Writing Assignment #2

Writing Assignment #2
revised Exhibition Review

Papers are due:         Monday, December 1st

DOWNLOAD PDF of revised F2014 Photo Writing Assignment 2

You must submit 2 copies (one electronic via SafeAssign on Blackboard and one hard copy)! Attach entrance stub/receipt to the paper copy. HOLD ON TO YOUR TICKET STUBS

Your paper should be 4 double-spaced pages (4 pages does not mean a 3-page paper plus cover), 1” margins, 12-point type (Please use Arial, Helvetica or Times).

Write a review of the exhibition based on your interpretation and analysis. A key element of this review will be to determine the goal of the curators in putting the exhibition together and then to evaluate the extent to which the curators were successful in achieving this goal. This means you must examine the exhibition carefully. Don’t simply walk through the exhibition. In order to critique the show, you should devote enough time to read all the wall texts, to view each work of art carefully, and become conscious of how you and other visitors interact with the works of art and exhibition space. The review should analyze the organization, design, themes, and issues raised in the show. How is the theme of the exhibition conveyed through the objects, design, and subsidiary text (i.e., the wall labels)?

BEFORE YOU START, please do the following:
1) define for yourself what a curator is and does, and
2) locate the correct exhibition that you wish to review
(ask a museum guard for help if you cannot find the exhibit)

Choose only one of the following exhibitions to review. At MoMA there are two photography exhibitions on view, please only choose one exhibit for your paper. Below is a list of museums/galleries located around NYC. I have provided the websites for you to gather basic information such as opening times and directions, but please feel free to ask me any questions.

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA):                              NEW!
    Thomas Struth: Photographs (Sept 30–Feb 16)
    *open every day, $12 recommended with student ID, http://metmuseum.org/
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA):
    A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio (Feb 8–Nov 2)
    The Production Line of Happiness (Jul 27–Nov 2)
    Cut to Swipe (Oct 11-Mar 22)
    *open every day, FREE with CUNY ID, moma.org
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts:
    Here I Am: Photographs by Lisa Leone (Sept 11-Jan 11)
    *closed Mon—Weds, FREE, http://www.bronxmuseum.org/
  • International Center of Photography (ICP):
    Sebastião Salgado: Genesis (Sept 19-Jan 11)
    *closed Mon, $10 with student ID, pay-what-you-wish on Fridays 5-8 pm, icp.org
  • Queens Museum:
    That Kodak Moment: Picturing the New York Fairs (Oct 5-Feb 8) *closed Mon—Weds, $4 suggested student contribution, http://www.queensmuseum.org/
  • Brooklyn Historical Society: This is an exhibit of photographs by City Tech students
    Wonder: First Encounters with Green-Wood (Sept 30-Jan 15) *closed Mon—Tues, $4 FREE with CUNY ID, http://brooklynhistory.org/

Your review should give the reader an overall impression of the exhibition and your responses to it. Please do not be afraid to take a critical stand but be sure to justify your opinions. Do not simply express an opinion, you must explain why. Most importantly, I am interested in your personal review of the show. If you quote other reviews, be sure to cite your sources, otherwise you are plagiarizing someone else’s work.

Address the following questions in your paper:

  • What were the curator’s objectives for the show? (The curator is the person responsible for selecting works for display and organizing the exhibition).
  • Was the organization of the exhibition logical?
  • Were materials in the exhibition presented in an appealing fashion? How did the design shape the visitor’s experience of the exhibition?
  • What was emphasized, and how? and what impact does that have on the visitor?
  • How effective were the displays (i.e., tables in the middle of the rooms)? Did they add or detract from the visitor’s viewing of the photographs?
  • What do you think could be improved or changed?
  • What images affected you and how did the presentation of the photographs in the exhibition affect your response to it?
  • Were you impressed or disappointed?
  • Lastly, you must address how this exhibition contributes to your knowledge of the history of photography

Please do not simply summarize what you saw. You must write a review that presents a critical analysis of the exhibition. Start with a thesis about how you plan to interpret the exhibition then provide a short introductory paragraph that outlines the show giving your reader enough enticing information to continue reading your review. Be selective! Please do not feel compelled to address everything that was included in the exhibition. Use analysis of specific photographic works to support your argument and assertions. This is not a research paper, therefore, do not include more than a paragraph on the biography of individual artists (it will lower your grade).

Your grade is based on how thorough and how well your review is written and supported.

Please note: you must make sure that you select one of the above exhibitions to review. Unless you have made previous arrangements to review another exhibition, the highest possible grade for failing to follow the paper directions is a C.


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