Edmund Feldman, Professor of Art at the University of Georgia, developed an easy four-step method for evaluating a work of art. The following link explains his method. We will use this method for Museum Paper Assignment. I used Powerpoint to present assignment but you need to write an essay.FELDMAN METHOD OF ART CRITICISM Feldman’s Model of Art CriticismFrom the work of Edmund Burke Feldman, available in many of his books fromthe late 1060’s and early 70’sDescription-Describe : Tell what you see (the visual facts). Descriptive words about an artwork are like pointers; they draw attention to somethingworth seeing – so remember that the words that you use must be NEUTRAL. Do not useterms that denote value judgments, such as beautiful, disorderly, funny looking,harmonious, etc. Instead, focus on the factual information, such as smooth, bright, round,a lake, a shape, etc. This is important so that you don’t jump toconclusions before going through all the steps.Here are questions you might consider:
What is the name of the artist who created the artwork?
What kind of artwork is it, what medium is it?
What is the name of the artwork?
When was the artwork created?
Name some other major events in history that occurred at the same time this artwork was created.
List the literal objects in the painting (trees, people, animals, mountains, rivers, etc.).
What do you notice first when you look at the work(s)? Why?
What kinds of colors do you see? How would you describe them?
Are there lines in the work(s)? If so, what kinds of lines are they?
What sort of textures do you see? How would you describe them?
What time of day/night is it? How can we tell?
Analysis-Focus on the formal aspects of elements of art, principles of design, and otherformal considerations: exaggeration, composition etc.
USE ANALYSIS NOTE CARDS FOR THIS SECTIONAnalysis of relationships such as sizes, shapes, colors, textures, space and volumes, etc., encourages a complete examination of the artwork.In this step consider the most significant art principles that were used in the artwork. Describe how the artist used them to organize the elements. It also reveals the decision-making process of the artist, who wants the viewer to make certain connections within the artwork.“How does the artist create a center of interest?” How does the use of colorimpact the painting?”Interpretation-Propose ideas for possible meaning based on evidence. Viewers project theiremotions/feelings/intentions onto the work. “What do you think it means”?“What was the artist trying to communicate”? “What clues do you see thatsupport your ideas”?An interpretation seeks to explain the meaning of the work based on what you have learned so far about the artwork, what do you think the artist was trying to say?Interpretation is the meaning of the work based on the information in steps 1 and 2. Interpretation is about ideas (not description) or sensation or feelings. Don’t be afraid of revising your interpretation when new facts are discovered (such as the date of the artwork, or the personal history of the artist, etc.) Conversely, don’t be reluctant to make an interpretation from your analysis of only the visual information.Here are questions you might consider:
What do you think it means?
How does this relate to you and your life?
What feelings do you have when looking at this artwork?
Do you think there are things in the artwork that represent other things/symbols?
Why do you think that the artist chose to work in this manner and made these kinds of artistic decisions?
Why did the artist create this artwork?
Judgment-Judgment, the final step, is often the first statement that is expressed about an artworkbefore it has really been examined. Judgment in that case is neither informed nor critical but simply an opinion.Research the artwork! Don’t forget to cite your sources. What was the artist’s statement in this work?(research) After careful observation, analysis, and interpretation of an artwork, and research you are ready to make your own judgment. This is your personal evaluation based on the understandings of the work allowing you to make an informed and critical judgment.Discuss the overall strengths/success/merit of the work.Here are some questions you should address/
Why do you think this work has intrinsic value or worth? What is the value you find in the work(s)? (For example, is it a beautiful work of art, does it convey an important social message, affects the way that I see the world, makes insightful connections, reaffirms a religious belief, etc.)
Do you think that the work(s) has a benefit for others?
Do you find that the work communicates an idea, feeling or principle that would have value for others?
Could the reason you find the work lacking come from a poor use of the elements of art? Explain.
What kind of an effect do you think the work could have for others?
Rather than seeing the work as being very effective or without total value, does the work fall somewhere in-between? Do you think that the work is just o.k.? What do you base this opinion on? The use of elements of art? Lack of personal expression? The work lacks a major focus? Explore your criticism of the work (s) as much as you would any positive perceptions. Realize that your own tastes and prejudices may enter into your criticism. Give your positive and negative perceptions.
Click on link for video.FELDMAN METHOD OF ART CRITICISM
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