ASSIGNMENT SHEET FOR FINAL PROJECT: IMAGINARY EXHIBITS
CLASSICS 320/WMST 320
STEP #1: PLANNING THE EXHIBIT
--Spend some time over the weekend (Nov. 11-12) thinking about an area of interest to you that could be the basis of an "imaginary exhibit" on the lives of women in ancient Greece and/or Rome.
AT LEAST 50% OF THE EXHIBIT SHOULD FOCUS ON ANCIENT GREEK OR ROMAN WOMEN; WOMEN OF OTHER ANCIENT CULTURES, OR OF LATER CULTURES UP TO THE PRESENT DAY, MAY BE INCLUDED FOR COMPARISON OR CONTRAST.
Draw on your own prior study and experience as much as possible; build on what you already know. Write a brief (one or two sentence) description of your exhibit theme and contents. (What objects or images would be on display? What issues or ideas would you be raising for the audience?) If there are specific people in the class with whom you would like to work, please indicate their names. Give these descriptions to me on Monday, Nov. 13. I will try to match people by their interests, and suggest (not require) possible groups. --
In class on Wednesday, Nov. 15, we will form the groups. A group may be as small as three or as large as five. At your first meeting, focus and refine your topic and begin to plan the specific content of the exhibit. You can focus your exhibit by narrowing it down to one or two artistic media (for instance, stone sculpture or vase painting) and/or by choosing a manageable theme (for instance, standards of beauty for women and men). You may choose a theme that is not based on visual art (for instance, medical treatment of women), as long as you can find related images or objects to display (as in the Smithsonian museums of Natural History and American History). Obviously I do not expect you to assemble the actual objects, but you should find pictures of them to include in your sample panels and in your exhibit catalogs.
Also at the Nov. 15 class meeting, divide the material at least tentatively into subtopics (which might correspond to "rooms" in the imaginary exhibit), so that each person will be responsible for a particular piece of the whole. You will need to do background research; I have placed a number of books on reserve at Hornbake, where they will be accessible to the entire class. (These books are listed at the end of your course packet.) Early in December we will use another class period for groups to work on their exhibits. You may need to arrange some further meetings outside of class time (at the group's convenience); alternatively, you could confer by phone. Be sure the others in your group can reach you. --
By Nov. 27, each group should give me a one to two-page description of its exhibit, explaining both the content and the unifying theme(s). In this way I can correct any errors and make suggestions for improvement. I will be available to discuss ideas and bibliography with you throughout the process.
STEP #2: WRITING THE CATALOG
Each member of the group will write a portion of the exhibit catalog, which will take the place of a final exam. The catalogs should be submitted as wholesthat is, the individual sections should be bound in a single notebook for each groupbut the typefaces do not have to match. I will give two grades for this project: a group grade (which will be included in your class participation grade) and an individual grade for the portion of the catalog that you write. Look at exhibit catalogs in the Art Library, or in the museum shop when you go to the Walters gallery, to get ideas on organization. There are basically two options for an exhibit catalog: a collection of descriptions of individual objects, or a collection of essays on different aspects of the exhibit as a whole. The first option is certainly acceptible, but the second often makes for a more interesting catalog. I will be glad to advise you on organization. Whichever format you choose, you should be sure to include a list of the objects on display with basic information about each: date and place of origin, material (medium), artist (if known).
STEP #3: SAMPLE PANELS AND 10-MINUTE PRESENTATIONS (for last class meeting, Sat., Dec. 16, 10:30-12:30)
In lieu of a final exam, we will share our "imaginary exhibits" with each other at the last class meeting. Each group should prepare at least one sample panel (illustrating a wall of the proposed exhibit) and should choose a reporter to make a brief (ten minute) presentation. The presentation should include the general content and organizing themes of the exhibit, plus any discoveries or display strategies you are especially proud of. (Think back to your experiences as a museum visitor; how will you engage the interest and attention of your audience?) After the presentations, we will "circulate" among the exhibit panels and look at each other's exhibit catalogs. I will provide lunch for everyone; please let me know if you have dietary restrictions.