ALTERNATE HUMANITIES CULTURAL EVENT REPORT.
This option is only for people who absolutely cannot visit a museum or performance during the term.
Length: 4-5 pp. (1500 – 1800 words), plus a list of active links that go directly to the illustrations, as
well as to the texts or active links you consulted for background information. Follow MLA or APA
guidelines for citing outside sources. MJC Library website has guidelines. Earn up to 50 pts.
SUMMARY. Since you are not going to a live performance, art museum or galleries, please visit
three (3) world-class art museum websites to view and report back on six selections from their
holdings (visit all from the museum list (below), or 2 from the list, and one other major art museum
website of your choice).
At each website:
• Record and report on your overall impressions of each site. Be specific. How is it laid out?
Quality of navigation? What do you think of content? Explain interesting discoveries,
appealing and lesser aspects. Analyze and comment on them.
• Then, find a total of 6 art works (1-2 art works per website) to study, think about (number
them in your essay), and discuss them, thoughtfully. Choose art from different times and
places, in different media, styles, and subjects that match all five (5) art categories
• Research 2 – 3 from your choices to uncover interesting, pertinent historical and biographical
background. You can paraphrase or quote briefly from sources – a phrase, or a line or two, if
you explain the quotation’s value to your study. Be sure to clarify who is saying what (for
example, “According to so and so . . . , etc.). ~ 75 or more words per piece on this, in addition
to your reflections. Tips: Avoid .com sites: you may be seeing replicas, which alter or distort
originals. Sort what you bring to the piece, from what can actually be seen, and learned.
• Write mainly in your own words. I want to hear your voice, and what you have to say. You can
use the first person “I” for this assignment. Avoid the appearance of plagiarism (taking other
people’s words and allowing them to appear as though they were yours). Cite and credit your
sources if you wish to receive credit for your essay. Instructor will do originality checks.
• Follow instructions. Report clearly on your descriptions, exploratory thoughts, deeper
knowledge, insights, and, thinking more broadly, make connections specific aspects of the
humanities class (key ideas and examples). Conclude with insights (greater wisdom) you
gained from the visits. Make connections to our studies (arts, ideas) to point out and explain.
• Recommended art museum sites:
MH De Young Museum, SF; SF California Palace of the Legion of Honor; J Paul Getty Museum,
Pasadena; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC The Louvre Museum,
Paris Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Does this assignment sound do-able? If so, feel free to check in with questions, alternative ideas (if
any), have fun with it, and bring back some critically-aware observations, deeper knowledge, and
insights from your virtual travels! Submit to the Humanities Cultural Event report drop box, before or
by the due date. Details about the Art Categories follow below. Thanks . . . Prof. Carter.
Art CATEGORIES Explained:
Part A. The Most Beautiful or Moving Work of Art in the Museum
1. As you visit the museum, seek the most beautiful or moving work you can find. When you have
discovered it, look at it from different angles, distances. What do you see? Then take notes to help
build a mental picture in your reader’s head of your visual experience of the work.
2. Try not to look at the “title” or other label information displayed with the object at first. Use your
sight, intuition, imagination, and analytical skills to understand the art before you and its subject
matter. What is happening in the picture or sculpture? What is it made of (medium/media)? What art
elements (lines, shapes, colors, patterns/texture) are used? Do they suggest a meaningful
composition? On what levels? How does it affect you?
3. Note your observations, feelings, thoughts, and interpretive questions plainly and simply.
4. Before you leave the artwork, read the label. Does it confirm or relate to your thoughts, or not?
Remember to copy down this basic information on each choice before you walk away.
• Title of the work you selected, its date, artist’s name, the country/area the artist is from.
• Title of the group the work was displayed with
• A detailed description of the work–media, size, design, subject–and why you selected it.
• Feelings and thoughts the work aroused in you.
• Connections and exploratory Questions that came up while viewing it.
Part B. The Most Interesting/Unfamiliar Work, OR a Work of Art from Asia, Middle East,
Ancient Americas, Africa, Pacific Islands. * Follow up on the same directions 1-6 for Part A.
Part C. The Most Disturbing Work of Art OR A Work of Art that You Disliked (or liked least).
* Follow up on the same directions 1-6 for Part A.
Part D. Comment on a special display or a choices of works that relate to one another (in
your mind) in terms of form and/or content. Describe and discuss them. What kind of interesting
title would you give the group? What connections do you see in theme, looks, material, . . .?
Which one is the most significant work? Explain.
Part E. What Work Would You Take Home? Make this choice different one from choices A-D).
If you could take one work home — from anywhere in the museum – what would you select, and
why? (cost, size, etc. is not an obstacle).
Part F. After the visits, review your experiences, and begin to Reflect and Assess them.
How did your firsthand study have an impact on your perceptions and thoughts about art? What
specific connections / differences do you see between these works and the lives people live
today? Do the works speak to contemporary concerns? Explain. Make connections to the art and
ideas you have been studying. For example, compare subjects or styles or media. Consider, for
example, what kind of music, literature, or drama would complement your choices . . .
WRITE UP and POST YOUR REPORT! By now, you should have plenty of observations and
ideas to communicate. Think of your audience as intelligent, interested, and who may or may
not agree with you. Build a picture with words in our minds of what you saw, perceived, learned,
and concluded. Post your report, citations, and resource citations and lists in the designated
Cultural Events drop box.
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