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Art 101 - Muller  

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Art 101 - Muller

History of Ancient Art surveys the objects, images, and architecture from the Paleolithic era to the Medieval period (prehistory through ca. 1000 CE). The course addresses the important religious, social, and political influences on the art of prehistoric, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, early Christian, Byzantine and Medieval European cultures.

Students are expected to consult the sources on these pages (and others as needed) in the course of preparing assignments and researching their final paper.

Keep in mind that no single resource (printed or digital) will provide all the information you seek. If you cannot find what you are looking for, contact a reference librarian or your instructor.

 

Capstone Project

OVERVIEW
For this assignment, you will implement what is known as a “revisionist” approach to the history of ancient art. As the name suggests, revisionist scholarship revises our understanding of a particular subject. In this case, you are going to revise the narrative I have presented in lecture. Indeed, I have presented a very simple narrative, one that certainly deserves to be complicated (as I fully well know).
To revise my narrative, you will choose, research, and present (in a class presentation and a digital timeline) an art object (building, painting, sculpture, etc.,) that I did not cover in lecture.
It can be an art object that is part of the western tradition or one coming from another culture. There are no geographic limits. However, your chosen object must have been made between the prehistoric period and 1100 CE.

OBJECTIVES
Analyze a work of ancient art corresponding to the historical breadth of the course
Refine critical looking skills
Refine critical thinking skills
Complete essential college-level research
Refine college-level writing skills
Develop facility with digital resources

POINTS
Total Points: 350 points (35% of final grade)
Break down:
Draft: 50 points
Presentation: 100 points (the final exam will be based on the content of the presentations)
Final Timeline: 200 points

N.B.: The quality of the design (layout, colors, images, etc.,) and the text (spelling, syntax, etc.,) of your
timeline will factor significantly into the final grade for this assignment. Therefore, be sure to spend time on
carefully crafting your timeline. Timelines that are poorly conceived and poorly written will receive low grades.

Directions – Read Carefully and Thoroughly

1. Find and choose ONE work of art/art object that meets the following three criteria:

A. Produced between the Paleolithic and Romanesque periods that I did not discuss/present in lecture.
Your object can be well known, or not. However, I challenge you choose a work that questions my narrative in ways that bring other issues to the fore. For example, I did not talk much about women in ancient art. So, if you choose an example of a work that represents an empowered woman, then you’d be in a position to produce a timeline that is strongly revisionist. Also, I did not talk about some cultures at all, namely Achaemenid Empire (The First Persian Empire) or other located in distant geographic lands.
You may choose a work that is included in our textbook, Janson’s Basic History of Art (a copy on reserve in COM Library). Alternatively, you can choose something that corresponds closer to your own interests and knowledge. I am very open to all kinds of objects.
You might consider the following approaches to finding a work of art:
1. Go to the COM library, find the section in the library focused on a period in art history that you find interesting, and browse the books. Look at the pictures. When you find something that captures your interest, write down the necessary information: artist, culture, title, date.
2. Browse online collections of major museums. Three good options include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum, and The Louvre.
3. If you have only vague ideas about subjects or kinds of art, send me an email and I will offer you some suggestions.

B. Images of object are copyright free/creative commons licensed.
This simply means you can use them for free. For example, images on Wikipedia are CC licensed. So too are many, but not all image on flickr.

C. Images are hosted else (Wikimedia, flick, etc).
The timeline app works by referring to images already hosted elsewhere on the web. You will not be able to upload images. A useful search tool is:  https://search.creativecommons.org/ You can also limit in a Google image search (Select Tools, select Usage Rights, select licensed for non-commercial usage). If you cannot find it hosted elsewhere, there is a work around.

2. Notify me of the title, date, and culture of your chosen object.
Email or written on piece of paper.


3. Research the meaning, significance, and context of your chosen work of art in its original context, and the life it has had since it was made. In short, a historical “biography” of the object.

In general, you are looking to answer the following basic questions:
  • What are the key/notable features of the work (in addition to those you identify yourself)?
  • Why is the work important
  • What was the context in which it was made? Consider geographic location, environment, etc.
  • What was the context in which it was originally viewed/encountered? Consider physical context and ideological contexts.
  • Who made it? Who was it made for? Why was it made?
  • How do its artistic/formal qualities express the values and outlook of the cultural period in
  • which it was produced?
  • What happened to it after it was made? What is buried? Destroyed?
  • When was it “discovered?” Where is it now?
As you answer these questions, be thinking about what kinds of images you might want to use to present this additional information. These images will be needed for your timeline.

Use our Library. The COM Library has strong (though a bit dated) holdings in the history of art. Find books on the art of the period or culture that corresponds to your chosen object.

Use web-sources. In general, most information produced by legitimate academic and cultural-heritage organizations is acceptable. This includes websites affiliated with museums, historical societies, and other professional organizations.

If you need help, ask me (either in person after class or during office hours, or via email) or a librarian.

Please refer to the Captsone Project handout from Professor Muller for futher instructions on this assignment.
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