It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Museum Paper (25%): This includes a 7-8 page paper on works from the collection of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. It is intended to be a useful exercise for students to look closely at artworks and learn various visual skills.
As you view a work of art, ask yourself these questions:
What is my personal response to the work? What do I feel?
What is the title? Does it help explain the work?
When, where, and why was the work made? By whom?
What is the medium of the work?
What is the size of the work?
What is the subject matter? Is there symbolic meaning?
How does the work reflect its time? Historical? Cultural? Political? Social?
How do the visual elements (line, color, space, texture) contribute to the work? What about the design (proportion, balance, unity/variety, rhythm)?
What is the focal point of the work that draws in the viewer's eye?
If the work represents a person, what is the facial expression? Gestures? Posture? Position of the body or hands?
What's a secondary source?
In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials.
Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular. Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations. Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.
Examples: articles from art journals, books published by museums or university presses, exhibition catalogs
Tips on Using SAAM's Catalog
In the Seattle Art Museum website for the collection, look for a bibliography associated with an image to find secondary sources for your museum paper. Search Primo for the item.
Example of a book cited in a bibliography about Sakyamuni Descending the Mountain:
Examples of an article citation about Sakyamuni Descending the Mountain:
Finding More Sources
Start with Primo to find books and articles about the artwork you have chosen. Search:
Artist's name, ex. Tsuji Kako
Period, ex. Edo
Subject of the artwork, ex. bambo
Technique, ex. ink painting
Genre, ex. landscape painting
Art form, ex. screen painting, sculpture, ceramics
A companion volume to James Hall’s perennial seller Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, which deals with the subject of Christian and Western art, the present volume includes the art of Egypt, the ancient Near East, Christian and classical Europe, India and the Far East. Hall explores the language of symbols in art, showing how paintings, drawings, and sculpture express many shades of meaning from simple, everyday hopes and fears to the profoundest philosophical and religious aspirations. The book explains and interprets symbols from many cultures, and over 600 illustrations clarify and complement the text.
Use this resource to find an extensive overview of Japanese art.
Covers biographies, criticism, country surveys, artistic styles and movements, art forms, subject matter and iconography, and techniques.
Information is drawn from Grove Art, Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.
Offers full text plus abstracts and indexing of an international array of peer-selected publications, including coverage of Latin American, Canadian, Asian and other non-Western art, new artists, contemporary art, exhibition reviews, and feminist criticism.
An interdisciplinary journal archive. It includes archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work.
A multidisciplinary database containing full text journal, magazine & newspaper articles, many from peer-reviewed titles. This scholarly collection covers information in nearly every area of academic study.