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Dallas Museum of Art

Each student is required to visit Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) during the current semester and write a paper on their experience.
This assignment counts as 40% of your semester grade.  The main objective of this assignment is for you to visit an art museum and to experience art in person. The assignment will be graded based largely on how well you follow all of the instructions outlined below.  Points will be deducted for failure to complete the assignment as directed. So please read the instructions carefully and ask about anything that is not clear to you.

This is NOT a research paper. You are not to use the Internet or any other research tools for completing this assignment. The assignment is to be based on your own experience and observations while visiting the museum and viewing the works of art.  Do not submit any explanatory information found on museum signs, labels, publications, brochures or website.  Please be aware that your work may be checked for plagiarism by an Internet-based service named SafeAssign.  Plagiarism is a serious offense and will affect your grade on this assignment, your grade for this course, and/or your standing at the college.

Follow the directions below.  Maximum point value for each requirement is indicated.

1.  General Experience (30 points)

Describe your general experience visiting the Dallas Museum of Art as though you are writing in a personal journal or in a letter to a friend. Include details of your experience such as what you did, what you saw, how you felt.  Include the following in your description:

Specifically describe entering the museum. Which entrance did you go through? What was outside the entrance?  Describe what you saw when you first entered the museum.  What part of the museum did you go to first?  What type of art did you see there? What floors and galleries did you visit?  What different types of art did you see?  What was your general impression of the museum as a whole? 

Include enough detail to demonstrate you went to the Dallas Museum of Art.  Include a photo of yourself at an identifiable spot in the museum (near the information desk, in the gift shop, by a work of art in the main corridor, etc.).  We know the museum and its collection very well so with some specific verbal or visual clues we can determine if you were at the DMA.  If you do not provide enough specifics for us to make that determination we will ask for more evidence.

2.    Identification of Specific Work of Art (10 points)

Select at least 2 original work of art from the collection that you respond to and/or like. Tell us in what gallery or area of the Museum this work of art is located.  Spend time looking at the artwork. Provide the following information about the work selected:

  • Artist name (if provided)
  • Artist nationality or nation of origin
  • Artist life dates (if provided)
  • Title of work of art
  • Date the work was created
  • Media used to create artwork

 You should be able to find all this information on a label posted near the artwork.

3.    Description of Specific Work of Art (10 points)

Describe the work of art identified above (as if you are describing it to a friend who hasn’t seen it).  In other words, what does it look like?  Include information on the subject matter, composition, formal elements, and principles of design. Use terms that you learned in class when appropriate.  However, be sure to do more than just list a lot of terms.  Explain how the terms apply to this particular work of art.  Someone reading your description should have a mental image of the physical appearance of this artwork.

4.    Analysis of Specific Work of Art (10 points)

Go beyond just a physical description of the work of art.  Consider and address the following questions: What do you think the artist’s intention was?  Do you think he/she succeeded?  What is your response to this artwork? Describe why you like or dislike this work of art? For example, Do you like or relate to the subject matter? Does it evoke any emotion?  What do you think the artwork is about or what is its meaning? We want to know what you think.

5.     Address the Museum as a Global Learning Tool (10 points)

How does the Dallas Museum of Art play a role in teaching diversity, human interaction locally and globally, and addressing world issues? Do you see these addressed in the museum itself, in the collections, or specific works of art?

6.     Spelling and Grammar (10 points)

This is not an English class, but we do expect students to write at a college level. This means spelling, sentence structure and grammar should be correct. Make use of your computer’s spelling and grammar checker and have someone proofread the work for you. Points will be taken off for excessive spelling and grammatical mistakes.

7.     Appropriate Formatting (10 points)

The assignment should include a heading with your name, student number, section number and the date you visited the museum. It should be in the form of a personal journal entry or a letter to a friend.  The paper should be double-spaced and be organized into a minimum of 4 paragraphs.  The assignment should be submitted as a computer file in one of the following file formats: Microsoft Word (.doc or docx.), Rich Text (.rtf), or Text (.txt).  The name of the computer file should include your name and student ID number.

8.     Appropriate Length (10 points)

The museum paper must be a minimum of 700 words.
The due date for this assignment will be posted on eCampus/Blackboard. To be eligible to receive all points earned, the museum assignment must be turned in by the deadline. Any museum assignment turned in after the deadline will automatically have additional points deducted based on the degree of tardiness.
Make sure you plan your visit to the art museum far enough in advance to give you time to complete the assignment before the deadline.

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