Research Paper

Research/Curatorial Paper

Topic: You have been chosen to curate an imaginary art exhibition. Establish a theme for your exhibition and select 1 work of art that exemplifies this theme.

Work must fall between the time bracket of 1940-present.
Your selected art work may not come from the textbook.
You may choose any medium: drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, performance, architecture, etc.

Paper Guidelines:

Page 1—Create a 1/2 page, double-spaced Theme Statement

This statement needs to include your research on your theme/topic as a whole and should cover most of the following areas:

State the theme of the exhibition
Define the theme if necessary
Address time period/historical information
Address art historical or cultural connections
Describe characteristics of theme
Address relevance of theme—may include specific statistics to support relevance
Describe intended audience interaction

Page 2—Thumbnail and caption

Provide a thumbnail picture of your artwork and caption it with the following info: Title, artist, medium, date. Pictures do not have to be in color or particularly large/hi-res format.

Ex: Nick Cave, Unarmed, cast bronze, metal, vintage beaded flowers, 2016

Page 3—Artwork #1

Format: 2 half page paragraphs, double-spaced

Paragraph 1: half-page, double-spaced analysis of SUBJECT + FORM. This paragraph includes a description of the work’s subject matter and appearance, pointing out how the Elements of Art and Principles of Design are utilized within the work. *See paragraph #1 of museum paper.

Paragraph 2: half-page, double-spaced statement that addresses how this particular work specifically connects to your established theme. This section should contain research on one or more of the following:

How content of the work ties into thematic issues, some formal qualities from paragraph 1 may help support your interpretation
How the artist’s intentions, ideas, or use of symbolism connects to your theme
How the artist’s influences, research, process or materials relate to your topic
How the work relates to art historical, historical, social, and/or political issues/events/statistics that are relevant to your theme
How public interaction/reception with work is linked to thematic issues

Provide your list of research resources used and/or works cited, MLA format preferred.

You must include at least 2 scholarly/academic resources to support your research for your Page 1 Theme Statement and your 2nd paragraph statement for selected artwork. Note: your selected artwork does not have to come these sources, but your research to support thematic connection should.

Appropriate scholarly/academic resources within this context of this project may include:

Published books (either physical or e-book form) related to your theme/topic or artists
Scholarly journal articles (see JSTOR, Oxford Art Online, and other links provided in your Library Guide>Tools to Start With)
Exhibition articles/statements from major museum websites, such as
(Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)
, etc. It is important to note that these are established museum spaces and not online gallery sites—most will have a .org or .edu ending.
Lastly, you must responsibly use and cite your sources—failure to do so could result in plagiarism, a serious academic offense! Our library guide contains helpful information about proper citation and voiding plagiarism under “Cite.” JSTOR will even format your citations for you in proper MLA format.

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