compendium = a collection of concise but detailed information on a particular subject
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 a Compendium of Knowledge 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 in person the Power and Pathos exhibition at the Getty Center, and write a collaborative critical response to the exhibition and individual works on view. Additionally, on at least three occasions, students will form small groups to write short essay responses to critical thinking prompts given during class.
To earn full credit on Compendium pages, the following criteria must be met:
  • Works identified with underlined or italicized titles, artistic or cultural attribution, and date created
  • At least 600 words (four paragraphs) in length
  • Include citations to two or more credible/ scholarly materials
  • Use Chicago Manual of Style footnote citations with full bibliographic entries for sources
  • Adequately address the questions while also expanding upon a central theme with insight
Your instructor is always interested in your proposals for possible subjects and art historical concerns to write about. If the writing prompts below do not spark with your interests, please feel free to propose alternative questions to consider at least one week before the assignment due date. Throughout the semester, additional readings, assignment choices, videos, and extra credit may be added to the Assignments page on The Slide Projector.


Due Date
Assignment pdf file
Assigned Reading & Viewing
September 2
September 9
September 14
September 21
September 28
October 5
October 7
October 12
October 19
October 28
November 5
November 11
November 18
December 2
December 9
November 4
November 10
December 9
December 14