What is Art? Essay

Submitted By Jeny-Rodriguez
Words: 684
Pages: 3

Art 21000 PAPER # 3: Argumentative Essay
Due: WED Mar. 25 (Stapled hardcopy & Upload to Safe Assign)
No late papers will be accepted.

Read Laurie Schneider Adams’s chapter “What Is Art?” in The Methodologies of Art: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 2010), pp. 3-19, Ch. 1.

The question “what is art?” is a broad and sometimes contentious topic, and Adams makes many general claims, using examples to substantiate her points. It is easy to agree or disagree with her on several issues. After reading the chapter, write an essay arguing that one of the objects listed below is (or perhaps is not) art. Your thesis statement will be the answer to the question: How does or doesn’t your chosen work fit Adams’s definitions of art? In your paper, you must agree or disagree with Adams’s explanation of what constitutes art and justify your reasoning by staying focused on your thesis argument. It does not matter whether you think the object is art or not, but how you well you make your argument.

You will need to visit the exhibition: “Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection” on the second floor of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to see the listed works in person.
11 West 53rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Sat.-Thurs. 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Admission is free for CUNY students. Present your student ID card at the ticket counter. You are required to staple that ticket to your paper when you turn it in. (Some of you are required to go to the Writing Center and attach the writing center slip as well)

This paper requires research. Once you have chosen your art object, you’ll need to look for scholarly literature or contemporary art criticism. You cannot use Wikipedia or nonacademic websites that you find by using Google or other such search engines. You should examine the MoMA’s website to see if the museum offers any information. You should also search for information using the CCNY library’s databases including CUNY+, WORLDCAT, JSTOR, Art Full Text, etc. Be sure to differentiate your voice and Adams’s voice in the paper, so your reader knows when you are presenting your own ideas and when you are borrowing ideas from Adams. You need to look up both books and articles and select at least SIX published scholarly sources. You will then compile them all into a bibliography.

Essay Structure:
Introduction: Begin with a broad statement that becomes more specific as the text continues. Typically the last sentence of the introduction is your thought-provoking thesis statement.