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Virtual exhibit - arts of China

Virtual Exhibit – Arts of China

Suitable for any level art history course.  This exhibit writing assignment was the final product in an on-going exercise in which the students did weekly journal entries on an image from their textbook that I had randomly given them. Each exercise built on previous ones, and together worked to familiarize the students with all of the basic tools, both hardcopy and web-based, available to them for studying Asia.  Only after I had them writing the journals, which in this case were on-line via Moodle, did I tell them they would then take the information they had been gathering and synthesize it into the exhibit format you see below.  Students could easily do this kind of exercise using the IDEAS image database, since the Omeka platform that hosts it makes it easy for students to create online exhibits.

The written portion of your grade will be based upon the research you have already been conducting through your Moodle journal. You will take the information you have acquired, and synthesize it into a brief catalogue entry and short essay related to your object.   The catalogue entries and essays of the entire class will then be put together to create a block-buster exhibit on China. 

Catalogue Entry

In your catalogue entry, you will give a brief formal analysis of the work you’ve been studying, and include some of the context for which it was created.  If there is a special feature connected to your work that you’d like to highlight, this is a good place to do so.

A good catalogue entry is rarely longer than 1/2 page of text with the picture accompanying it or about 300 words in length.

Exhibition Essay

The essay will be a discussion of your work within its larger socio-historical context as well as an opportunity to compare your work with others like it.  If you are considering your work or medium across time, this would also be another way to write up your exhibition essay, e.g., “Ceramics of China from Song to Qing”.  Another option would be to consider an artist’s body of work, “Su Shi’s Approach to Painting”.  The length of the essay should be no more than three pages double-spaced, with additional pages for images. All essays must utilize at least two other images in comparison to your own work.

Mounting the Exhibition

Lastly, we will all arrange to put our materials into a virtual format so that we can ‘mount’ our virtual exhibit for all to view and assess. We will all create our own web pages, having them linked up as separate “galleries in the museum” which we can go to from a centralized location. 

Karil Kucera
Associate Professor of Asian Visual Culture
St Olaf College