). If you have ever analyzed a poem or developed an understanding of a historical period, you are prepared to think and write like an art historian. In all cases, it is important to balance background research with analysis that ties these facts back to the work itself. Each subject has different resources and criteria for papers. Make sure to adhere to any specific requirements from your professor. An art history research paper can take a variety of forms, depending on the intended audience of the work and the aims of the writer. A formal analysis focuses on aspects like line, color, composition, and style, and describes the effect of these artistic decisions on the viewer.
Below are several guidelines and books that will help you write an art history paper. The Chicago Manual of Style. Just remember: there is more than one way of doing art history. Midterms are over and your art history professor wants an essay on art - now what? Some professors in introductory classes will start with at least one of the following assignments at the beginning of the semester in order to get you thinking like an art historian. Here are some dos and don ts to guide you, written by an art history professor who has graded thousands of these papers ranging from the superlative to the good, the bad and the phenomenally ugly. Recognize, however, that many assignments combine more than one of these types. When your instructor hands out a paper assignment, first figure out what type of assignment it is.
Some professors prefer to take a less traditional approach to the assignments they write, and they may be looking for less traditional responses from their students. The presentation is designed specifically for students at the University of Central Arkansas, and centers around the . Professor Claude Bélanger from Marianopolis College created a document discussing how to recognize scholarly sources. E. 66th ed. Many students do not get a chance to study art history until they take a college course, so art history may be a new field of study for you. The basic questions of art history often appear in a few traditional types of assignments. Scholarly sources are more appropriate for academic research, and therefore should be used exclusively. Writing an art history paper also requires certain elements.
You would like to finish your assignment on time with a minimum of stress, and your instructor fervently hopes to read an engaging, well-written paper. Most assignments will fit into one or more of the types, but don t try to make your assignment fit them if it does not. They may also take into account such factors as patronage and social context and use these to place the work within a historical framework. In a strict formal analysis, no other information is required besides that which you can see, and while some knowledge of the subject matter helps, your focus should be on the visual elements of a work. The Arkansas Studies Institute combines 65 million archival items under one roof. Please click on the link below to read and/or print it. Formal and contextual analysis, iconography and iconology, knowledge of time period and artistic group should be addressed. An iconographic analysis focuses on the representative iconography of a work, taking into account the symbolic role of images, the historical or mythological identity of figures, and any other elements that may have a visual significance. Art history papers should also have illustrations of the works you are presenting, and any other visual materials (i.
Color Field Painting is part of the Abstract Expressionist family of artists. This page is designed to help students conduct research and write a paper for art history. There are two types of sources to look for: primary and secondary. UA Little Rock Trojans compete in 69 varsity sports as a full-time member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Like Action Painting, the artists treat the surface of a canvas or paper as a field of vision, without a central focus, and emphasize the flatness of the surface. Before you start in the fall semester, come to New Student Orientation. Although art historians vary in their approaches to art, there are a few common approaches that form the backbone of the field. Click on the titles to find sample essays, and be sure to read to learn about researching and writing your paper. You have been assigned an art history paper to write.
After developing a topic for your research paper, the next step is to start looking for sources. Avoid spending too much time discussing the content of the painting. Art history research paper. Here is a list of topics that might fire you up for the task. In this analysis, BRIEFLY describe the painting and content to include: Historical, Iconographic, Moral, Culture. After you have carefully observed the art work, write an objective analysis of the painting. The link below will take you to a powerpoint presentation on how to find both of these sources particular to art history, plus other research hints and ideas. A formal analysis is the fundamental form of writing about art and often the first taught in any introductory art history course. Understanding your instructor s approach to art will help you meet his or her expectations in your writing.
While gathering sources for your art history paper, it is important to be able to distinguish between scholarly sources and non-scholarly sources. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 7565. Maps) that are relevant. The following handout describes these approaches briefly and lets you know what you might need to do to tackle a paper assignment in this field. We ve presented a summary of five of them below. Research papers may also focus on the biographical details of the artist, such as the story of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, or the connection between Van Gogh s Starry Night and the artist s mental health. This handout discusses several common types of art history assignments, and talks about various strategies and resources that will help you write your art history papers. Becoming acquainted with the five types will help you begin to understand your assignment. If you would like, you can pretend that you are describing the painting to someone.
is any thing created after 6855. Research papers are usually thesis-driven as well, and always directed at a specific audience (more on this in Section IV). You must still make an argument about something, but in this case you will use art (instead of, say, dialogue from a play) to build and defend your argument. -Your analysis of the painting must prove that you actually went to the museum.