Avoiding Mistakes when Writing an Art History Essay

Mistakes to avoid making when writing your art history essay

Your art history essay is your way of showing your teacher that you are capable of making concise arguments, can express clear thoughts, have learned the material that has been taught and that you are able to come up with original thoughts. Take this opportunity to show your teacher that you are a top student and to grab high grades in your class.

Make concise arguments.

Make sure that you arguments is expressed in a clear and concise way. Students often make 1 of 2 of these mistakes: they try to use an argument that has too much information or they try to make an argument that is too specific and committed. Make sure that your argument is talking about the topic at hand in a manner that says something specific about it. If you make an argument that is too broad you will have difficulty bringing up points that will support it sufficiently. Also, do not make an argument that is too specific as this will leave you with a small number of points to make in support of it.

Make clear arguments.

Make sure that your arguments are directly related to your thesis statement. If your thesis statement and your evidence are not related your arguments will not be properly supported and it will weaken your entire essay. You do not want to cut your own legs out from under yourself so make sure that you have clear and strong connections between your thesis and your evidence.

Show that you learned something.

Use the materials that you get from your teacher to help you write your essay. Start from there and add evidence from other sources as you go along. Use the information from class to build your brainstorming bubbles and the first draft of your outline. Your teacher will be happy to see that you were actually listening in class and that you were able to make connections between what he or she said and the arguments in your essay.

Do not hire an essay writing company.

Honestly, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is to hire an essay writing company in Toronto or wherever you happen to live. There are many essay writing companies out there and while many of their writers are skilled (or claim to be) if you are proved to have plagiarized your essay then you will get kicked out of university for academic dishonesty. Many universities like the University of Toronto, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, McGill and many others have an active practice of kicking out students at the first sign of academic dishonesty.

Try to say something original.

As I said previously, use the information you get from class as the starting point for your essay, but make sure that you can say something new to your arguments. Don't just regurgitate what you heard before put a new spin on your art history essay by making a new observation or finding some new supporting evidence (if this is something that your teacher has never seen before you will be sure to impress). An important thing to remember is to make sure that what you are saying is original and that this original thoughts source is properly cited. No matter if you read it online, in a book or on social media it must be cited and properly so (find out what style your teacher wants and stick to it as deviation will lead to a lower grade). If you bring new information into your art history essay and you do not reference the source you got it from you may end up with a 0 for a grade which I am sure you do not want.

Make your essay better by avoiding the simple mistakes listed above. Be clear, concise and cite both information you have learn in class and information that you get from an outside source and you will be sure to get the best grade possible.


A Story about Ken Danby

I think of Ken Danby once in a while and I will pass on a story about him that has never
been told by anyone else because it only happened to me.

Several years ago (I would guess it was late 1990s) I heard about a seminar in Delaware regarding
Ancient mysteries, ancient mapping, ancient relgions. Since this has always been a hobby of mine, I elected to go to it .

I live in NE Pa. so Delaware is a short drive and the seminar (2 days) offered a discount price at a nearby hotel.

 I was checking into the hotel and a young man (early 30s?) was behind me at the registration desk. I turned and asked if he was attending the seminar in the morning, he said yes and I asked if he wanted to go somewhere and grab a beer.

We drove down the street until we found a small corner bar and went in. In our conversation during the short ride to find that bar I found out that he was employed by Marvel Comics and drew Spiderman.

We sat in the bar and I had a corner slot. Next to me was a man around 50 who was dressed in a safari jacket. He looked like a movie actor and was sitting there by himself. We all nodded to one another and there was a sign up behind the bar that said "Killians Red Beer."

 I asked Spidey if he wanted to try a Killians, he said yes and I yelled over to the bartender...."Can we get 2 Killians down here?"

When the bartender dropped off the 2 beers the safari guy looked over and said "How is that beer?"

I said..."I don't know." Then yelled out to the bartender..."Hey, can you bring another Killian's red over here?"

When the safari guy got his Killians we toasted life to which one of us asked him..."are you here for the seminar?" (I think the only reason it was asked in this small bar was because none of us looked local ...most especially safari guy!"

Safari guy said that yes, he was there for the seminar. He explained that he was an artist who had done "ok"  in life and he was painting some of the mystery sites
and was very excited to hear all of the seminar speakers.

As the beers flowed the three of us ended up in a long conversation about ancient Mayans and Safari Guy (who introduced himself simply as Ken) had a theory about
how they saw things different and he started drawing pictures of several mayan pieces. As we chatted about each drawing that Ken made he would push it to the side
and make another drawing which brought us to more conversations.

As the evening drew to a close and we were getting ready to leave, I said "So Ken....you said you have made a pretty good living with your art....I guess I'll just hold on to these
napkins so I can sell them some day." (  I said this jokingly and was pointing to them on the bar...not intending to pick them up or take them...after all they were just doodlings on a bar napkin!

Ken laughed, grabbed the napkins off the bar, squished them in his hands and pocketed them ( I assume to be thrown away when he got to his room)

The next two days at the seminar I saw Ken a few times, We had lunch together and he took me over to one of the tables selling books and pointed out some books and
magazines that he recommended and I bought.

I never expected to see or hear from either Spidey or Ken ever again.

But...............several years later I was reading a book entitled "Uriel's Machine" and for some odd reason the safari guy, Ken popped into my mind and I had this
"feeling" that I should call him and tell him about this book. Why Ken popped into my mind....I don't know...but I have an idea that Ken is just another of the many interesting
people who have popped into my life over the many years..

I ran through my Rolodex till I found the business card that Ken had given me and I called the number on the card. Ken Danby answered the phone.

I said..."Ken, you probably don't remember me...we met at the Delaware (I can't remember the name of the festival) several years ago......

Ken interrupted..."Killians red right?"

Yep

I said..."Ken I am reading this amazing book and for some reason I had this feeling that I needed to tell you about it. He asked me for the name of the book, wrote it down and then said..."I have my new website up..check it out and see what you think....he then gave me the name of his website....(again, I don't remember the exact name of the site)

When I went to the site you can guess my amazement at "who" I had befriended in a corner bar in Delaware.

I never again talked to Ken but for some odd reason he stayed in my thoughts over the years. He was that kind of person I guess.

I believe it was last year that I had another flash moment and decided to call Ken to see how he was doing. It was then that I found out that he had died in the canoeing adventure.
It was sad....mind you it didn't make me cry or put me in a funk. I didn't know him that well..

He was simply a "cool guy" I met in a bar in Delaware along with my new found friend...the guy who drew Spidey for Marvel.

My brother was a huge comic collector in his youth and when he got older and was living a bohemian lifestyle in North California he sold off many of his collectibles from Marvel. So a visit with Spidey was actually more of a thrill at the time than meeting a famous artist.

I just wanted to share this.....I see you are a writer. I am a writer at heart. I write daily. I have had a more than interesting life. I speak to many youth groups in my area and my story is simply "my story." But my story is unique enough that the kids love to hear it. I am invited to speak to a youth entrepreneur camp each summer and the kids always tell me that I was their favorite speaker and many say to me...."Wow, you should write a book about your life!"

And one day I am sure I will.....

But I wanted to put my Ken Danby story "on paper" and tell it to someone who knew Ken. It is a story that no one else ever heard about this man. And for me, it speaks volumes about the kind of person he was!

Charlie Umphred, West Wyoming

Killer's artwork removed from auction

ART HISTORY/CANADA - The prison artwork of a Canadian killer up for auction on an American website is going, going, gone.

Federal officials have stopped Roch Theriault's art from leaving Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick, drying up the supply to MurderAuction.com, which specializes in so-called murderabilia.

Correctional Service of Canada has imposed "restrictions on the dissemination and distribution of artwork and hobbycraft items as well as written materials such as memoirs, bibliographies and-or public communications," says an internal document.

"The restrictions are to reduce public notoriety primarily to prevent negative consequences for victims and their families as well as to decrease risk to personal security in the institution and to facilitate eventual reintegration."

Records related to the controversy were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

The freeze has had the desired effect: just one Theriault painting remains on MurderAuction.com, an abstract titled "Chutes d'automne," painted in 2003. It had already left the prison before the freeze was imposed.

"Not allowed to send or make anymore art," says the posting by an anonymous Canadian dealer, identified only as Redrum's Autographs.

At least seven pieces had been available for online auction a year ago, most of them believed to have been taken out of Dorchester by a Moncton, N.B.-area woman described as Theriault's current wife.

Auction items have included Theriault's signed poems, and all pieces were of inoffensive subjects, such as flowers.

Theriault is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder committed while he led a bizarre cult at Burnt River, Ont., between 1977 and 1989. He killed his wife through disembowelling, and chopped off the hand of a concubine.

Senior officials in the prison service had been alerted as far back as August 2007 that Theriault's art was appearing on MurderAuction.com, which promotes criminals as celebrities.

But no action was taken until The Canadian Press reported on the controversy last year – and a senior cabinet minister took notice.

"I would appreciate if you could look into this matter and ensure that such practices are not continued," then Public Safety minister Stockwell Day wrote to then head of corrections, Keith Coulter, the day the story appeared.

"Under no circumstances should any offender be permitted to be affiliated with any individual or group that glorifies their crime."

Day added he was "disturbed ... that an offender, rather than his victims, may be benefiting from proceeds of work which is done in prison."

One of those victims, Gabrielle Lavallee, 59 – who lost her hand in a vicious attack by Theriault – also said she was hurt by the online auctions.

"I am victimized by a legal system that seems to give more importance about criminal rights than the victims' right," she said at the time.

The prison service received a legal opinion in the fall of 2007 warning there were legal obstacles to interfering with the auctions.

"Any decision to impose limits on the production, or selling, of artwork by an offender can be grieved and challenged in court," Coulter advised the minister last year.

The heavily censored documents do not spell out the specific legal basis for the current ban, but indicate the new policy applies only to the Theriault case, not to all offenders.

A spokeswoman for the prison service declined to provide any details of restrictions placed on Theriault, citing protections to personal information under the Privacy Act.

Lynn Brunette said only that "measures have been put in place to address this issue."

Material connected with notorious child-killer Clifford Olson continues to appear on the auction website, though it's unclear whether Canadian prison officials have also cut the flow in that case. Olson is serving a life term in a Quebec facility.

Also offered for auction are documents alleged to contain original signatures of infamous dictators, including Saddam Hussein and Benito Mussolini.

Artwork inspired by Bush shoe attack

ART HISTORY - A sculpture of an enormous bronze-coloured shoe has been erected in Iraq to honour the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

The sofa-sized artwork was formally unveiled in Tikrit, hometown of dead Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.

Artist Laith al-Amari insisted it was not a political work, but a "source of pride for all Iraqis".

George W. Bush, who launched an illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, managed to dodge the shoes. The young journalist who threw the shoes, Muntadar al-Zaidi, was arrested and still awaits trial. As he pulled off his shoes, al-Zaidi, now 30, shouted: "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq." and "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!"

About 400 Iraqis gathered on Thursday to see the monument unveiled - a shoe on a white pedestal, about 3m (10ft) high, with a poem praising the journalist al-Zaidi at its base and a bush growing out of the shoe.

The sculpture stands in the gardens of an Iraqi foundation that looks after children whose parents died in the violence following the US-led invasion.

Following his arrest, al-Zaidi was beaten nearly to death while in custody, suffering a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding.

He has been charged with aggression against a foreign head of state, and faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. Many Iraqis deny he has done anything wrong since throwing shoes is a traditional Arab insult. Iraqi politicians can't agree what to do about the shoe thrower.

See Also:
The Shoe Thrown Around the World
Iraqi Artists

Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings

10. Vincent Van Gogh - "Portrait de 'artiste sans barbe", 1889
Price paid: $90.7 Million



9. Gustav Klimt - "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Baur II", 1912
Price paid: $93.1 Million



8. Pablo Picasso - "Dora Maar au Chat", 1941
Price paid: $100.8 Million

7. Vincent Van Gogh - "Irises", 1889
Price Paid: $102.3 Million

6. Pablo Picasso - "Garcon a la pipe", 1905
Price paid: $114.8 Million



5. Pierre-Auguste Renoir - "Bal au Moulin de la Galette, Montmarte", 1876
Price paid: $128.8 Million



4. Vincent Van Gogh - "Portrait of Dr. Gachet", 1890
Price paid: $136.1 million

3. Gustav Klimt - "Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I", 1907
Price paid: $143.5 Million

2. Williem do Kooning - "Woman III", 1953
Price paid: $145.7 Million

1. Jackson Pollock - "No. 5, 1948", 1948
Price paid: $147.8 Million