Compare and contrast luminist Albert Bierstadt Scene in Yosemite Valley with American Impressionist Childe Hassam, Early Morning Calm.


VAH 101N2

Fall 2016, Professor Philipp





Hours: Closed Monday, Tuesday, 11-5 on WF including Saturday; 11-8  on Thursdays; and 12-5 on Sundays.

(Suggested Admission:  Free with ID for UD students, including special exhibitions)

456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton, OH 45405     (937) 223-4278


The following short answer essays will focus on works of art at the Dayton Art Institute in the Dicke Wing of American Art.


PART I  ESSAY, Maximum Word Count 300 (100 points)


You are a wealthy art collector and want to purchase TWO works for your French chateau.  Choose one realistic work and one abstract work from the Dayton Art Institute Dicke Wing. Give the name of the artist, the title, date and medium for each of the two works of art you have selected.

Follow the guidelines below to complete your essay.


Select from the list of works below.



Realistic/Representational                                  Abstract

Wiley, Honorable Augustus Keppel                    Hofmann, Enchanted Fire

Porter, Self Portrait                                           Frankenthaler, Sea Change

Fish, Embroidery Uzbekistan                             Warhol, Russell Means

Kienholz, Sawdy                                                Raushenberg, Sling Shot

Van Pelt, Louise Nevelson                                 Nevelson, Untitled

O’Keefe, Purple Leaves                                     Yoshitomo, Flying Pup



Your essay’s main focus should be the discussion of the visual elements (refer to the Study Terms) in each work; how the visual elements support content and meaning in the work; and brief biographical information on the artists.   If the work has a label, you may use the information in the label if it is appropriate to your essay, but it has to be expressed in your own words.


For each image comparison below, write (at the beginning of your essay) each artist’s name, title of work, medium, date and style (25 pts)


PART II  ESSAY Maxmum Word Count 100  (25 points)

Compare and contrast luminist Albert Bierstadt Scene in Yosemite Valley with American Impressionist Childe Hassam, Early Morning Calm.   Give a visual analysis of each work, including discussion of the formal elements (refer to Study Terms); how the visual elements support content and meaning in the work.


You would want to compare and contrast significant features relating to subject and/or style, making sure to note any factors that explain the artists’ preferences (influences in the art world or encounter with the larger culture/s, personal experiences or background).


PART III ESSAY Maxmum Word Count 100   (25 points)

Compare and contrast Joan Mitchell’s Untitled with one of the Chinese landscape scrolls in the Dayton Art Institute Asian Wing. Your essay’s main focus should be a discussion of the visual elements; how the visual elements support content and meaning in the work.




PART IV ESSAY Maxmum Word Count 150   (50 points)

Select one object (your choice) from the museum collections in any of the DAI Galleries (i.e., African, Asian, Greek, American, etc.).  Describe the object in detail, using formal elements.

Clearly identify the narrative of the work (painting, sculpture) and/or the use of the object (esp. ceramics, ceremonial objects, etc)?

FOCUS your essay on what you  OBSERVE through CLOSE LOOKING, and what you can then infer about context/geography/socio-cultural/political context from your observations?


You will need to submit a 5” x 7” photograph or drawing of your chosen works.  See the DAI website for restrictions on photographing artwork in the museums.  Specifically, you cannot use a flash in the museum.  The museum does not allow photographs to be taken in special exhibitions.


Follow the guidelines listed below for essay format:

1 . Your essays should be typed or word-processed, have one-inch margins and numbered pages.  Each essay should be double-spaced.  Type size 12.


  1. Spelling, punctuation, grammar and writing style will count in the grading process! All sources must be cited. Use the MLA handbook, available in the bookstore, library, Online.  BE SURE TO INCLUDE A WORKS CITED PAGE.    I remind everyone that those caught using large portions of any published research, including websites and audio/visual sources, that do not properly cite in MLA or Chicago Manual of Style will receive an automatic zero.  If in doubt, always CITE!



Select one work (your choice) that you do not like from the museum collection in any of the DAI galleries.  Give a visual analysis using your Study Terms and explain how the visual elements support meaning in the work.

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