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Library Guide for K-12 Art Educators: Question an art work

Colby, State of Maine, and open library resources for K-12 Art Teachers

MALVINA HOFFMAN. BACCHANALE RUSSE, BRONZE, 1917

 

Malvina Hoffman 
Bacchanale Russe, 1917
Bronze
40 3/4 in. x 24 3/4 in. x 22 3/4 in. (103.51 cm x 62.87 cm x 57.79 cm)
The Lunder Collection

Accession Number: 026.2010

FORMULATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ARTIST AND WORK

Upon close observation of the work, what critical questions arise?

  • Who was the artist and how does this inform our understanding of her art and times?
  • What can we find out about her work? Where did she find inspiration to create?
  • What can we find out about this work?
  • When / where was the work most likely created?
  • What was happening stylistically and intellectually during this time period.
  • Describe the formal aspects of the work, subject matter reflected, etc.
  • What contexts (artistic, cultural, intellectual, historical, gender) emerge when considering this work
  • How was her work received in comparison to other female (and male) sculptors of her day?
  • How do her own writings shed light on this piece? (e.g. primary sources)

ASSESS YOUR NEED FOR TYPE OF RESOURCES

BACKGROUND: ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIAS, MUSEUM WEBSITES, AND BOOKS....biographies of artists, facts, short essays in encyclopedias on art styles, general chronologies of art in its time,

EXHIBITS/EVIDENCE: BOOKS, JOURNALS, IMAGES, NEWSPAPERS, ARCHIVAL....autobiographies, artist writings, other artworks, sketches, reviews of the artist or exhibitions in news papers and art journals, letters, museum websites for images.

RELEVANCE TO A LARGER CONTEXT: BOOKS... on style; cultural, social, historical milieu, surveys of the medium or genre (e.g. American modernist sculpture ), content-topical context, issues relating to identity (race, gender, ethnicity, age, nationality)   

ARGUMENT: JOURNALS OR BOOKS.. analysis and criticism, secondary sources that synthesize background, evidence, and context to support a claim or thesis.

THEMES AND CONTEXTS EMERGE FROM BACKGROUND

  • Define your topic or search. Make a list of key words and concepts that you wish to research.
    • Artist & Work | Thematic content | Genre | Time period | Identity: nationality, gender, ethnicity, race | Object Type
  • Sample: "phrases" | use * asterisk for word variation
    • ​"Malvina Hoffman"  Hoffman, Malvina
    • women
    • sculpt*
    • bronze*
    • America*
    • bacchanale
    • Dance
    • Body
    • Ballets Russes
    • Anna Pavlova
    • 1917 
    • modern*
  • Search Strategies
    • women sculpt* America*
    • bronzes AND (19th OR 20th) AND America*
    • "dance in art"
    • figur* sculpt*
    • Pavlova AND Hoffman
    • Ballets Russes AND art*
    • bacchanale hoffman
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