Organization and Display of Art in a Museum
1. Visit the Museum of Art in Philadelphia (virtually).
2. Spend some time looking around the grounds, outdoor environment and/or on the floors of the museum to see how it is set up.
3. Write a short 2-3 page essay in paragraph form that discusses how the museum is organized and how the works of art are displayed.
4. Please be certain to answer the following questions (please adapt them to fit your style of visit as best you can):
a. What are the main organizing principles of each wing of the museum or areas of the
b. Are individual galleries or spaces arranged chronologically, conceptually, and/or
according to nationality?
c. Are there any confusing transitions from one gallery to the next or from one work to the
next? If it was a public work, is this the only work present? What type of impact does
that have on the way you view this stand alone work?
d. How are sculptures displayed (on pedestals, gated off, outside, etc.)? How are paintings
displayed (behind glass, high on the wall, in frames, etc.)? etc.
e. How is lighting used to enhance the appearance of monuments?
f. Are there any works of art which stand out as you enter a gallery or public space? If so,
5. As you are writing and exploring, choose a few examples to illustrate your statements. Please
include the artist (if applicable) and title of any monument you cite as an example, as well as the gallery number where it is located (if applicable). You want to make sure to cite specific artworks to illustrate your arguments/points. This will make for a stronger essay. Dont generalize the museum or space, describe your observations with specific examples!
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