Extra Credit 4
- It’s helpful for me to know what you all enjoy learning about so I can include more of it next time I teach this course. Here is your chance to share that with me!
- For two points of extra credit, think back to a work of art, medium, or movement that you enjoyed learning about so far in the class. Maybe there is something that we haven’t covered that you hoped we would. Feel free to include that too.
- Upload or type out a short paragraph explaining what about it you have enjoyed learning and why. If you have more questions about it for me (or other things we’ve covered in the class), feel free to include that as well.
Extra Credit 5
Select one of the topics below to write about:
Topic #1 – Removal of Statues of Controversial Figures
For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you’re welcome to also do your own research) about the recent removal of statues of Confederates and others who have controversial histories (such as their enslavement of people, role in colonization, racists beliefs, etc.) across the United States and Europe. This began a few years ago but over the last few weeks, with the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, more have been removed from public view either by city officials or protestors. In California and the Southwest, there are few Confederate statues. Instead there are more works of public art connected to colonization and violence against Native Americans via the Spanish Missionaries and Conquistadors which are also coming down. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See the page on citations in Week 1’s course orientation module.
Some questions to think about include: Should these controversial statues be removed? What are some proposals for what should be done with them? These are now being removed en masse as a result of protests and public outcry that started with the Black Lives Matter movement. What do you think was the tipping point and why do you think it didn’t happen sooner?
Topic #2 – Looting and Museums
For this topic you’ll think on why many works of art are located in countries where they did not originate such as the Ishtar Gate is in Berlin, the Code of Hammurabi is in Paris, and the Benin Bronzes in London. How did these items come to be where they are? Should they be returned to their country of origin? Who ‘owns’ a work of art – the person who purchases it or the country/culture related to its artist? These questions relate to the idea of cultural patrimony (important cultural artifacts should stay in their country of origin) and cases of cultural restitution (the return of artwork to its home country) happening more and more frequently.
In 300 words or more, summarize and weigh in on one of the longest and most public examples of cultural restitution – the Parthenon (or Elgin) Marbles at the British Museum. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See the page on citations in Week 1’s course orientation module.
Some questions to think about include: What is the history of these marbles and how did they end up largely in London as well as other sites outside of Athens? What is the argument for the British Museum keeping them and what is the argument for returning them to Athens? Do you think they should stay where they are currently or be reunited? What could be a solution to this issue?
Helpful articles and video:
- British Museum’s official position on the Parthenon Marbles (and why they don’t want to return them): https://www.britishmuseum.org/about-us/british-museum-story/objects-news/parthenon-sculptures (
- Naomi Rea, “The British Museum Says It Will Never Return the Elgin Marbles, Defending Their Removal as a ‘Creative Act’” Artnet News, January 28, 2019 https://news.artnet.com/art-world/british-museum-wont-return-elgin-marbles-1449919
- Shane Reiner-Roth, “E.U. requests Elgin Marbles return to Greece from British Museum post-Brexit” February 21, 2020, The Architect’s Paper, https://www.archpaper.com/2020/02/eu-requests-elgin-marbles-to-be-returned-to-greece/
- Kate Brown, “As Lockdowns Ease in Europe, Greece’s Culture Minister Again Puts the Squeeze on London to Return the Parthenon Marbles” May 26, 2020, Artnet News, https://news.artnet.com/art-world/greece-parthenon-marbles-1870500
- Reuters Staff, “Greece proposes Parthenon marbles swap, says still wants their permanent return” September 3, 2019, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-britain-marbles/greece-proposes-parthenon-marbles-swap-says-still-wants-their-permanent-return-idUSKCN1VO1AZ
- “France Agrees to Lend Piece of Parthenon to Greece for Independence Bicentennial” September 2, 2019, The Pappas Post https://www.pappaspost.com/france-parthenon-metope-greece/
Topic #3 #MeToo and Museums
For this topic, read the following articles about how museums are attempting to address works in their collections by (largely famous) artists who are accused of sexual assault and harassment. Then in 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See the page on citations in Week 1’s course orientation module.
Some questions to consider: How can museums best respond to such accusations and correctly contextualize it for the visitor? Do you think museums have a responsibility to include and address this history/these accusations or is that beyond the realm of the museum? What are some options for how museums should best respond – edit labels, take down work, etc.?
Topic #4 Money and Museums
For this topic, read the following articles about how the public should ask questions (and critique) where museums get their funding. Then in 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See the page on citations in Week 1’s course orientation module.
Some questions to consider: Do you think museums should be transparent about their sources of funding and sponsorship? What could be the benefit of this and what could be a downside? How could where funding comes from be problematic?