avoid using web-sites for your research. Papers that rely entirely on on-line sources for information will not be accepted.You should aim to have at least 3-4 sources for the research component.