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Optional 10% Museum Assignment

Write approximately 400 words for 5%, and 800 words for 10%
You can do a maximum of one 10% and on 5% assignment from this list.
Make sure not to recycle material. Marks are awarded for clarity,
organization, insight, originality, and use of specific examples to support
your points.
Despite being dedicated to the fine arts, a considerable portion of the
museum seems to be devoted to history. It could be argued that the
museum wears more than one hat. For this paper you are asked to
consider what distinguishes a history museum from an art museum in
terms of goals, practices, curatorial decisions, audience reception and the
creation of canons. Use examples of specific collections and galleries in
your discussion. I recommend the Canadian Art Pavilion and Napoleon
Collection as good places to start.
Inuit Art
Visit the five floors of the Canadian Pavilion on the North side of
Sherbrooke Street, make sure to look at the entire top floor which is
devoted to works by Inuit artists from Canada's North. Look at the work,
how it is presented, the dates it was made, and the information provided.
Ask yourself, why the curators made the choices they did (after all, they
can put anything anywhere in the museum) and what effects these
choices have for how Inuit art is understood. Does the presentation differ
from that of artworks? Is there a canon of Canadian Inuit Art? Is it part of
the larger Canadian Canon?
A Canon of Canadian Art?
Visiting the same pavilion as the previous question, discuss how the MMFA
defines the Canadian Pantheon of Great Artists. You are welcome to
discuss what is distinctly Canadian about these artists and their works,
how their works are like or unlike works by their contemporaries in other
countries, who is part of the canon, etc.
What the MMFA Cultivates
Hutchins states that, " what is honored in a country will be cultivated
there" (70). It would be reasonable to propose that the same is true of
institutions. Looking at the various collections in the MMFA what can you
tell about what is honoured in this instution? What ideas, techniques,
practices, cutltures or eras are privileged?
Architecture and Curatorial Choices
The MMFA has grown over the years to include a number of buildings.
Discuss the how choices made by the different architects influence the
visitor's experience of the space (be specific!). Also point out examples of
places where the curators have taken advantage of architectural elements
to enhance the viewer's experience of a work of art.

Lives of the Most Excellent Female Painters, Sculptors and Artists

(10% 500 words)
Vasari did profile one female artist in his Lives and mentions three others,
but it is mostly a boys' club. Now, five hundred years later, we should
write a Lives of the Most Excellent Female Painters, Sculptors and Artists
based on the artists whose works are on display in the MMFA. For this
assignment take pictures of what you consider to be the five most
beautiful, significant, shocking or inspiring works by women in the MMFA.
Post to Tumblr. Then pick one and write a Vasari-style "life" for her. Post it
to Tumblr #mostexcellent P.S. Rules of the game. You can only pick one
from the "Elles" exhibit.