Global Art Museum Project - Essay Prowess

Global Art Museum Project


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Online ARTS 1301
Global Art Museum Project

PLEASE NOTE:  This Museum Project can be completed virtually (you are not required to attend the art museum in person). 

In this project, you will be playing the role of a museum curator.  To understand the role of a museum curator, visit the following websites:

The project is composed of three parts:

-Part 1 (Proposed Artworks) is your list of possible artworks

-Part 2 is your Mock-up/Virtual Exhibition PowerPoint

-Part 3 is your Feedback on classmates’ Virtual Exhibitions

You will select five Global Art images in the required textbook from Chapters 3.3 – 3.5 and five Global Art images from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston website highlighted in their Arts of Asia and/or Arts of Africa, Oceania, & Americas collections.

You, as curator, are telling a story with your art choices, just as professional curators do!  The focus of the exhibition will be the display of Global Art in Western Museums (culture dependent upon the one chosen by you from the Arts of Asia, Arts of the Americas, or Arts of Africa).  You should then narrow your focus and create a unique viewpoint on the topic.  I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone tackles this difficult, and still unresolved, topic.  In addition to the assigned textbook reading and Global Art quiz, please visit the following websites for background:

Part 1:

Each student will submit a list of ten works of art (5 from the textbook and 5 from the MFAH website conforming to the above perimeters) that they feel relate to the topic/theme.  This list of ten images (in Word Document format) should include:

  1. Title
  2. Artist
  3. Culture
  4. Date
  5. Medium
  6. Content
  7. Relationship to the topic/theme (this is where you try to “convince” me of your image choice)

This list will be submitted individually by each student as Part 1 of the project (in the area designated as such in Canvas).  Again, the culture is selected by each student (Arts of Asia, Arts of the Americas, or Arts of Africa).

Part 2:

Next, you will create museum labels for your proposed art exhibition.  You will need to create one large label describing the topic/theme and your vision for the exhibition (minimum of 250 words).  This should be written as if addressing a person viewing your exhibition (i.e. to be hung in the museum with the exhibition). This curatorial label will let the viewers of your exhibition know why they should be interested and what they might gain when viewing your exhibition.  Next, each artwork must have a label and each label must include:

Artist (if known, if unknown state this)
Content (be sure this relates to the overall topic/theme)

Part 3:

Finally, you will provide Feedback on your classmates’ exhibitions.  Instructions and details T.B.D. and posted within the module.

Part 1

Valokitesvara (Lord who looks down)

The ancient painting was found in the Ajanta cave in India. The painting originated from Buddhist culture. The painting was done in II century BC and was utilized as the medium of helping to understand the teachings of Buddha regarding ‘life through a successive rebirth.’ Furthermore, it was meant to entice good people to have a feeling of well-being. The brush technique entailed in the painting depicts a woman delicately looking down. The characters are multi-coloured and bright, which is a unique attribute in Indian art.

This painting is relevant because it represents a harmonious society whereby even the smallest desires and gestures point to a particular place in the vision of the culture. It also shows their beliefs and values in their religion and how it has triggered harmony in their cultural values.   

Shakōki-dogū (Earthen Figure)

This figurine was made during the Jōmon period in 1000-400 BC in Japan. It is from the Japanese culture. An earthenware with incised decoration and cord-marked. The figurines are google-eyed and made of clay. The figurine depicts a relationship with shamanistic and fertility rights. 

The figurine represents the beliefs and values of the dogū and this is relatable to the topic of the exhibition because they were used to represent fertility and people believed that it was important so that they could have children. 

The Goddess Coatlicue 

It was made by Aztec in c.1500 in Mexico City. The sculpture is from Isthmian cultures. It is made from carved stone. The Goddess Coatlicue is depicted as the mother of the other gods and birthed the stars, moon, god of war, and the sun.

The Goddess was a symbol of hope for the people of Aztech and was believed to be the protector of the other gods. Therefore, this shaped the people’s beliefs in the Goddess in terms of the help she would offer the people as they indulge in their activities. It was a cultural tradition that the Goddess had to be consulted before any undertakings, and this encouraged their unity as a community. 

Feathered Bowl

The bowl was made by an unknown Poma woman in 1877 and was recovered in the present California state. It is made of bulrush, feathers, willow, glass beads, fern, and shells. Furthermore, it originates from the Pomo culture. The bowl is made of intricate clay coils and beading and was considered as a treasured possession because they were cremated along with their owners when they died. 

The bowl was an ancestral element which was believed to have been used to steal the Sun and bring it to Earth. It was a symbol of the process between life and death, which is an important aspect of human life. Death was respected and being buried with the bowl meant that one was valued. This represents beliefs and values. 

Carved Stone (akwanshi or atal)

The stone sculpture was made by an unidentified artist, and it was done before 1905 in Nigeria. The medium is basalt rock. The sculpture of from the Nigerian culture. It has wide brows and eyes that are raised to represent a surprised expression. 

The sculpture was commemorating the clan leaders of the society, and it was meant to depict their generosity, piety, remarkable ugliness, remarkable beauty. Therefore, it was used to remember the ancestors and ensured that the people always respected and believed in them as the guides of their activities. 

Pensive Bodhisattva 

The statue was made during the Three Kingdoms period, which is estimated to have been 1st century BCE to 668 CE in Korea. The artist is unknown. The culture it’s from is the Three Kingdoms culture, and it is made of metallic glitz bronze. The statue has a crown that includes three peaks and an elegant necklace on the upper torso. 

The statue represented a god for the society, and the Buddhism religion for the people was essential to building their faith to deal with life experience. This represents the importance of belief and the values that the god represented in the people’s lives. 

The Standing Buddha (Yeona Chilnyeon)

This sculpture was found in Korea and was made in c. 539 CE and the artist is unknown. It is from the Goguryeo Kingdom culture. It is made of metallic gilt-bronze. The Buddha was believed to have special powers that were of harmonious proportions. The statue is characterized by naturalness and warmness, which presented different spiritual meanings to the people. 

This statue is relevant because it represents the spiritual beliefs of the people, and it was meant to dispel fear from the people. Therefore, it added value to the people and had a significant meaning to them. 

Mosque Lamp 

This is an Egyptian lamp that was made between ca. 1329 to 1335 by an unknown artist. It is made of a colourless yellow-tinged glass that has been gilded, enamelled and has been applied with a blown foot. It comes from Egyptian culture. The lamp has a repetitive phrase on its foot and neck (‘The Wise’) with an unassigned emblem, and the body has a formulaic inscription with no name.  

The lamp was equated to the lamp of light which the people familiarized with God, who was the light of heaven and earth. They believed that the lamp would light and guide them through the light of God. This belief and value that they had in the lamp made the people that possessed it messengers of God. 

Mask (Deangle)

The mask was made by an unidentified artist in 1380 and was found in Liberia. The medium is shell, wood and vegetable fibre. It is from the Liberian culture. The deangle mask depicts a woman’s forest spirit based on its oval-shaped face, full lips, slit eyes and a smoothened face which is ideal for beauty. 

The mask was meant to invoke the feeling of courage and faith because of its spiritual powers of social control and adjudication. The mask was given with a particular name which showed whether one had been demoted or promoted based on the status of the wearer. This shows how much value they had to the community’s lives.  

Royal Plaque (King ‘Oba’ Dominating Leopards)

The plaque is from c. 1530 to 1570 from the Benin Kingdom, which means it is incorporated with Benin culture. It is made of copper alloy, and the artist is unidentified. The plaque depicts the king as having supernatural powers since he is grabbling two leopards and wearing a unique belt made of a live mudfish. The leopard was considered the king of the forest at the time, and this metaphorically represents the Benin king.

The plaque was meant to represent the royal and supernatural power of the king so that people would believe he was capable and fearsome. The people needed to believe in the power of their king to feel safe, and this is a good representation of how people’s beliefs and values are influenced through such depictions.  

Part 2

Values and Beliefs – Cultural Traditions

The Values and Beliefs – Cultural Traditions exhibition combines ten works that have been gathered throughout Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania collections from artists originating from various nations and cultures. The pieces of art are more than 3000 years old, and they embody the human desire to have belief and value in the supernatural and spiritual world. This was a drive that was shared by self-taught and trained, indigenous and immigrant, and enslaved and free artists. They were shaped by the global context of faith and spirituality as well as a cultural exchange which made the works show that there were numerous stories behind them which inspires a place of aspiration and identity. 

The works that will be featured for the exhibit are from creative voices across, Africa, Asia and Americas which will invoke questions about the old stories, reconsiders the past’s conventional accounts, seek to showcase cultures and recover the lost histories. Some of the works display interactive features through the use of ancient bronzes to display significance and visitors can study such works in detail by zooming in on them to gain additional insight on how symbolic they were to the various cultures that are included in this exhibition. The works represent the spiritual beliefs of the people, and it was meant to dispel fear from the people. Therefore, it added value to the people and had a significant meaning to them. 

 Values and Beliefs – Cultural Traditions exhibition will offer new voices and insights when it comes to spiritualism and religion. Therefore, it will provide an overview of the importance of belief and values and how it has impacted past civilization till now. 

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