Take-home essay-Winter 2001

You will write a 2-3 page essay addressing one of the following topics. Like the paper assignments, the essay you turn in will follow the course guidelines for written work (see syllabus, p. 2). Your essay will be evaluated on the basis of the clarity of its thesis and your ability to analyze images and place them in a historical context using the course readings and lectures. The greater variety of sources you use (at least four), the better. The essay will be typed, double-spaced, with 1" margins and 12-point type. It will include footnotes or endnotes to document sources you use. The essay cannot exceed 3 pages (not counting footnotes). The essay is due at 4:30 p.m. on March 7, 2001; late essays will be dropped one grade for each day late.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many artists in Canada, the United States, and Mexico produced images that reflected a sense of national identity. Choose one of these three countries and discuss how national identity was conveyed in representative works of art. You may focus on any medium (painting, sculpture, photography, architecture), type (history or narrative, genre, portraiture, etc.), and subject matter (depictions of indigenous cultures, urban scenes, rural scenes, history scenes, etc). Also, you may write about any artist(s) you choose. You must use three specific works in your essay. Xeroxes of these images must be included with your essay.

For example, you could discuss how Mexican muralism of the 1930s created a sense of national identity for Mexicans by analyzing three examples of murals by Diego Rivera, or by comparing murals by Rivera and David Siqueiros.

In addition to the assigned readings, the following books (on reserve at the UWT Library) and websites have images you can use:


Ades, Dawn. Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bulfinch Press, 1990.

United States

Craven, Wayne. American Art: History and Culture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.


Mellen, Peter. Landmarks of Canadian Art. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1978.


Carol Gerten's Fine Art--A Virtual Art Museum at:

The Grove Dictionary of Art, accessible through the UW Tacoma Library's website at: (Note that this site can only be accessed through a UW domain.)

If you want me to mail your essay to your home, please give me a stamped, self-addressed envelope when you turn in your essay. Otherwise, you can pick up your exam from me at the beginning of spring quarter.