AH 331 Assignments



Art historical scholarship is rooted in analytic and theoretical writing. In keeping with this foundation, we will begin a writing practice that makes mindful use of art historical methodologies and that builds a critical thinking muscle through the writing of essays that will convey important information and understandings as they apply to key works of art discussed in class, reading assignments, and other materials. You will be offered multiple assignments to choose from that will ask you to write visual analyses of specific works of art, or develop a critical response to readings on relevant works and art historical issues.

One of the required writing assignments will ask students to visit an exhibition featuring photographic works in person, and write a collaborative critical response to the exhibition and works on view.

Additionally, on at least one occasion, students will form small groups to write short essay responses to critical thinking prompts given during class. The date that these writing groups will not be announced ahead, and the assignment may not be made up.

To earn full credit on writing assignments, essays should:
  • Be 4 to 5 pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, and 1” margins on all sides;
  • Identify works of art with artistic attribution, underlined or italicized titles, and dates (in that order), when possible;
  • Attempt to address most questions from the essay prompt;
  • Include two or more properly formatted Chicago Manual of Style footnote citations to credible, scholarly, college level materials. (Works of art should not be cited unless a point is being made concerning different versions or installations of the work.);
  • Present a clear thesis and offer visual and/or scholarly evidence to support your claims;
  • and Offer personal insights that demonstrate thoughtful engagement with the subject & reading materials.
Your instructor is always interested in proposals for subjects to write about. If the given writing prompts do not spark your interests, please feel free to propose alternative questions to consider at least one week before the assignment due date.


Due Date
One week after event
August 30
September 6
The Daguerreotype
September 18
September 25
October 2
October 16
October 17
October 18
October 23
October 25
November 2
November 6
November 8
November 13
November 27
November 29
December 4
December 6
Final Exam Due December 11
December 11
1 Image (no more than) 10 Minutes Final Presentation 4:15 to 6:45 PM
* optional reading