Assignment 2: Mini Exhibition
Submission window: Friday, June 5 at 8:30am to Monday, June 8, 2020, 11:59pm
Format: Times New Roman or Arial, 12pt, double-spaced. Word or PDF document.
Length: 750 words (minimum) to 1000 words (maximum).
Weight: 20% of final grade
Purpose: To think broadly about the connections and recurring themes throughout the
history of visual culture. To practice writing about art in a contextual and thematic way.
Scenario: You have been asked to curate a small exhibition… with a very big budget!
Based on ONE (1) object, you are to develop a thematic exhibition using THREE (3)
other works of visual culture throughout history. Your task is to make connections
across time and space, and to think broadly about visual culture.
The first object that you choose will be the star of the show, but the other works must
support it in a meaningful way, and help to tell a story to your “visitors.” Be sure, in your
writing, to clearly explain the theme of your exhibition and how the objects relate to that
NOTE: THIS IS NOT a formal research essay! Your task is to explain your exhibition to
a public audience in your writing. What theme have you chosen, and how does it arise
from the main object? How do the other objects connect to the theme? Get creative
and explore your interests!
Select ONE (1) object from your textbook, included in the readings for Modules 2 to 8
for this course:
Class 2. Prehistoric Art: Stokstad, Chapter 1, pp. 1-25
Class 3. Art of the Ancient Near East: Stokstad, Chapter 2, pp. 26-47
Class 4 Art of Ancient Egypt: Stokstad, Chapter 3, pp. 48-63
Art of South and Southeast Asia: Stokstad, Chapter 10, pp. 298-317
Class 5 Art of Ancient Greece: Stokstad, Chapter 5, pp. 102-157
Class 6 Etruscan and Roman Art: Stokstad, Chapter 6, pp. 168-215
Jewish and Early Christian Art: Stokstad, Chapter 7, pp. 216-235
Class 7 Byzantine Art: Stokstad, Chapter 8, pp. 236 (“Early Byzantine Art”)-251
Islamic Art: Stokstad, Chapter 9, pp. 268-282
Class 8 Romanesque Art: Stokstad, Chapter 16, pp.470-505
Gothic Art of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: Stokstad, Chapter
17 (Introduction to “France and the origins of the Gothic style”
Fourteenth-Century Art in Europe: Stokstad, Chapter 18, pp. 548
(“Florentine Painting”)-562 (“Sienese Painting”)
With your chosen image, you are to do the following:
- Research and write about your selected work to explain it in greater
depth and to help you establish and explain a theme for your exhibition. Use
at least TWO (2) resources from the OCADU Library database: ONE (1)
encyclopedia entry and ONE (1) journal article or e-book. In addition to
these two library resources, you may also use your textbook.
(Be sure to cite any borrowed information or ideas clearly and honestly in the body of
your text as well: use the “Library help” page on Canvas to get started. You may use
any style of citation that you choose, as long as it is consistent.)
- Use your selected image as the basis of the imaginary “mini exhibition” that
you will curate. To make your exhibition, select THREE (3) other works
(from different periods of time) that we have seen in the course to date
(either in lecture, or in your textbook) that relate to the theme. You do not
have to do in-depth research on these objects (information from your
textbook or lecture will suffice), but you will have to explain how they
relate to your chosen theme. *NOTE: These works must not be from the same time period or cultural movement as
your original object, or as each other. That is, each object must come from a
different class module.
- Include a bibliography of any works that you consulted and used in your paper.
- Include your selected images at the end of your text. If you wish, you can
arrange them on a “floorplan” to show how your exhibition would work.
Please organize your writing in the following way (note that each bullet point does not
necessarily translate to just one paragraph):
● Introduction of your theme, and the object(s) that you will work with;
● A discussion of your main object; its historic details, context, etc., and how
the theme emerges from this object;
● A discussion of your supporting objects, and how they relate to the theme, the
main object and/or to each other;
Important: While you do not require a formal “thesis statement,” your paper should be
organized around the explanation of your exhibition theme. This means that your theme
will become your argument, and will be the thread that links all of your ideas together
throughout your paper. There should therefore be a clear statement of your
argument/theme in your introduction.
Helpful hints: ● While your paper should at least loosely follow the overall trajectory above, it
should be more than four paragraphs in length.
● Be sure to use accurate terminology wherever possible to help strengthen
your descriptions and analyses.
● If it is helpful to you, create a diagram or floor plan of your exhibition.
● Get creative! If you want to include a large monument or building, you can
pretend that you’ll use a model, a reconstructed room, or that the exhibition
takes place at the selected site.
- Theme (4)
Excellent— The theme is clearly stated in the introduction, and sets up a clear
argument and stream of thought for the rest of the text. The theme is original, clearly
explained, and emerges distinctly from the main object. The other three selected objects
strongly reinforce the message/narrative of the theme. The works are connected
together thematically in clear and meaningful ways to create a logical and inventive
mini-exhibition. The theme demonstrates a keen ability to think broadly about visual
culture over time and across space. (4)
Good— The theme is stated at the beginning of the paper and establishes a good
foundation for the rest of the text. The theme is clear and is closely related to the main
object. The other three selected objects help to support the theme. The works are
clearly connected to create a logical mini-exhibition. The theme shows an
understanding of the scope of visual culture. (3)
Satisfactory—The theme may not be stated early in the text, or may be unclear, which
weakens the flow of ideas throughout the paper. The connection of the theme to the
main object and/or some of the supporting objects may be difficult to understand,
meaning that the mini-exhibition is not coherent as a whole. Some understanding of the
broader scope of visual culture is demonstrated. (2)
Needs work—Unsatisfactory—General, unclear, illogical, or missing theme. The
theme is possibly unrelated to the main object and/or to the supporting objects. The
mini-exhibition is incoherent. A limited understanding of the broader scope of visual
culture is demonstrated. (1- 0)
- Argument, organization, coherence (4)
Excellent—The paper makes a clear statement of argument in the introduction and
argues its theme well throughout the entirety of the text. This means that it is a logically
organized presentation of an argument that flows convincingly from point to point,
contains no obvious omissions or unnecessary digressions and does not
over-emphasize trivial points or underemphasize important ones. Clearly organized and
well structured to build an argument, easy to read. It is focused and well balanced in its
explanation of the artworks and the overall theme. (4)
Good— The paper makes a statement of argument at the beginning and makes
connections to the theme throughout the text. The paper has a logical structure: it is
adequately organized with a coherent flow. It highlights important points, which help to
build the argument. The balance of the explanation of the artworks and the theme is
Satisfactory— The paper may have an argument, but it may be unclear or weak. The
presentation of ideas undermines argument, and/or may not follow a logical
organization. Unclear at times, either within overall flow of ideas from paragraph to
paragraph, or within paragraphs themselves. Imbalanced focus across the objects and
Unsatisfactory— The paper lacks a definitive structure: may lack an introduction and
conclusion, repetitive content, unable to sustain clear flow of ideas, confusing to read.
No real argument comes through. Imbalanced focus across the objects and theme.
- Discussion and analysis of selected objects (4)
Excellent—The main object and thematic premise are thoroughly analyzed. The
supporting objects each come from different periods in history/cultural movements.
They form a logical and coherent complement to the main image, and the thematic
connection is explained clearly and convincingly. The works are explained and are
linked together in meaningful ways through thoughtful analysis. The main object itself is
undoubtedly the focus of the exhibition, with all other components working to strengthen
and support the theme. Context is thoroughly and appropriately discussed and analyzed
in a manner that reflects a deep understanding of the work(s), and supports the
argument at hand. Precise terminology is used consistently and accurately, and helps to
advance the discussion. (4)
Good—The main object is the focus of discussion, and the thematic premise is clear.
The supporting objects each come from different periods in history/cultural movements.
The paper could use more analysis, as in parts, it may tend toward the descriptive, but
overall provides a look into the argument in relation to the objects and the theme.
Context is addressed appropriately and demonstrates an understanding of the works in
question. Terminology is used mostly correctly, and helps focus the discussion. (3)
Satisfactory—The paper attempts to discuss the object and theme, but they are
perhaps on examined in enough depth. The paper may be mostly descriptive rather
than analytical, and the link between the theme and the objects may not be clear. The
analysis and discussion of the object and theme is weakened by focus on other areas
(i.e. by too much elaboration on context, or by the inclusion of too many or too few other
objects). Terminology is used sparingly. (2)
Unsatisfactory—The paper has not clarified a main object and/or a theme, and does
not provide any analysis. The paper is mostly descriptive, and the link between the
supporting objects may not be clear. Supporting objects may not be of the correct
amount (too many or too few) and the focus may be contextual rather than thematic.
Terminology is not used correctly, or not used at all, weakening the discussion. (0-1)
- Research and applied knowledge (4)
Excellent— A minimum of two academic library sources (one encyclopedia and one
journal article or e-book) and the textbook have been used and thoroughly examined.
Citations are present for all borrowed information or ideas. Research has been applied
effectively to the “main object” and knowledge is applied from the textbook/lectures
applied to the supporting objects in a convincing and thorough manner. The information
presented is accurate and supports the discussion of the object(s) in question, as well
as the theme of the exhibition. The contextual information is insightful, comprehensive,
and persuasive. (4)
- Good— Two academic library sources (one encyclopedia and one journal article or
e-book) and the textbook have been used appropriately. Citations are present for
borrowed information or ideas. Research has been applied to the “main object” and
knowledge applied from textbook/lectures to the supporting objects. The information
presented is mostly accurate and helps to support the discussion of the objects and
theme. The contextual information is comprehensive and logical with adequate detail.
Satisfactory—Resources were of the correct number, but perhaps inappropriate (i.e.
either too broad, internet-based source, etc.) The information and concepts may lack
detail, comprehension and conviction. Citations and quotations may be misused (i.e. too
many quotations, sparingly cited leading to questioning of integrity of research, etc.). (2)
Unsatisfactory—Too few resources used, and/or of inappropriate nature. The
information lacks truth, depth, detail, etc. Major issues with citations and quotations (i.e.
heavy reliance on quotations, far too few to no citations, etc.). (0-1)
5. Spelling, grammar, and format (4)
Excellent—The paper is clearly written with no awkward or confusing sentences or
inappropriate word choices, is free of typos, grammatical and spelling errors, as well as
to the requirements of the paper, including: correct length, bibliography, the inclusion of
the images, appropriate selection of the objects (i.e. from the listed readings/materials
to date, with each object from a different period/culture). (4)
Good— The paper is mostly clear with few awkward or confusing sentences or
inappropriate word choices, some spelling errors throughout, proper length, few
grammatical errors, bibliography and images included, appropriate selection of objects
(i.e. from the listed readings/materials to date, with each object from a different
Satisfactory— Consistent problems with spelling and grammar, clearly too short,
continuous problems with proper citation and bibliography, some citations missing, may
or may not have all images, selected inappropriate objects (i.e. beyond the scope of the
listed readings or course content to date, and/or objects from same period). (2)
Unsatisfactory— Student obviously did not proofread, sloppy spelling and grammatical
errors, far too short, many citations missing, may or may not have all images, selected
an inappropriate object (i.e. beyond the scope of the listed readings or course content to
date, and/or objects from same period). (0-1)