Artistic Response to War

Artistic Response to War Essay Assignment


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(600 to 750 words of analysis. Include the word count in your title.)

“From time out of mind, and in all cultures, war and art have reflected one another.”
Donald Anderson, Editor, War, Literature, & the Arts

Donald Anderson edits a scholarly journal housed at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Reading what he has to say about the artistic responses to war guides us as we begin our independent projects focusing on artists use war as a subject of their work.


For this assignment, you will prepare avisual analysis to share with your classmates. You will insert an image into a Word documentand provide your own written commentary in text form. You will attach your document to a post in the discussion area, after you have submitted it to the LMS for grading.

You may use include information you find from the museum or gallery notes in your opening paragraph of the ARTW Essay in order to set the context for what you will discuss. Cite the source of the background information in a parenthetical citation. See the sample essay for more information on how to do this.However, NO additional borrowed information should be used, paraphrased, or followed for the analysis portion of the essay.


Follow the steps below to complete your project.

  • Choose one of the images from the ARTWImage Choice document.
  • Place a copy of the imageyou choose into your document—see the sample ARTW for guidance. Make sure you identify the place where this item is located physically; it could be in a museum, private collection, print publication, or gallery. Use a caption or a line of text to acknowledge the source.
  • Study the artistic response you have chosen, and think about how this specific artistic expression responds to war or engages the subject of war. Place your written analysis into your project. You should do more than merely summarize what you are seeing or hearing. Think critically about theme and meaning. Use our discussion of “The Things They Carried” as a model for your own analysis.
  • Your analysis is not your personal reaction; it is an analysis of the way the artistic element engages the subject of war. You might think about your analysis as a response to these questions: “What does the creator of the artistic piece want me to think, want me to feel, or want me to believe?”  Then address whether the artist is convincing, compelling, or effective in getting the response the artistic element is intended to evoke. Do not base your analysis on what you have read about the work of art. The analysis is to be your own original ideas and work. If you read too much about the work of art, you won’t be able to distinguish between your ideas and those you read.
  • You will make your project available to your classmates on the discussion.
  • You must also submit your assignment to your instructor through Canvas for grading. In other words, you will submit the assignment, and then you will post it to the discussion board so that your classmates may see it. If you miss either one of these steps, you will not be able to receive a passing grade on this project.
  • You will be able to view all of the class projects. You are required to view and post a discussion comment about three other student projects. Your comments should be analytical and not merely a statement on how much you enjoyed looking at the projects. Think about your comments as part of the continuing conversation on how artists respond to war. Your posts to the discussion post are due by posted dates and times.

Prepare for your project by reviewing the sample essay.

It is a copyright violation to upload, share, or make public this assignment or any other portion of the course material.



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