Art History of Costume (Museum visit)

Assignment 2:
Museum Visit Essay, 500-600 words: Due by 6pm, Monday Nov. 16
All assignments are worth 25 points and will be graded according to a rubric, which you can find on BBLearn.
These are exercises in writing thoughtfully and critically about course material as you study actual objects outside of
class. The goal is to formulate your own opinions about fashion and design and express your perspective(s) in
For this essay you will need to take a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can get
in for FREE with the Fall 2015 AWCOMAD sticker for your Drexel ID’s. I will hand
stickers out in class (Oct. 5th and 19th). If you did not get a sticker, stop by URBN 130 (my
office) during my open hours (see syllabus) to pick yours up.
Your assignment is to choose ONE piece of art made between 1920-1959, that you can
discuss in the context of fashion history. It can be a photograph, sculpture, painting,
furniture, anything other than actual clothing or accessories—as long as you can discuss
its design qualities alongside trends in fashion design of the same period.
It might be helpful to review each decade we discussed and note the examples of art
movements given in each slideshow. The goal is to connect the dots between what you
have learned thus far about costume history and how it is related to the history of art. Be
sure to discuss the following:
 Introduce your chosen object. Include its name, maker, date,
material, size, and any other information given on its label.
o If non-flash photography is allowed (look for signs or ask a
guard), include at least three photographs of your selection
o If photography is not allowed, sketch the image in pencil.
o Include at least three photos or sketches in the body of your
paper, with a caption underneath it I will have no idea what
your object is unless you EXPLICITLY tell me about it!
 Describe your object as thought you didn’t have an image of it.
Talk about color, shape, size, texture, technique. I will have no
idea what your object is unless you EXPLICITLY tell me about it!
 What drew you to this object? Was it difficult to decide on a piece?
 Relate the piece back to what you learned about costume history.
Does it follow the style lines of a certain kind of art movement? Is
it easy to date based on its appearance? Does it stand out in any
special way? Does it represent any kind of social issue that
affected fashion? Does it remind you of any kind of fashionable
object? Are there similarities between the object and something
you’ve seen in fashion? Give your opinion and support it with an
If there is text about your object (either in the gallery or elsewhere), feel free to include those ideas, if
they support your viewpoint. However, remember to always cite the source and explicitly state that the
ARTH 337 History of Costume III Fall 2015
idea came from someone/somewhere else. Please write coherently in paragraphs—do not answer the
questions in bullet points. Make an effort to transition from topics in a clear manner