For one/two-semester courses in Art History Survey and Art Appreciation, as well as a supplement in Studio Art and Writing Across the Curriculum courses.
This straightforward guide prepares students to describe, interpret, and write about works of art in meaningful and lasting terms. Designed as a supplement to Art History survey and period texts, this efficient book features a step-by-step approach to writing—from choosing a work to write about, to essay organization, to research techniques, to footnote form, to preparing the final essay. For beginners as well as more advanced students.
INTRODUCTION: Writing as Critical Thinking 1
CHOOSING IMAGES: How to Select the Works of Art You
Plan to Write About 9
Visiting Museums and Galleries, 9
Choosing Works of Art to Write About: Some Questions of Taste, 16
Writing Comparative Essays: Some Advantages, 18
Choosing Works from “The Museum without Walls,” 21
The Computer and “The Museum without Walls,” 24
USING VISUAL INFORMATION: What to Look For
and How to Describe What You See 29
Considering the Subject Matter of the Work, 31
Describing the Formal Elements You Discover in the Work, 35
Shape and Space, 36
Light and Dark, 40
Other Elements, 47
Recognizing the Principles of Design, 54
Rhythm and Repetition. 54
Unity and Variety, 58
Considering Questions of Medium, 59
Beginning Your Essay By Describing the Work, 61
Asking Yourself about the Work of Art: A Summary, 64
Questions to Ask Before Writing About a Work of Art, 64
RESPONDING TO THE VERBAL FRAME: Where Else
to Look for Help in Understanding What You See 66
Taking the Title and Label into Account, 66
Considering Informational Labels Accompanying the Work, 70
Consulting Artists’ Statements and Exhibition Catalogues, 72
Discovering Other Helpful Material in the Library and Online, 74
Research Online, 75
Using the Library Catalogue and Databases, 77
Using Art Dictionaries and Other Guides, 81
Considering the Work’s Historical and Cultural Context, 82
Quoting and Documenting Your Sources, 89
Learning the Art of Quoting, 89
Acknowledging Your Sources, 90
Choosing Your Footnote Style, 91
Citing Internet Sources, 96
WORKING WITH WORDS AND IMAGES: The Process
of Writing about What You See 98
Gathering Together What You Know, 98
Taking Notes in a Gallery or Museum, 98
Taking Notes As You Read, 99
Focusing Your Discussion, 101
Brainstorming and Mapping, 103
Using Prewriting as a Way to Begin, 105
Online Writing, 110
Creating a Finished Essay, 112
Organizing Your Essay: From Description to the Verbal Frame, 112
Developing an Argument or Thesis, 116
Revising and Editing, 118
A Revision Checklist, 120
Writing about Art: The Final Product, 121
A SHORT GUIDE TO USAGE AND STYLE: The Rules
and Principles of Good Writing 126
1. Possessive Apostrophes, 127
2. Commas, 127
3. Comma Splices, 128
4. Run-on Sentences, 129
5. That and Which, 129
6. Titles, 129
7. Foreign Phrases, 130
8. Split Infinitives, 130
9. Sentence Fragments, 130
10. Colons, 131
11. Semicolons, 131
12. Dashes, 132
13. Parentheses, 132
14. Quotations, 133
15. Ellipses, 133
16. Dangling Modifiers, 134
17. Subject-Verb Agreement, 134
18. Pronoun Agreement, 135
19. Pronouns and Gender Issues, 135
20. Indefinite Antecedents (it and this), 136
21. Correlative Expressions, 136
22. Verb Tense Consistency, 137
23. Diction Consistency, 137
24. Concrete and Specific Language, 138
25. Frequently Misspelled Words, 138
Emphasis on writing about art in its cultural and social context–Includes expanded treatments of feminist and multi-cultural approaches to writing.
~ Introduces students to varied ways of responding to and understanding art.
Extensive coverage of alternative media.
~ Enables students to explore photography, video, and computer environments that integrate these new forms with more traditional ones.
Clear, concise discussion of important visual elements.
~ Shows students what to look for and how to describe the formal elements they discover–such as line, shape and space, light and dark, and color.
Numerous student writing samples.
~ Offers students a user-friendly treatment demonstrating various approaches to writing about art.
One complete model essay–And four examples of others in draft form.
~ Provides students with an actual and effectively written finished product, and an understanding of how to produce one of their own.
Thirty-two illustrations–All well produced within the text.
~ Supplies students with a visually appealing book, with pictures that relate to the text.
A concise guide to usage and style.
~ Serves students with the rules and principles of good writing, and an essential and handy reference to refer back to when questions arise.
A practical, widely accessible approach.
~ Addresses the needs of students at every level of technological sophistication, from pen and paper to typewriter and word processor.