Museum Assignment Worksheet Submit Assignment


Instructor: S.Worley


Choose artwork on display at the or See chapters 4-8 Visual Elements and Principles of Design in SAYRE A WORLD OF ART textbook for complete definitions of the visual elements and principles of design.

Take notes for a comparison and contrast paper on two artworks at one of the Houston art museums (1 Menil Collection; 2) Museum of Fine Arts Houston Choose from among the following topics:  Menil Collection 1) compare and contrast a Byzantine icon with an African tribal sculpture Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2) compare and contrast an Italian Renaissance painting with a Greek vase painting or Roman sculpture Menil Collection, or MFAH 3) Modern and Contemporary art: compare and contrast a contemporary nonrepresentational artwork (i.e. Barnet Newman; Mark Rothko; Jackson Pollock; David Smith (sculpture or painting) with an early 20th century modern abstract artwork (i.e. Picasso; Matisse)















Cultural context and artist’s biography (see museum label and museum catalogues of general collections located in museum bookstores and libraries):

Visual Elements: In taking notes on the various visual elements, be sure to relate them directly to the artist and style. In other words consider how the handling of paint (precise or loose brushwork) is characteristic of a specific artist’s style. Or is the abstraction and stylization or ideal and naturalistic representation of the human form characteristic of a particular region, style and culture?

Subject (who or what is represented):

Style (Abstract and Stylized or Realistic, Naturalistic, Ideal?):

Iconography (symbolism or narrative):

Form (shape or structure; 2 dimensional or 3 dimension):

Composition (arrangement of forms in space; balanced; symmetrical; asymmetrical)

Technique (handling of materials):

Line (contour; implied line of sight; thick; precise; broken):

Light (additive or natural; reflected; implied inside or outside the picture frame):

Color (value/tonality (light or dark) /hue (name) /saturation or intensity (relative purity)

Chiaroscuro (shading or modeling of form with dark and light):

Texture (quality of surface; rough, shiny, smooth):


Mass (bulk density):

Volume (space mass organizes):

Perspective (linear, aerial, estimated, vanishing point, orthogonals; creates the illusion space recedes into the distance on a 2D surface):

Foreshortening (figures represented at angles to the picture plane surface and literally shortened to create the illusion of 3-D and projection into space):

Proportion (relation of parts to the whole; i.e. Canon of ideal human proportions):

Scale (relative size relation between members of a group; hierarchy of scale: one figure is larger than the rest):

Time and Motion:

Emphasis and Focal Point:

Unity and Variety

Repetition and Rhythm