Art often supports the traditional social and political order, but sometimes art (and artists) challenge the status quo with new forms or old forms presented in new ways. At times, art supports new political orders at the expense of challenging old ones. Art has a major role in human societies with psychological, social, religious, political and educational functions. These functions can be seen or heard in the art piece, and some forms of art have more than one function. In this assignment, the student will explore those functions to see how they are represented in specific pieces of art. Visit one of the approved museums in person – check to make sure there is an exhibit currently open to the public. Peruse the collection to locate one object you find the most interesting and write an essay detailing the criteria listed below. Attach ALL of your write-ups as a single file.
1. Write a detailed description of the art piece, including the title and artist’s identity.
2. List the object’s form, materials, whether it is realistic or abstract, and its symbolic elements.
3. Describe the function of the object in your own words.
4. Complete an analysis of the connection between the appearance (form, materials, symbolism) of the object and its function.
5. Explain your personal, emotional, response to the object (why you found it to be so exciting).
Visit any of these locations – but confirm there is a current exhibit to see:
(25 point options – visit any two museums)
- San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (Links to an external site.)
- Museum of Quilts and Textiles (Links to an external site.)
- Triton Museum of Art (Links to an external site.)
- De Saisset Museum (Links to an external site.)
(50 point options – visit only one museum)
- Cantor Center for the Visual Arts (Links to an external site.)
- San Jose Museum of Art (Links to an external site.)
* Visit multiple museums or galleries (50 point maximum).
* If you live outside the area, contact the instructor for ideas in your region.