Discuss what is depicted in the image (the subject matter) and how it’s composed. Delve into the formal and structural characteristics of the image, including elements like tone, lines, and textures.

Assignment Question

The purpose of this paper is to analyze one photograph from any museum or gallery, putting into practice the formal and critical analysis skills acquired in class. You have been asked to visit an art museum or gallery (e.g., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty, Norton Simon, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, or art gallery). Choose a photograph and discuss its formal characteristics and meaning in an academic essay of 2-3 pages. Please attach to your paper 1) a clear image of the photo and 2) proof of visit to the museum/gallery (photo of you at the museum, ticket, etc.). To create a coherent and clear interpretation of an image, it is recommended that you do three things: describe, analyze, and interpret. Read the suggestions below to help you with this assignment. How to Structure a Visual Analysis of a Photograph: A visual analysis can be approached in various ways. Consider following this three-step process: Describe the Image: Start by providing a detailed descriiption of the photograph’s subject matter and formal qualities. Use precise, medium-specific language to convey what the image looks like. Imagine your reader has never seen the photograph, and your goal is to enable them to visualize it based on your descriiption.


Discuss what is depicted in the image (the subject matter) and how it’s composed. Delve into the formal and structural characteristics of the image, including elements like tone, lines, and textures. You can also explore how the image was created and presented. Strive for accuracy and vivid, specific descriiptions. Analyze the Context and Concepts: Explore the significance of the subject matter and formal qualities you described in the first step within the context of the image.

Consider any historical, political, cultural, social, economic, or artistic influences that might have shaped or been influenced by the image. Also, could you reflect on the emotional and experiential aspects of the image? How does it evoke feelings? While you may attempt to discern the creator’s intentions, remember that this is often an approximation and isn’t always necessary for a thorough analysis. If you’re employing a specific theoretical framework (e.g., feminist, queer, postcolonial, or Marxist), tailor your questions to that framework’s concerns. For instance, a feminist analysis might question how the image challenges or reinforces gender expectations. Ensure that you clearly connect the visual elements of the image with the context, concepts, or references you’re discussing. Offer an Interpretation: To conclude your visual analysis, present a final paragraph that succinctly conveys the overall impact or meaning of the image you’ve chosen. It’s possible that you might arrive at multiple, even contradictory, interpretations of the work. This structured approach can guide your analysis of a photograph, making it more comprehensible and engaging for your readers.

Formatting Requirements: 1) Titles of artworks are ALWAYS placed in italics … e.g., Mark Rothko, No. 12 (Black on Dark Sienna on Purple), 1960 2) Papers should be 2-3 FULL pages. Do not include an enormous, double-spaced heading that takes up half of the first page. Headings will not be counted in your overall paper length. You will lose points for not fulfilling the assignment. 3) Standard formatting means using Times New Roman or Ariel, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, double spacing, etc. If your Word document is automatically set to have 1.25-inch margins, giant gaps between paragraphs, etc., you will need to manually change your setting. 4) Do not write a narrative of your experiences…. “For my museum paper, I decided to go to the Getty Museum, eat a sandwich, and walk around the gardens.” 5) Do make academic statements about form, line, color, composition, etc… “The photo has diagonal lines, which suggest drama and movement.” 7) Adequate grammar is expected. Papers with numerous words left out, incomplete sentences, major grammar errors, etc., will be marked down for lack of proofreading. 8) Please include an image of the photo and proof of the museum/gallery visit. 9) If you cite sources, include a work cited page. However, you do not have to do research for this assignment. 10) Anyone caught plagiarizing or using chat GPT will receive an automatic zero. The photographs you need tot talk about are the plank piece I-II