For this assignment you will design and organize a museum exhibition based around a theme in Asian art. The assignment has two parts, and will require a visit to the Sackler and Freer Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution.
NOTE: Because the Freer gallery is closed until the fall 2017, students are only expected to visit the Sackler gallery.
Part 1: Exhibition Proposal (10% of your class grade) – Due Feb 27th
In order to successfully complete this stage of the project you will need:
- A title for your exhibition (be creative)
- A central research question around which the exhibit is organized. State your historical question in no more than three sentences. Think of this as the lesson you want visitors to your museum to learn.
- List three objects or structures that you think are relevant to your question. Explain your reasoning in two sentences per object.
- A bibliography of three books or journal articles that pertain to your topic. At least one must be from JSTOR.
This is probably the most important part of the proposal. Give it some serious thought.
Avoid questions that are obvious (Does Indian art depict elephants?)
Avoid questions that are too large, vague, or unanswerable (What is Buddhist Art?)
Avoid questions that are subjective (Are Chinese or Thai images prettier?)
At least one example MUST be from the Sackler or Freer Galleries (I may be willing to grant exceptions if can make a strong case for why a museum object won’t fit your topic)
For each source, provide a sentence or two explaining how you think it is relevant to your research question.
No encyclopedias or wikis at this stage of the project.
Here are some examples of possible research questions:
What were the roles of women in Indian and Chinese Buddhist art?
What role did merchant communities play in the patronage and spread of Buddhist art?
What are the cultural influences on Indian, Chinese and Japanese Buddhist guardian figures?
Part 2: Final Paper (25% of your class grade) – Due Apr 19th
This final paper will include:
- An introduction to the exhibit and its theme. Also, please provide pertinent information regarding how the objects will appear in the show (For example, if you selected an architectural example how will you manage to display it?)
- Three examples arranged in the order a visitor to your exhibit would encounter them.
- A concluding section in which you provide a synthesis of the exhibit and explain the concepts and information you want visitors to take from the show. Describe how your examples will lead them to understand your theme. In other words, how does the exhibit address your research question?
1) Provide the name, date, location, and material of the object
2) Explain in detail how it relates to your theme and supports your point
3) Support your claims and ideas with at least two academic sources per object
The introduction, 3 examples, and conclusion will each need about a page – so the paper must be 5 pages minimum (and no more than 7)
Proper citation of sources (Chicago Style or MLA) and correct grammar are required.
Images should be placed at the end of the paper on separate pages.
12 point, double space. Use full sentences and paragraphs.
If you have questions about any aspect of this project, please come see me.