Art Appreciation Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Art Appreciation College Essay Examples

Title: Art Appreciation

  • Total Pages: 5
  • Words: 1360
  • Bibliography:1
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Art Appreciation Class/Art History

There are 2 parts to this Assignment: 1) Discussion question should be 1 page and 2) Essay question should be 4 pages. The ONLY source that can be used is Solte's youtube videos and the links are provided at the end of the instructions.

Discussion Question:
Discuss how Paris acted as the incubator of most of what we call Impressionists/Post-Impressionist modern art. What artists worked there? What was their work like and how did they influence each other? What do you think it would have been like to be an artist in Paris at that time?

Essay Question:
In an essay of approximately 1000 words (with a typical font and spacing, this will be approximately 4 pages), respond to the following question.

Asian and African art greatly influenced modern art. Thoroughly explain how and why this happened, and provide detailed examples of this influence.

Do this using ONLY the examples that Soltes discusses and explains in his lectures. Do not use Internet sources for inspiration nor as help.
Excerpt From Essay:

Soltes, Ori. "They All Came to Paris." YouTube. YouTube, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. .

Soltes, Ori. "Asia and Africa in the Western Mind." YouTube. YouTube, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. .

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Title: Art Appreciation

  • Total Pages: 7
  • Words: 2190
  • References:7
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Number of sources to be used are non specific. what ever you need. you do not have to site the specific art example as i have those already sited. If any back ground information is added then that needs to be sited.

This is a three part request: ART APPRECIATION beginning class

2 pages

Need a one page formal analysis for each of these art pieces.
Need to explore and anaylize the art piece, reading the content, subject, and how the theme or message is conveyed by the artist. Using TWO forms of art criticism ( either Formalist Criticism, Ideological Criticism, Structuralist-based Criticism, Psychoanalytic Criticism or Feminist Criticism to using a form of art criticisms) explain how the image is connected to the ideas in the two forms of criticism.
Final paragraph- What do you think the artist intentions or ideas being expressed in the work? What is embodied in the artwork?

Art piece 1: Migrant Mother Nipoma valley by Dorothea Lang,r:23,s:0

Art piece 2: Speechless by Shirin Neshat

Part 2 (2 pages)

Food is an essential element of life itself, and people need protection from extreme weather as well as from human and animal foes. Yes our relationship to food and shelter goes way beyond simple survival! People choose to live and work in settings that go far beyond functionality to aesthetically enhance and enrich their lives. And many cultures use art to help secure food, to serve it, and to store it. Art work reflects how different cultures enjoy food. Frequently, a strong association exists among food, art, and ritual or design.

For the two different food-related artworks from two different cultures,

Paragraph one: analysis and description of artwork 1:function, materials made of, colors used.

Paragraph two: analysis and description of artwork 2 function, materials made of, colors used.

Paragraph 3 Compare and Contrast the two food storage contavners and how each culture uses them. How are the cultures aloke, and how are the cultures different. Compare and contrast how each artwork represents the specific relationship that particular culture had with food (be specific!). What is it made of, what is it used for, how does it function, use of colors.


Artwort 1: slide 4 woven basket USAUSA Pomo Tribe
Artwork 2: slide 5 salt cellar Afro-Portugese

Part 3
3 pages
First part-

By definition, the divine realm is beyond human ability to understand, but humans strive constantly to grasp this other world, to communicate with it or to be joined with it. Art including rituals, oral tradition, sacred writings, meditation, prayer, and music are but a few paths used by humans to connect to the Transcendent World or reality. This chapter looked at what art can tell usus about deities or very ancient religions, how a spiritual being can be shown or symbolized in artwork, and how art becomes a form of prayer and/or an expression of the cosmos. This chapter explains some general characteristics of places of worship and sacred structures/works of art.
3 separate pages -one for each artpiece
2/3 page Using the three different works of art depicting spiritual beings explain how each of these figures illustrates that particular culture’s religious or spiritual belief. 2/3 page
1/3/page What do you think of the artists’ intentions or ideas being expressed in the work? What else do you think is embodied in the artwork?

1. Seated Buddha from Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India found @

2. The Isenheim Altarpiece, germany found @

3. The Water and Moon Guanyin Bodhisattva, China Song Dynasty found @,1288.html
Excerpt From Essay:

"Buddhist Studies." BuddhaNet. Web. 12 Aug 2011.

Martinez, Eugenia Soledad. "Crossing Cultures: Afro-Portuguese Ivories of 15th and

16th Century Sierra Leone." Web. 12 Aug 2011.

Michelle of Nah Tah Wahsh PSA. "Pomo Basket." Web. 12 Aug 2011.

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Title: Museum Paper

  • Total Pages: 3
  • Words: 1009
  • Bibliography:4
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Museum Paper: The Display of Non-Western Art

The distinction between art and artifact is one that has plagued the status and reception of Non-Western art, a contrast epitomized, for instance, in the display practices of the art museum versus the anthropological museum (the latter often characterized by its use of dioramas, mannequins and photo murals).This paper should address and analyze distinctions in how Western and Non-Western art are displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Focus on the galleries of Africa, Oceania and the Americas; you may extend your comparison to other galleries whose art we have studied, such as China, Japan and India.

Here are some questions you might ask yourself as you explore the museum (and be sure to draw conclusions from your observations):

I. Display: Examine the galleries of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and think about what they look like and how they present the art. In what ways do you think this differs from the museum?s display of European paintings and sculpture and does that affect your impression of the art (individually and as a whole)? You may also extend that comparison to the museum?s period rooms, which incorporate different media within one space. What determines whether a work of art is singled out for aesthetic contemplation or displayed within a larger context?
a. Consider the physical layout of the museum and how or where these galleries are situated within it. Are they easy to locate? What is the flow of the galleries like and do they readily attract the visitor?
b. How are the artworks within the galleries organized (by place, people/culture, chronology, theme or type, medium, etc.)? Is there a common unifying theme that has determined how and where they are displayed?
c. Are the artworks displayed on or along the walls, in the middle of the room, hung from the ceiling, etc? Are any of them framed? Are sculptures shown in the round or only from one angle? Are the objects shown in isolation or in groups?
d. Consider the design of the gallery, taking into account factors such as lighting; wall or room color; flooring; use of paint or fabric in the display; presence of wall text labels or photographs; use of vitrines (display cases), bases or pedestals, and fences (barriers) around the objects.
e. Does the manner of display accurately reflect how the work of art was used or viewed in its original context?
f. To what degree do you think an object?s medium (what it is made of and how) or scale influenced how it was displayed, in terms of conservation or preservation (to control light, temperature, humidity, dust, visitor interaction, etc.)?
II. Interpretation and Ideology
a. Do you think the manner of presentation is neutral or ideologically charged and why?
b. Does the way in which the artworks are displayed affect how you value or appreciate them?
c. Does the way the objects are displayed emphasize aesthetic formalism (how it looks) or social context (what it meant and how it was used)?
d. Do you think that the original use or intent of the piece matters for aesthetic objects that were not necessarily made as art to be displayed (that served some other purpose or function in addition to their aesthetic qualities)? Should we display ?art that was made to be art? differently from objects that we have come to accept as art (such as ceremonial or ritual objects, decorative art, and crafts ? masks, furniture, posters, baskets, etc.)?
e. Do Western paradigms of art appreciation, such as its emphasis on authorship or the privileging of painting and sculpture in the hierarchies of art, affect how we treat and view Non-Western art in the museum?
Excerpt From Essay:

Coote, Jeremy, 1992. Anthropology, Art, and Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Website retrieved:

Phillips, Ruth B. And Steiner, Christopher B. 1999. "Art, Authenticity, and the Baggage of Cultural Encounter." Chapter 1 in Unpacking Culture. University of California Press.

Staniszewski, Mary Anne, 1998. The Power of Display. MIT Press.

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Title: Aesthetics and African Art

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1225
  • References:5
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Assignment Two

Please write a five-page essay on one of the following questions. All written assignments should be double-spaced, with a 1" margin on all sides, and a 12 pt. font. Any images and/or bibliographies are not included in the five page length requirement. Note: five pages of text is roughly 1,250 words. In each essay, you will be discussing works of art. In all examples that you discuss, your images should be fully identified by title, artist (if known), date, and location of object. Then, give a brief formal description and analysis of the work, and explain in a very specific and detailed way a response to the essay question. Your paper should be written entirely in your own words, although you may use a limited number of quotations from your textbook, with page references given in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. This essay format will be the same for all essays you write in all units of this class.
Essay Questions (Please select one to answer):

This assignment addresses whether or not there is a Pan-African aesthetic. Think about how important rituals are in understanding the context of African art. Be sure to pay special attention to the section on Yoruba aesthetics. Then, select three examples of works of art, one from each area: the Southeast, Central, and West Africa to argue yes or no to this question.
Discuss the importance of the masquerade in three different African cultures. What cultural significance do these masks have, and how were/are they used in society? Provide a geographical and cultural overview first, then describe and analyze three examples that span the assigned reading in your textbook.

The Great Zimbabwe is the largest complex of stone ruins in South Africa. Please use the discussion on your reading and find at least three more online sources to describe the trade center/royal residence, its function and its historical importance. Include a bibliography and at least five images you found. You might look at the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, and PBS has an excellent website “Mystery of Great Zimbabwe.” The UNESCO World Heritage Center counts the Great Zimbabwe National Monument as a World Heritage Site.

Unit Overview

More often than not, people tend to think of history as the record and interpretation of past human actions, particularly social and political actions. Art, on the other hand, is often thought of as a part of the present because it is something that people can see and touch. However, artwork is also a kind of history because it is a type of persisting event. Although created in the past, an art work continues to exist into the present, often surviving many centuries.

Throughout history, most artists created the paintings, sculptures, and other objects exhibited in museums today for specific patrons and settings, and to fulfill a particular purpose. However, in many cases, the original contexts of those artworks are unknown. Although people may appreciate the artwork, they cannot understand why they were made, or why they look or feel the way they do without knowing the circumstances behind their creation. Art appreciation does not require knowledge of the historical context of an artwork, but art history does. Thus, one of the main goals of art history is to determine the original context of artworks.

Art that lies outside the framework of western tradition is called non-western art. Traditionally, western art is thought of as beginning with the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt that lead into classical Greek and Roman art, from which we trace the development of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern art from Europe across colonial empires such as the United States. This characterization is not entirely accurate, however, but nonetheless it allows usus a long-needed emphasis on the cultures in Africa, Asia, the Americas prior to European intervention, aboriginal Australia and the Pacific Islands (Oceania). This unit will focus on how to write a formal analysis of a work of art, what aesthetics is in art, and how aesthetics applies to African art and culture.

Required Readings

An Introduction to Non-Western Art History

In order to familiarize yourself with the discipline of Art History and how the area of non-western art has been shaped, please read the online introduction entitled, "What is Art History?" from Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives 12th ed., ed., Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya, Belmont, CA.

In the Gardner’s textbook, please read Chapters 10 and 11 on African art.
Unit Objectives

In this unit, learners will be introduced to:

The discipline of art history, and how the area of non-western art has been shaped
Some of the questions that art historians ask when they study a piece of artwork
“How old is it?”
“What is its subject?”
“What is its style?”
“Who made it?”
“Who paid for it?”
Different ways of “seeing” art, including perspective and foreshortening.
By the end of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the following vocabulary words commonly used by art historians:

Form and Composition
Material and Technique
Space, Mass, and Volume
Carving and Casts
Relief Sculpture
Architectural Drawings
Aesthetics in African Art

Once you have completed the first assignment, you are ready to tackle the topic of aesthetics, which we will study in conjunction with African Art. Please read the chapter on African Art and think about the function of art in Africa and African concepts of beauty as expressed in art and literature. See also Yoruba Aesthetics

Key Terms

Comparing Yoruba and Western Aesthetics: A Philosophical View Of African American Art, Culture and Aesthetics
Art in the Pan-African World
Yoruba Art and Culture
The Art of the African Mask
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Enrichment Links
Contemporary South African Artists

Museum for African Art

National Museum of African Art

Nouveau Art from Ethiopia

Exhibition of Congo Art

The British Museum: Sudan-Past and Present

Contemporary Art in Sudan
Excerpt From Essay:

Ampim, Manu. "Great Zimbabwe: A History Almost Forgotten." G.O.D. Collective, 2004. Web.

Trade, Zim. "The Great Zimbabwe." Virtual Zimbabwe, 2001. Web.

Tyson, Peter. "Mysteries of the Great Zimbabwe." PBS, 2000. Web.

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