Now that you have explored fully all the dilemmas that a museum faces in displaying African art, it’s time to assess the pitfalls in person.
Visit the De Young Museum collection of African and Oceanic art (on the second floor), as well as the their collection of ancient art of the Americas (on the first floor). Or, visit the small collection of African and Oceanic art in the Crocker Museum in Sacramento.
For five points extra credit, please compare the Crocker and De Young displays.
- In your analysis, address one or more of the balancing acts that museums face, and note to what extent the museum is successful, or not, in achieving that balance. Be sure to provide specific examples from the museum displays to make your case.
I would like you to cite at least two different scholarly sources to support your analysis of the museum display.
- Also select a particular work from one of these collections, and research its meaning and use, beyond what the museum and its website tell you (you may need to expand your research to include similar types of artwork, since little information may be available about that particular piece). Consider how the museum presents the work (its location, “neighborhood,” wall text, etc.), and assess the effectiveness of the presentation, based on your research beyond the museum.
I would like you to cite at least two different scholarly sources to support your analysis of the artwork you picked.
- Finally, explain how the museum could change the exhibit, and how that change would enhance the viewers’ understanding of the art. Again, give specific examples, and keep in mind that the museum’s budget (and space) is limited!
For help writing your paper, see How to Write an Art History Paper along with Sources for Art History Research, How to Cite Sources, Grammar and Spelling Basics, and Academic Success & Tutoring Center. Of course, you can also contact me any time with questions.
ONLINE OPTION (3 point deduction unless accommodations are discussed with me in advance): Use Google Arts and Culture to “walk” through a museum, following the steps in Unit 2.3 Discussion: The Balancing Act
I suggest using the online option. You just use their website to virtually walk through the museum.