Museum Observation

Museum Visit Observation

  1. PLEASE USE THE PICTURE I PROVIDED (artist: Hervé Télémaque)

1. Formal properties 

  • Visual elements – colors, value, texture, movement, contrast, light, geometric or organic shapes, lines, time, motion, rhythm
  • Composition – balance, focal point, movement, direction, repetition, proportion, balance, symmetry
  • Space – how is the illusion of space created or not created
  • Style – realistic, abstract/representational, figurative, expressive, conceptual
  • What mood or feeling does the artwork convey to you? Why?
  • If you could, how would you enter, travel through and exit the artwork?

2. Subject matter 

  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the artwork?
  • Based on your observations what is the artwork about?
  • What clues do you see that support your observation?
  • If you could step into the artwork, what would you hear, feel, do, say?
  • What is the concept, idea or narrative the artist is trying to convey?
  • Is there a hidden message?

3. Historical Context 

  • Who made it and why?
  • Did it have a function?
  • Would contemporary audience interpret or understand the work differently compared to the audiences who saw it when it was created?
  • Does the work reflect what is/was happening in society historically or politically?

4.  Additional Questions/Observations: Once you have answered all the above questions, make a list of your own questions (between three to four questions and answer them) and read any wall text or brochure information available about the work. 

At Home: If you found the subject matter, style, material or specific cultural background interesting, please research more about what grabbed your attention.

  • Do you have a new understanding of the artwork based on your research?
  • Does the background information change any of your opinion or interpretations that you made at the museum?
  • Does it help answer any questions you might have had at the museum?
  • Would different audiences interpret the work differently?
  • Would contemporary audience interpret or understand the work differently compared to the audiences who saw it when it was created?
  • Please form a conclusion based on your own observations and the researched information about the artwork and/or artist.
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