Museum Assignment
Name _________________________________

ARH 301 Zimmerman
Fall 1997

Assignment Due Date: Monday, September 22, in class

This assignment requires that you go over to the first- and second-floor galleries in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the large white building at the northeast corner of 21st and Guadalupe, and look at a number of artworks on display.

Use the spaces provided on these pages to answer the questions below about specific pieces. The map on this front page (hard-copy version) should give you the relative locations of each of the collections, identified by letter. Each section will have a map associated with it that has the pieces in it numbered to correspond with the questions. Try to do this assignment in the mostly chronological order in which it is presented. Note that you should start on the second floor.

Try not to collaborate. This is designed to elicit your own reactions to the works that you are viewing, and is worth 15% of your grade.

A. Greek Art

1. Kouros from Tenea

Stand in the same pose as the figure. Now put the same expression on your face.
How do you feel? Are you relaxed, stiff, something else?

Do different parts of your body feel differently? If so, which ones, and how?

2. Apoxymenos

Stand in the same pose as the figure. Now put the same expression on your face.
How do you feel? Are you relaxed, stiff, something else?

Do different parts of your body feel differently? If so, which ones, and how?

Compare what's happening with the two figures. Which pose makes you feel like you're in motion? What do you think is going on?

3. Doryphoros (Spear Bearer)

Walk around the statue. Observe it from different angles. Which ones seem to work best? Mark these best spots on a rough diagram below. Does anything change if you squat down or stand on your toes?

4. Look at the busts (heads) in the glass case. Describe the finish and texture of real marble.

What sort of physical condition are these busts in? Why might this be?

Compare these with the finish, texture, etc. of the plaster casts you've been examining in pieces 1-3.

5. Parthenon Pediment figures

Do you have any guesses as to why these seem to be displayed (arranged) in a relatively random or sloppy fashion? Do the separate pieces seem to somehow relate to each other?

Look at these pieces while you're standing close to them. Back off. (Don't bump into anything else!) Look at them again. Now lie down on the floor and look up at them from a distance. In what viewing position do they seem to work best for you? Why do you feel this way?

How would you describe the draperies (cloth) on these figures? What do you see close up as compared to from a distance (say at the other end of the room)? What do you think the sculptor was doing?

6. Fragments from Metopes and Frieze of Parthenon

What's the sculptural technique being used here?

Is this technique used to a different degree on the metope (left-hand) fragment? How?

How close do you have to be before you can see the details on the metope? What about the frieze (the two on the right) fragments? Where do you think these pieces might have been placed, relative to each other and to the viewer?

B. Medieval Art

1. Virgin and Child. (French, 14th c., marble)
2. St. Anne, Virgin and Child (Franconia, 15th c. polychrome on wood)

Describe the effect that each piece has on you. If these effects are different, what makes the difference? Is the difference in material significant? How?

3. St. Barbara (French, 16th c., marble)
4. St. Barbara (French, 15th c., stained glass)

Ignoring the different media, what are the similarities between these two works? (Hint: go for the really obvious stuff.)

5. Various small ivory objects.

Who might have used these objects? How do you think they might have been used, and why? What does their size tell you? Their material?

6. Giovanni dal Ponte (attr.). Madonna and Child with Angels. (Italian, c. 1425, tempera)
7. Anonymous. Portrait of St. Bernard. (French, 15th c., oil)

Compare the effects of the different media (tempera and oil) in these two works. Which lets you show more detail? Did this seem to influence the effect of the painting?

C. Renaissance to Early Nineteenth Century

1. Joachim Uytewael. Raising of Lazarus.

How does Uytewael use repetition to create a sense of movement and coherence? How does Uytewael create light and shadow?

2. Hans Rottenhammer. Adoration of the Shepherds.
How does Rottenhammer deal with the differing distances in this work?

What does the difference in supporting material (copper vs. canvas) do forthe texture in pictures 1 & 2? What about the brilliance of the color? What about the level of detail?

3. Jan Greffier. Untitled Landscape.

How does Greffier create atmospheric effects?

4. Circle of Jan Brueghel. Village Scene.

Discuss the use of atmosphere and light. What does this artist have in commonwith Greffier in painting # 3?

5. Abraham van Beyeren. Roemer with Grapes, a Pewter Plate and a Roll.

How does van Beyeren use composition and color to balance his picture?

6. Abraham van den Tempel. Portrait of a Young Lady with a Lapdog.
7. George Romney. Portrait of Lady Hamilton.
8. Thomas Gainsborough. His Royal Highness, George, Prince of Wales.
9. Aimee Duvivier. Le Marquis D'Aquevalle.

For each picture, how does the painter bring out the individual characteristics or personality of the sitter?

10. What is your favorite picture in the Renaissance through 19th century collection (area C on the map), and why?

D. Western Art

1. Joshua Shaw. The First Ship.
2. Thomas Hill. The Yosemite.
3. Albert Bierstadt. Indian Canoe.

How do Shaw and Bierstadt portray Indians? Is either approach realistic?

How does each painter (including Hill) use light as an active element in the landscape?

4. Charles Russell. Medicine Man.
5. Charles Russell. The Slick Ear.
6. Frederic Remington. A Cavalry Scrap.

How does each artist make his work tell a story?

E. Abstraction

1. Stanton MacDonald-Wright. Synchromy in Purple Minor.
2. Max Weber. New York at Night.
3. Manierre Dawson. Woman in Brown.

Each of these works is an abstraction, but each has been done in a different way. What has each artist done with his subject? What about the mechanics of the abstraction (what has each artist done to create his abstraction)?

4. Richard Anuszkiewicz. Plus Reversed.

What is the artist doing with color? What are the resultant effects?

5. David Diao Untitled.
6. Charles Hinman. Surface Volume Hybrid.

Discuss how the texture and application of the paint affects your perception of the two paintings. What about the shape of the canvases? Does this affect how you relate to the pictures?

F. Cityscape

1. Reginald Marsh. Chatham Square.

What kinds of space are shown in this work? How does the character of the space help to contribute to the tone (emotional content) of this work? Does anything else contribute to this tone?

G. From the entire collection on the FIRST floor:

What is your favorite picture? Why?

H. Latin-American Collection (upstairs)

1. Herman Braun. Velasquez stripped bare ...
2. Herman Braun. Velasquez going to his easel.

What is Braun's attitude toward time? What is he doing with time in these two works? Is he doing the same thing, or different things?

3. Jose Antonio Davila. Soy el hijo del limpiaventanos ... (I am the son of the window-cleaner ...)

How does Davila show motion in this picture? Does he use more than one way?

4. Rocio Maldonado. Sin Titulo (untitled).

How does this artist recycle images from her artistic heritage? Do you see familiar images?

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