Museum Tour Essay Structure

The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize recognizes excellent scholarship by a non-U.S. citizen working in the field of historical American art.

Manuscripts should advance the understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives. The prize winner will be given the opportunity to work toward publication in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s scholarly journal. The winner will also receive a $1,000 cash award and a travel stipend of up to $3,500 to give a presentation in Washington, D.C., and meet with museum staff and fellows. This prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

The aim of the award is to stimulate and actively support non-U.S. scholars working on American art topics, foster the international exchange of new ideas, and create a broad, culturally comparative dialogue on American art. Ph.D. candidates and above (or equivalent) who have not published in the journal American Art previously are eligible to participate in the competition. Essays may focus on any aspect of historical (pre-1980) American art and visual culture; however, architecture and film studies are not eligible. Preference will be given to submissions that address American art within a cross-cultural context and offer new ways of thinking about the material. A strong emphasis on visual analysis is encouraged.

Manuscripts previously published in a foreign language are eligible if released within the last two years (please state the date and venue of the prior publication). Essays that have been published in English will not be considered. Authors are invited to submit their own work for consideration; however, former applicants must submit on a new topic if they wish to be considered again. We also urge scholars who know of eligible articles written by others to inform those authors of the prize.

The length of the essay (including endnotes) should be between 7,000 and 8,500 words and should include approximately 12 to 14 illustrations with figure references in the text. The essay should be submitted by e-mail as a Word file and should include a bibliography of key sources. A PDF file containing all of the illustrations, along with captions that provide each object’s title, artist, date, medium, dimensions, and current location, is also required. All manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of 500 to 1,000 words written in English that: 1) clearly states the author’s thesis and the essay’s contribution to the field of American art, and 2) outlines the essay’s basic structure and methodology. A curriculum vitae should be included as well.

Submissions must be sent to TerraEssayPrize@si.edu by January 15, 2019. Questions or comments may be emailed to the same address.

For more information on American Art, please consult American Art Journal. For details on the Terra Foundation for American Art, please visit terraamericanart.org.

Terra International Essay Prize Recipients

2017: Susanneh Bieber, “Going Back to Kansas City: The Origins of Judd’s Minimal Art,” Forthcoming

2015: Hadrien Viraben, “Constructing a Reputation: Achille Segard's 1913 Biography of Mary Cassatt,” Spring 2017 (vol. 31, no. 1).

2014: John Fagg, “Chamber Pots and Gibson Girls: Clutter and Matter in John Sloan's Graphic Art,” Fall 2015 (vol. 29, no. 3): 28-57.

2013: Edyta Frelik, “Ad Reinhardt: Painter-as-Writer,” Fall 2014 (vol. 28, no. 3): 104-25.

2012: Sophie Cras, “Art as an Investment and Artistic Shareholding Experiments in the 1960s,” Spring 2013 (vol. 27, no. 1): 2-23.

2011: Alex J. Taylor, “Unstable Motives: Propaganda, Politics and the Late Work of Alexander Calder,” Spring 2012 (vol. 26, no. 1): 24–47.

2010: Sergio Cortesini, “Invisible Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene,” Spring 2011 (vol. 25, no. 1): 52–73.

Virtual Museum Tour Essay

Vanessa FloerkeWestern International UniversityHUM/201 World Culture and the ArtsRuth ToddSeptember 24, 2006IntroductionHello, and welcome to this Virtual Museum Tour. In this tour are pieces from different types of art forms, including Visual Art, Architecture, Music and Literature. The six selected pieces span historical eras from Classical Greece of 500 - 323 B.C., the Late Roman Republic era of 509 B.C. - 27 B.C., and all the way up to the Early gothic and the Baroque time periods. These selections were chosen because of both their cultural significance, cultural cross-currents, and their beauty and craftsmanship. Enjoy the tour.

Calyx-Krater With the Death of Aktaion - Visual Art PieceThis piece comes from the Classical Greece time period (500 - 323 B.C.), was created in 430 B.C., and is from Greek Mythology, mainly the death of Aktaion. In Greek Mythology, Aktaion was the son of Aristaeus and Autonoe in Boeotia, and the nephew of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. The legend states that Aktaion was bragging one day that he was a better hunter than Artemis. Atermis, infuriated by his claims, turned him into a stag (deer), to be eaten by his hunting dogs. There are 2 other stories, one being that Aktaion walked in on Artemis while she was bathing, and upon staring at her nude body, infuriated Artemis to the point that she punished him by forbidding him to speak. If Aktaion spoke he would be turned into a stag, thus eaten by his own dogs. Yet another story dictates that Aktaion was courting Semele, who was also his aunt, and incurred Zeus's wrath because Aktaion made Zeus jealous.

This piece was created using the Attic Red Figure Technique, which was quite a complicated process. To create a finished piece of red-figure pottery the potter and the painter join forces. The potter would shape the sculpture out of clay and deliver it to the painter while the clay was still damp. The painter would then paint the vase using a tool similar to a pastry bag with a syringe-like nozzle of bone or wood to illustrate the fine detail lines and background colors. The tricky part is that the paints color only came into being once the sculpture was fired in a kiln, so the painter had to recreate the scene almost entirely from memory, unable to see the work they had done before. In addition, the colors could only be applied while the clay was still wet, so the painter had to work very promptly.

When creating the large kraters painted with the red-figure technique, tens of thousands of undetectable lines had to be applied, each ending specifically at a certain point to prevent overlying lines in the complex detail work, in an extremely brief period of time. Despite these limitations, red-figure painters developed an elaborate and specific technique. Humans...

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