4.609 | Spring 2014 | Undergraduate

The Art Museum: History, Theory, Controversy


Response Papers

In addition to regular participation in class discussion, you are required to submit 3 short response papers (3–5 pages each) in which you engage with one week’s assigned readings and take a position on the arguments they propose. Response papers are required for Sessions 8 and 10; the third response paper is your choice.

Research Project

You are also expected to pursue a research project related to the course themes. This can take the form of a research paper (15 pages for undergraduates and MArchs; 20 pages minimum for Ph.D. students), or an exhibition (a minimum of 15 objects with expository labels for each object and an introductory text). Project proposals and preliminary bibliographies are due by session 6; earlier submissions are encouraged. Whether you are writing a research paper or preparing an exhibition, your proposal should state your working hypotheses and outline the questions you are asking of your material. Everyone will give a short presentation on their research in progress in class.

Example Research Projects

“Modern Authentication: An Exhibition” (PDF - 2.0MB) by an MIT Student

“The Founding of the MFA: Myths and Realities” (PDF) by an MIT Student

“Final Paper: Art Museums in Maoist China” (PDF) by an MIT Student


Writing Handout 1: Titles, Thesis Statement, and Claim Sentences (PDF)

Writing Handout 2: Style Sheet (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2014
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples