Metropolitan Museum of Art Assignment An Assignment in Three Parts



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Metropolitan Museum of Art Assignment

An Assignment in Three Parts

Part One – Scavenger Hunt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Part Two – A Closer Study of Thematically Related American Art Works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or online at www.metmuseum.org).

Part Three – A presentation to the class of what you have learned from part one or part two – dates to be assigned for January. (No more than 15 minutes – 50 points)

American Studies is not just a mixture of literature and history. In American Studies, we also study films, songs, and art of many forms. For this assignment, you will be asked to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to better develop our understanding of American art by experiencing it in a more immediate manner than a mere slideshow projected on the classroom wall. The visit will be done on your own time, which is why we have provided such a long window of opportunity. Tom and Mr. Mounkhall will be at the museum at ________ on Saturday _______________, if you would like to make the trip more of a social event, but you can go down on your own or in groups any time between this afternoon and when it is collected. If visiting the museum proves to be impossible, you will be able to complete Parts Two and Three for credit by using the Met Museum website (www.metmuseum.org), but you will not be able to do Part One.

You may do this assignment alone or in groups of no more than three people. All members of the group must visit the museum together. Groups will submit a single document for Parts Two and Three, will present together, and will all receive the same grade for the entire project.

Part Two is due on January 20thpresentations to follow



Part One: Scavenger Hunt Categories: (choose only one category)

This part is just for fun, but it might also lead you to find a work of art that you would like to present. The answers to the questions below could be done orally or could be done in bulleted form if you want to keep a record of them.

Note: For the scavenger hunt, you should use the following plan: Starting with the third floor, move through galleries 708-716; then go downstairs to the second floor and walk through 717-722; then walk down stairs to the first floor and walk through galleries 723-745. This plan will take you on a roughly chronological path through the exhibit.

Time: Approximately 30-60 minutes

Goal: To have some fun and to familiarize yourself with the American Wing.

Scavenger Hunt Category One - EAGLES: How many eagles through the whole exhibit? What kinds of furniture or fixtures are they found on? Why? What floor (of the three floors) has no eagles on it? Why? What floor (of the three floors) has the greatest number of eagles? Why? Choose three eagles that interest you. Compare. Contrast. Explain.

Scavenger Hunt Category Two – WOMEN: How many works of art have been made by women throughout the whole exhibit? What kinds of works of art are they? Why? What would the daily lives of women have been like in one room from each floor? Choose three works of art made by women. Compare. Contrast. Explain.

Scavenger Hunt Category Three – SEATING: Choosing one room from each floor, count all the seating available in that room and take notes on the materials, the degree of ornamentation and how comfortable the seating looks in that room. Compare. Contrast. Explain.

Scavenger Hunt Category Four – STUFF ON THE WALLS: Choosing one room from each floor, count all the items, artistic or not, hanging on the walls and take notes on the materials, the purposes, and how fancy these hangings seem to be. Compare. Contrast. Explain.

Scavenger Hunt Category Five – GEORGE WASHINGTON: Look for as many representations of George Washington as you can find in the American Wing Galleries. Look for paintings, medals and statues. Count them all. Choose three. Compare. Contrast. Explain.

Part Two: A Closer Study of Thematically Related American Art

To earn credit for this section, you should fill out the worksheets that appear on separate pages right after the list of artworks. The answers need not be in paragraph form; notes and bulleted observations will do. You should fill out one worksheet for each work of art, four altogether. Under each category, three works of art are listed. You should also choose a fourth related work of American art from anywhere in the museum. A “related” work of art is up to your interpretation. You should also include a picture of yourself (or your group) in the museum in front of one of these exhibits, if you took the time to do this assignment in person.

Time: Approximately 90-120 minutes

Goal: To observe and take notes about four inter-related works of art, so that when you return to school you can present your findings to the class.

Note: For the closer study section, you will find that some of the works of art are not in the American Wing. In fact some of the modern paintings are on the other side of the museum. Use the map provided by the museum to find the other gallery numbers. Do not be afraid to ask a guard for help. You may also find that some of the pictures have been moved or put in storage since this assignment was made up – feel free to substitute similar works.

Step One: Choose one of the following Groups:



  • The visual representation of American Women – Group One

    • Sampler by Catherine Cassady 1814 – Gallery 727

    • The Letter by Thomas Wilmer Dewing - 1895-1900 – Gallery 743

    • Tables for Ladies by Edward Hopper – 1930 – Gallery 908

  • The visual representation of American Women – Group Two

    • Portrait of a Lady by Lawrence Kilburn – 1764 – Gallery 719

    • Family Record Sampler by Emma H. Flint 1827 – Gallery 727

    • Black and Brown Blouse by Alex Katz – 1976 – Gallery 915

  • The visual representation of American Home Life – Group Three

    • The Knapp Children by Samuel Lovett Waldo – ca.1833-34 – Gallery 732

    • The New Bonnet by Francis William Edmonds – 1858 – Gallery 758

    • Large Interior by David Hockney – 1988 – Gallery 915

  • The visual representation of American Home Life – Group Four

    • A Family Group – An Unknown Artist - 1850 – Gallery 736

    • Christmas Time – The Blodgett Family by Eastman Johnson – 1864 – Gallery 736

    • Americana by Charles Sheeler – 1931 – Gallery 911

  • The visual representation of American Landscapes – Group Five

    • Summer Flowers by Jerome B. Thompson - 1859 – Gallery 736

    • The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak by Albert Bierstadt – 1863 – Gallery 760

    • Water by Charles Sheeler – 1945 – Gallery 911

  • The visual representation of American Iconography – Group Six

    • Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze – 1851 – Gallery 760

    • George Washington by Charles Wilson Peale –1779-1781 – Gallery 753

    • Struggle Series – no. 10 - Washington Crossing the Delaware by Jacob Lawrence – 1954 – Gallery 911



  • The visual representation of American Urban Environments – Group Seven

    • The Third Avenue Railroad Depot by William Schenck – 1859-1860

    • I Saw the Figure Five in Gold by Charles Demuth – 1928 – Gallery 910

    • The Cathedrals of Wall Street by Florine Stettheimer – 1939 – Gallery 908

Step Two: Take notes about the three paintings we have provided for you underneath your theme. Spend about fifteen minutes in front of each work of art.

Note: The locations of these paintings were checked as of this summer, but museums often move their collections around, so if you cannot find some of these particular paintings in the exact locations listed, find the best substitute possible nearby.

Step Three: Choose one other work of American art in the museum that you believe is related to some aspect of the three works you have already observed. This fourth work of art could be related because it is similar to or different from aspects of the other three. Take notes about this fourth work of art.

Step Four: As you are moving among the works of art, jot down some thought questions and some observations about the similarities and differences among these works of art. Talk to your friends about some of the abstract themes you see represented in these pictures and how the representations of these topics might have changed over time.

Step Five: After you return home, revisit these images online at www.metmuseum.org and read some of the information provided for you. All of the images in bold are online at www.metmuseum.org. Those images not available at that site may be able to be found other places online or you may wish to take a non-flash photograph of the images in the museum to use for your slide show.

Step Six: Hand in the work: (to be graded out of 50 points) – due January 20th – 10pm



  • The notes you have taken about these four works of art. You can hand in these notes in handwritten form if they are neat, or you may wish to take the time to type them and make them more organized.

  • Three paragraphs:

    • Paragraph One develops how these four paintings are similar and different to one another.

    • Paragraph Two develops how these paintings are related to the theme and how this theme has changed (or stayed the same) over time.

    • Paragraph Three develops how these paintings are related to what we have been studying in our course.

  • A series of 5-7 questions that would help you present this work to the class. These questions should move from the concrete level (color, emphasis, etc.) to the more abstract level (what this work of art is saying about the theme).

Part Three: A Presentation of One (or two) Works of American Art to the Class

After you hand in your written work for Part Two, Mr. Maguire and Mr. Mounkhall will assign you (or your group) specific works of art, from the ones you have analyzed, to present to the class.

Your job will be to put together a slideshow with the work (or works) or art shown to the best advantage possible and to ask a series of questions of the class that will help the members of the class learn about this work of art and its relation to what we have been studying in our course.

This presentation should be no more than 10- 15 minutes in length and will be worth 50 points.Work of Art Number One

Topic: The visual representation of…________________________________

Title of painting: _______________________________________________________

Artist: _______________________________________________________

Date Painted: ________________________________________________________

Materials Used: ______________________________________________

Size: ________________________________________________________

Observations about color or line or shape in this painting:

Observations about texture in this painting:

Observations about figures in the painting:

Observations about emphasis in this painting:

Observations about contrasts in this painting:

Observations about symbols in this painting:

Observations about similarities to other paintings from the list:

Observations about differences from other paintings from the list:

Observations about themes of this painting or of several paintings combined:

Work of Art Number Two

Topic: The visual representation of…________________________________

Title of painting: _______________________________________________________

Artist: _______________________________________________________

Date Painted: ________________________________________________________

Materials Used: ______________________________________________

Size: ________________________________________________________

Observations about color or line or shape in this painting:

Observations about texture in this painting:

Observations about figures in the painting:

Observations about emphasis in this painting:

Observations about contrasts in this painting:

Observations about symbols in this painting:

Observations about similarities to other paintings from the list:

Observations about differences from other paintings from the list:

Observations about themes of this painting or of several paintings combined:

Work of Art Number Three

Topic: The visual representation of…________________________________

Title of painting: _______________________________________________________

Artist: _______________________________________________________

Date Painted: ________________________________________________________

Materials Used: ______________________________________________

Size: ________________________________________________________

Observations about color or line or shape in this painting:

Observations about texture in this painting:

Observations about figures in the painting:

Observations about emphasis in this painting:

Observations about contrasts in this painting:

Observations about symbols in this painting:

Observations about similarities to other paintings from the list:

Observations about differences from other paintings from the list:

Observations about themes of this painting or of several paintings combined:

Work of Art Number Four

Topic: The visual representation of…________________________________

Title of painting: _______________________________________________________

Artist: _______________________________________________________

Date Painted: ________________________________________________________

Materials Used: ______________________________________________

Size: ________________________________________________________

Observations about color or line or shape in this painting:

Observations about texture in this painting:

Observations about figures in the painting:

Observations about emphasis in this painting:

Observations about contrasts in this painting:

Observations about symbols in this painting:

Observations about similarities to other paintings from the list:

Observations about differences from other paintings from the list:

Observations about themes of this painting or of several paintings combined:

Part Two – Closer Look at Thematically related American Art – Rubric

How well developed is your worksheet for work of art number one?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your worksheet for work of art number two?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your worksheet for work of art number three?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your worksheet for work of art number four?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your paragraph relating the works of art to each other?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your paragraph relating the works of art to the theme?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed is your paragraph relating the works of art to the course?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How thoughtful and useful are your presentation questions?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

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Part Three – Presentation Rubric

How well are the works of art physically presented?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well developed are the questions that you asked the class?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well did you respond to their answers to help them understand the art?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention

How well did you keep within the 10-15 minute time limit?

Well Somewhat well needs more attention



50..49..48..47..46..45..44..43..42..41..40..39..38..37..36..35..34..33..32…


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