Review of a Museum/Gallery Show Guidelines

Review of a museum / gallery show

7-10 pages

For this assignment you are required to write a critical review of an art exhibition in a local gallery or museum. You may write about a current exhibition in the place where you are serving your internship, provided that the exhibition was not curated by anyone affiliated with the UWM Art History Department. You must attend the exhibition in question at least once. If the museum charges admission, attach your ticket to the completed assignment.

A critical review should not simply rehash the contents of the exhibition. Rather, it is an opportunity to evaluate the argument or thesis of an exhibition and how well the exhibition makes its case.

You are encouraged to search for reviews of your chosen exhibition both in print and online media in order to consider the opinions of other critics, but your own voice and opinions should emerge clearly in your review.

Citations for this exercise must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th or 16th edition.

Your review must include:

  1. The name of the institution, the title of the exhibition, the name of the curator(s), and any other information salient to the production and presentation of the exhibition as a whole.
  2. A description of the works of art that comprise the exhibition and an account of their layout within the exhibition space.
  3. An analysis of the thesis or central argument of the exhibition. What contribution did the curator(s) hope the exhibition would make? Does the exhibition offer a new interpretation of the objects or materials displayed?
  4. An analysis of the challenges faced by the curator(s) or institution in the creation and realization of the exhibition. Do you think this was a difficult project to realize? What sort of choices or risks might have been involved, and what contingent factors (budget, time, loan expenses, etc.) might have affected the outcome of the exhibition?
  5. Your evaluation of the exhibition as a whole. Does the exhibition achieve its stated objectives? What questions or issues does it leave unresolved? This is not necessarily a matter of “yes” or “no.” You may conclude that the exhibition was more successful in some respects than others.

You are strongly encouraged to visit the UWM Writing Center before submitting this assignment.