answer 4 questions about native Americans, Africa-American Arts

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Arts 2F /ICS 5: Multicultural Arts in the U.S. SAMPLE answers for exam essays Exams will include essay questions: three short written sections either asking a question about chapter content or asking you to write about a work of art (Responses should be about 100-200 words). The last question will be a compare/contrast essay (two compare/contrast essays will be on the Final Exam). These essays will have two pictures that you will need to identify as part of your answer. The images shown will depict subjects that have been discussed in the textbook. You will be asked to write a short essay (300-400 words) comparing the two that shows that you know what the subjects are and why we are studying them. Your essay should include relevant facts about each subject and its cultural context. It should also include a discussion of its significance to a study of multicultural arts using some of the concepts and terms used in the text. Examples of art and architecture for the essays will come from the study guides posted on Catalyst. For example, this is the African House on the Melrose Plantation in Isle Breville, Louisiana. It is discussed in Chapter 2. Below are some sample paragraphs that might be written about this subject. An “A” level answer: The African House was built in the 1790s by African slaves under the direction of Marie Thérèse Quan Quan, a former slave who married a French man. Her husband gave her land for a plantation and this structure was built as a storehouse. It is an example of Africanism in 18th century American architecture. The African influence is shown in its earth brick walls and high pitched roof with big overhangs. It is used for storage, similar to West African granaries. African cultures traditionally pass on information in oral history, so it may be that her African family described these types of buildings to her. It also is an example of syncretism, or the combination of features from different cultures. The shutters on the doors and windows show European influence. (Note: Notice how the student uses critical thinking and applies concepts learned in a different section of the course to this example.) A “B” level answer: The African House was built by slaves in the 18th century. It shows European culture combining with African culture in America. This is called syncretism. It has a big overhanging roof like African storehouses and shutters like European houses. It was built by an ex-slave married to a white man who gave her land for a plantation. She probably learned about this kind of building from her African parents. This is called Africanism. A “C” level answer: This building shows africanism. It was built by slaves. It has a big roof like african houses. It was designed by a lady. Syncretism. Slaves came from Africa and left a strong mark here in U.S. This was during the time of slavery in America. Notice the African building skills. A “D” level answer: The roof of the house was built in so that the house would keep cool. It’s like after african american roots. It has similar designs as to houses that were built in Africa back in the day. An “F” level answer: The big roof is like they had in Africa. made from brick. Slaves built it. Sample Compare / Contrast Essay Ledger art, Wohaw, Plains Region, late 19th c. Henry Ossawa Tanner (African American/white/Native American), Banjo Lesson, 1893 This would be considered an A+ response to a compare/contrast question. Try to follow this example in responding to final essay question(s) - YOU MUST COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE TWO PICTURES to receive full credit. ***Note how the student discusses the two examples through her or his own words, critically thinking about how the two are similar and different, and using terms from the textbook. Wohaw was a Kiowa Plains warrior captured in the 1870s during the Indian Wars. He was imprisoned in Florida with other Indians to be schooled and taught to assimilate to the dominant white culture. This drawing is an example of Ledger Art. Traditionally Plains Indian men had painted on buffalo hide, depicting specific events in picture writing called pictography, or symbolically in visionary paintings. In the Reservation Era, they no longer had access to buffalo hide and learned to draw with commercial pens and pencils on the pages of merchant’s ledger books. Exposed to printed art from the white culture, they began to experiment with different kinds of representation. In this picture Wohaw depicts himself standing between two worlds. On the left is his past traditional culture with the buffalo, tipi, and moon and stars in the sky. On the right is his future assimilated world with a wooden house, plowed fields, a domesticated bull and an empty sky. The sun is directly above him and he is facing his future. The buffalo and the bull are breathing power towards him and he extends a ceremonial peace pipe to each of them. This is an example of syncretic art. It combines aspects of Euro-American (white) art, such as a more naturalistic drawing of the human body as opposed to the stick figure conventions of traditional Plains painting and commercial materials, showing his current life as a bridge between two worlds. Henry Ossawa Tanner was an artist of mixed black, white, and Native American heritage from a family of free, middle-class, educated African Americans in Pennsylvania. His father was a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church who initially opposed Henry’s desire to study as an artist, but later sent him to the Pennsylvania Art Academy. There, Tanner studied with Thomas Eakins, who worked in a highly realist style and used photography as a tool to study anatomy. He was the only black student at the Academy, and was often treated badly by the other students, and he did not complete his education there. Eventually he moved to France, where there was less discrimination against blacks, and focused his art on Impressionist influenced paintings of biblical subjects. In The Banjo Lesson, Tanner paints a genre scene, a portrait of an older African American man teaching a young boy, possibly his grandson, how to play the banjo. It is a deliberate contrast to the many insulting 19th century caricatures of black people with banjoes that often showed them as silly, lazy, and stupid. Tanner paints the family in a serious, dignified light, the older man passing down lessons from one generation to the next. The banjo is also significant because it is an instrument with African roots, an example of Africanism, and is hard to learn to play. The influence of Eakins can be seen in the detailed study of the subjects’ faces, and the influence of the French Impressionist movement in the sketchy and light filled background. The two works are different in many obvious ways. Tanner is a trained artist painting in oils, while Wohaw is a former warrior learning to express himself with new materials. Tanner is painting in a realist style, depicting his subjects with great attention to detail, while Wohaw is drawing in a more symbolic manner, with each object in his drawing standing for a larger conflict between two ways of living. The two artworks are similar in the way that both are addressing the issue of tradition in a world that opposes your culture. Wohaw is being forced to leave his traditional Plains life, and he holds out a traditional ceremonial pipe to both his past and future to try to find some way to make peace between them. Like the ceremonial pipe in the ledger example, the banjo in The Banjo Lesson is a traditional object associated with the artist’s culture. A banjo is an American musical instrument with African roots and, so, it can be considered an example of Africanism. Tanner’s painting does not address racism directly, but the sparse background implies the grandfather’s poverty and implies his struggle to get by in a hostile world. At the time that Tanner painted it, the grandfather could represent a generation that had grown up with slavery while the young boy was born in freedom, but growing up in a society that still disrespected African Americans. In conclusion, both artworks demonstrate the struggles of American artists of color to hold onto one’s cultural roots while wrestling with assimilation in the late 19th century. 1. the concept of race was discussed as a "social construct." What does that mean? Write a paragraph explaining your points and why race as a "social construct" might be important in the study of American art history. Do NOT add information from additional research or from the internet. 2. Discuss the significance of this painting in the context of our studies. Some things to consider: What is the title? Who is the artist? When was it created? What was happening in history and art history at this time that influenced the artist and the artwork? What terms and concepts that we have studied would apply to this work? What do you think that the artist is trying to convey?- No additional sources. Do NOT use the internet to answer. 3. Identify this object as best as possible. Discuss its significance in relation to the concepts presented in the reading. Make sure to cover both visual details and a brief discussion of context (contexts may include social, cultural, religious, political aspects along with points about the ethnic or racial identity of the artist). Do NOT use additional resources or the internet. 4. Compare and Contrast essay Write a few paragraphs to compare and contrast the pair of images. Identify both artworks displayed and discuss their significance in relation to the concepts presented in the reading. Make sure to cover both visual details and a brief discussion of context (contexts may include social, cultural, religious, political aspects along with points about the ethnic or racial identity of the artist). Do NOT use additional sources or the internet. ...
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School: University of Virginia

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Running Head: ART WORK


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the concept of race was discussed as a "social construct." What does that mean? Write
a paragraph explaining your points and why race as a "social construct" might be
important in the study of American art history. Do NOT add information from additional
research or from the internet.
Race was marked as a social construct because of it very many wide ranges of
distictive features which mostly revolved around various human physical characteristics
like for example height, skin color, way of livinng and habitats. Its impportance towards
the study of American study is that it provi...

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